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Pandesal: Filipino Bread Rolls

24
20 minutes
30 minutes
Recipe developed for BC Egg by Diversivore

Pandesal (Filipino bread rolls) are crispy on the outside and wonderfully soft on the inside. This recipe is fairly simple but there are lots of notes on flour, yeast, shaping methods and baking techniques if you’re looking for a deeper understanding of these tasty bread rolls.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups milk, preferably full-fat
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp active dry yeast (see note for instant yeast)
  • 4 1/2 cups all purpose flour, plus more as needed
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp butter softened
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil, plus more for oiling the bowl
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs fine/dry (see note)

Instructions

Making the Dough

  1. Warm the milk briefly in a saucepan or microwave. It should be a little warmer than room temperature, but not too hot (hot milk will kill the yeast).
  2. Mix 1 teaspoon of the sugar into the milk, then sprinkle the yeast over the surface. Allow the yeast to bloom for 10 minutes.
  3. Crack the eggs into a small bowl, mix with a fork, and set aside.
  4. Combine the flour, salt, and remaining sugar in a bowl.
  5. Combine the the proofed yeast/milk, softened butter, eggs, and oil in the bowl of a stand mixer equipped with a dough hook (see note below for hand-kneading instructions).
  6. With the mixer running at a low speed, add a little of the flour/sugar mixture to the bowl. Repeat until all of the ingredients are combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  7. Increase speed a bit and mix until dough is well-combined, springy/elastic, and forming a ball around the dough hook (4-5 minutes). If the dough is overly wet and/or won’t ball around the dough hook, add flour (a little at a time) and continue to mix until the desired consistency is met.
  8. Turn the dough out into an oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, foil, or a damp cloth, and proof until doubled in size (30-60 minutes, depending on temperature, etc.). The finished dough should spring back nicely when gently poked with a finger.

Forming the Buns

  1. Gently punch down the dough, then turn it out onto a lightly floured board.
  2. Form the dough into a rough log shape. Cut this into three equal pieces (a dough knife/bench scraper is easiest for this).
  3. Option 1 – Cut/oval pandesal – Press 1/3 dough portion into a long rectangle. Form baston (see note) by rolling one corner over, then tucking the edge into the center. Repeat with the other edge. Roll this baston in bread crumbs. Cut the baston at an angle into 3 cm pieces (just over 1 inch). Dip the cut pieces back into breadcrumbs, then space out on a baking sheet covered in parchment paper.
  4. Option 2 – Round pandesal – Form the dough into one or more long cylinders. Cut small, even pieces of dough from the main portion, then shape these into balls. Roll or dip the balls in breadcrumbs, then arrange them on a baking tray. Space out for crusty rolls, or crowd together for tray-bun style pandesal.
    Note: A small kitchen scale makes this method much easier and more consistent. Aim for 40 g for smaller rolls, 50 g for larger rolls.
  5. Cover and proof again until the rolls have risen by about 50% (generally 30-40 minutes).

Baking

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F (160°C). Optionally, place a couple of small, shallow pans of hot water in the oven to increase the humidity.
  2. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until lightly golden. Smaller, evenly spaced rolls will take less time than larger and/or closely spaced (tray-bun style) rolls.
  3. Remove from oven and cool. If you’ve made tray bun-style pandesal, I strongly recommend turning them out onto a wire rack to cool, as they tend to get soft/soggy sitting on the pan.

Notes

NOTE: Extensive notes on variations and troubleshooting are given in the main body of this recipe post on Diversivore. For more
information on the notes below (and others), we encourage you to visit Diversivore.com.

Yeast – Substitute 18g (0.6 oz) fresh yeast, or 1.5 tsp instant yeast. If you use instant yeast, you can skip the blooming step and just mix it directly into the dough.

Flour variations – I use Canadian all-purpose flour, which is high in protein and closer to bread flour in many other places. Depending on where you live, you may want to try a mix of all-purpose (plain) flour and hard/bread flour.

Hand-kneading – To make the dough without a stand mixer, mix the dry ingredients into the wet a little at a time, stirring with a heavy spoon. Once you’ve roughly combined the dough, turn it out on a lightly floured surface, then fold/knead vigorously for about 5-7 minutes. If the dough is exceptionally sticky, you may need to add additional flour, though you want it to be as wet as possible while still being manageable. Once you’re finished kneading, proof the dough and proceed with the other instructions as above.

Baston making – a detailed 12-step process and image is given in the Diversivore post. If you’re new to making a
baston, I would start there.

Breadcrumbs – I specify 1 cup here so that it’s easy to roll/dip the dough. You won’t actually use all of the breadcrumbs on the pandesal though. If you want/need to make use of a smaller quantity, you can dip the dough portions in a small bowl of crumbs, or sprinkle them over the rolls when they’re on the tray.

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