Welcome to adobo-down-under!

Musings. Family. Food. Stories. Cooking. Recipes. Eating. A recipe journal. From simple Filipino dishes to challenging recipes and exciting gastronomical failures. This is for my girls to look back on for comfort, memories, laughs, love and lots of food!

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Pandesal (Filipino sweet bread rolls)

So.  I have been amiss with the blogging and the writing. And in my last post, I forgot to mention the newest addition to our family!  We got a dog!

Late last year we got an 8 week old Labrador Cross and it has changed our lives immensely - from our daily routine to everything we eat at home.  The puppy was from an office colleague who's pet Labrador gave birth to 9 puppies!!  Of course, when she asked if we wanted one, it was a big fat YES please!  Eleven months on and our home is now double the activity - noise, mess and everything in between.  Lucky is a bundle of mess and joy! We've lost shoes and slippers and towels and old toys from biting and gnawing and every little budding plant in the backyard dug up, twigs and branches scattered about and the smell of stinking poo and pee!  But....... we are happy.  He brings us unconditional love and the happy yapping and tail wagging that welcomes everyone at the door every day is just priceless.  When you get a pet, I think there's that extra dose of tolerance, patience and generosity that comes out of you. Walks have turned into running because we're chasing him more, and play time at home has become more frequent.  Hubby is happy he's got a running buddy and an extra testosterone in the house and the girls are loving the play time - a much needed break from their gadgets and laptops.

I read one of those memes circling around my social media feeds - when you have teenagers, get yourself a dog. It seems apt with the girls now donning high school and teen hats!

Back to food and this pandesal.  This has been a fave recipe of ours since I started experimenting on making bread at home about 6 years ago.  Pandesal is a Filipino bread roll, it has subtle sweetness and saltiness and is a staple in most Filipino breakfast tables - even afternoon tea, really. Pandesals are sold by every corner bakeshop in the Philippines and they are delicious warm with slathers of butter or margarine.  This can be made by hand, using a stand mixer, and most recently, I converted the recipe for the Thermomix (recipe is in the Recipe Community), if you're interested in that method. But here is the traditional one with pictures to guide you along the way.


500 ml luke warm water, 37*-38*C 

2 teaspoons dried active yeast

1 teaspoon caster sugar (to activate the yeast)

75 grams (or 1/3 cup) caster sugar (for the dough)

55 ml sunflower oil (or any neutral smelling oil)
900 grams (6 cups) strong bakers flour

1 adn 1/2 teaspoon sea salt flakes*
1-2 cups bread crumbs (store bought or homemade for coating the rolls)
In a medium sized bowl, combine the water, yeast and 1 teaspoon sugar and stir with a spoon until the sugar is dissolved.  Rest for 5-10 minutes to activate the yeast.  It should appear bubbly.
In the bowl of your stand mixer, combine the remaining sugar and oil and mix until smooth.  
Replace the attachment with a dough hook, then add 1 cup of flour first, and the yeast mixture.  Turn on the mixer to combine.
Add the salt, and the remaining flour, one cup at a time, and knead until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl, about 3-5 minutes.
Take the bowl, cover with cling wrap and set aside to prove.  Minimum of 1 hour or until the dough has doubled in size.
Prepare and line two baking trays with parchment paper. 
Place the breadcrumbs into a medium sized bowl and set aside. 
Sprinkle some flour onto a clean kitchen bench and take the dough from the bowl. 
Divide the round dough into quarters.
Roll each quarter into a log and cut using a sharp knife or dough scraper into 5-6 cm pieces.
Dip each pandesal/roll piece into the bread crumbs bowl to coat.

Place the pandesal/roll onto the prepared baking tray, leaving about 2cm in between each piece.  Repeat with the rest of the dough.

Cover the tray with a tea towel and place in a warm spot to prove further - 30 minutes to 1 hour, or until the pandesal/rolls have doubled in volume.

Preheat the oven to 180*C.

Once the pandesal/rolls have rested and doubled in size, place in the preheated oven and bake for 20 minutes or until golden.

Serve with butter or margarine!
* when using iodized or fine salt, just use 1 teaspoon
* for the second proving, the longer you rest the dough, the more you'll get fluffier and soft rolls when baked
* the pandesal/rolls are best eaten while still warm, but can still be served the next day toasted or warmed in the oven. 

This will be your dough, resting and risen after proving.

Divide the dough into quarters, then roll each quarter into logs then cut into pandesal/rolls.

The pandsal/rolls cut into 5-6cm pieces.  The size will depend on your preference. 

Coat the cut pieces with bread crumbs, then place onto the tray with the cut side up. 

The pandesal/rolls will have doubled in size after second proving, and they will be touching each other, side by side like here.

The pandesal/rolls baking in the oven.

And this will be your freshly baked pandesal!

As with all baking experiments, there will be times when the bread will have unexpected results - bread too hard, or burnt or doughy.  It always pays to try again.  We have had numerous fails before we nailed this recipe.  One version was even so tough the birds visiting our backyard were not even half interested in the crumbs we put out for them.  Just try until you get the results you want.  And if you have any questions, just let me know.   I'm doing a sour dough project at the moment, experimenting on starters and baking artisan sour dough breads.  I have posted photos on my Facebook page and will write a post about my sour dough adventure in upcoming posts.

And going back to our much loved Lucky, who will be turning 1 next  month! We are looking at making a special savoury birthday cake - meatloaf! What do you think?  Should we make something sweet?  Do you have pets at home who have overtaken your lives in the most joyful way?  Share your stories here!

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