When I was younger, not only was pandesal a frequent staple on our breakfast table, there was also bakery just across the gate of the little subdivision where we live at and the scent of pan-de-sal is a common early morning companion while we wait for our school bus at the subdivision gate. Needless to say, pandesal is one of those things that are not just simply classified as Filipino food, rather it is also part of that Filipino experience growing up.
Pan-de-Sal, which literally translates to bread of salt, is a traditional Filipino breakfast bread. It is not really salty bread, it is actually a bit more sweet than salty for my taste. It is mostly served during breakfast, but it can also be eaten at any time of the day with any palaman or spread that your heart desires… hotdog, sausage, ham, spam, cheese, egg, egg salad, coco jam, strawberry jam and even ice cream. The options are endless!
While I can easily find and buy pandesal here at the Filipino grocery, I, however, find that the experience of eating pandesal is diminished because it lacks that olfactory input. There’s no smell like freshly baked PandeSal in the morning.
So, if you’re having one of those I-really-miss-home kind of days, I suggest making some Garlic Parmesan Pandesal as your pick me up… you’ll be glad that you did.
You will need…
¼ cup milk
1 pouch active dry yeast
½ cup sugar
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon salt
4 cups all purpose flour
5 tablespoons butter, softened
1 tsp baking powder
1 cup Italian style bread crumbs
2/3 cups grated parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon garlic powder
What to Do:
You start off by activating the yeast. To do this combine the yeast and warm milk, stir and set aside. It is important to note that if the milk is too hot, it will kill the yeast, if it is cold it will not activate the yeast.
While the yeast is activating, sift together the dry ingredients, sugar, flour, salt, and baking powder into a bowl. Them mix together the eggs, butter, and oil. Add the yeast mixture. Mix until a dough is formed. I used my trusty kitchen aid with a paddle attachment to help make this job easier for me.
Mold the dough into a big ball. Let it sit in a greased bowl and cover with cloth or plastic to let it rise until double it’s size. Leave on your kitchen counter for at least 1 hour. If the weather is cold, the dough will not rise that well. If it is cold in your area, what you can do is boil some water and leave it on a baking dish. Put the water at the very bottom rack of your oven. Set the covered bowl with dough on rack above it. Close the door and let it sit there for an hour. This mimics the warmer weather and humidity in the Philippines, which is the perfect ideal for making the dough rise.
While waiting for the dough to rise, combine the Italian breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese, and garlic powder.
Then, after the dough has risen, divide it into 4 parts and roll into cylinders. Cut to about ¼ cup slices (makes 20 to 24 pcs) and roll in the breadcrumb mixture. Set it on a baking tray lined with parchment paper (no greasing needed) about 1 inch apart. Let it sit covered with a towel of cling wrap for another 15 to 20 minutes. The dough will rise again.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
Bake pandesal for 10 to 15 minutes.
Right before serving brush the tops with melted butter and sprinkle some of the left over breadcrumb mixture. Serve warm.
Enjoy by itself, with pasta, or with any palaman that you like.
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Written by Donna
With moving to California and having two kids, Donna traded in her city night-owl-running-on-caffeine lifestyle by becoming a suburban domestic deity. She is a special-ed teacher during the daytime, and a juggler of sorts in the evenings and most weekends. If most people find watching TV or shopping relaxing, she on the other hand, finds running, making lists of things to do, trips to the grocery, crafting, and experimenting with new recipes to be fun.
Check out her blog on cooking, crafting and ideas for other things to do.