Monday, April 8, 2013

White as white bread

That's me. But this recipe is not: pandesal. Now, it is white bread, but it has something more than Wonder Bread ever could. Ok, here she is...

2 ¼ tsp active dry yeast (I just used 2 packages)
¼ C warm water
1 C lukewarm milk
2 Tbsp unsalted butter at room temperature
½ C sugar
1 tsp salt
2 eggs, beaten
4 ½ C all-purpose flour or more as necessary (yes, you'll need more)
Plain breadcrumbs

  • In a big bowl, dissolve the yeast in ¼ C warm water. Let stand for 10 minutes, and then stir well.
  • In a separate bowl, combine the milk, butter, eggs, sugar and salt.
  • Add milk mixture and 2 C flour into the yeast mixture. Beat with a wooden spoon or electric mixer until smooth. Gradually stir in the remaining flour, adding more as needed.
  • Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface. Knead dough, adding flour, until dough is smooth, elastic, and no longer sticky (around 10-15 minutes).
  • Place dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover with a towel and let rise for 1 hour or until dough is double in size.
  • Again transfer dough to a lightly floured surface and divide into 24 even pieces. Shape each dough piece into a ball, roll in breadcrumbs and place on a baking pan lined with parchment paper.
  • Bake in a 225 degree oven for 20 minutes and then increase the oven temperature to 325. Bake for another 10-15 minutes or until golden brown.
And here's my proof:

My husband found this recipe--he's Filipino and these just happen to be Filipino breakfast rolls! Pandesal (Spain: pan de sal or "salt bread") is the most popular yeast-raised bread in the Philippines. Hubby's reaction after trying one: "they're good, nice job, but could have been lighter," he said. Now any bread to me is heaven, but I was pleasantly surprised when I broke open a roll and smelled its sweet, but not overly sweet smell and noticed a fluffy consistency. I was happy with the result, because hey, FRESH, HOMEMADE BREAD, nothing better.....but he's the expert on this pandesal stuff.

I'm not sure what could have been done to make these rolls "lighter." With me and bread baking it's simple, I jump the gun and knead when I should have left the dough alone or get a wee bit lazy and tired of kneading and don't add the proper amount of flour or I don't work the dough long enough. But this time, I was a well-behaved bread baker: I was busy with something Saturday afternoon during this recipe's first rise, so the dough actually sat for closer to 2 hours. And I know I added more like 5 cups of flour than the called for 4 1/2. Could it have been the type of yeast I used? Maybe my butter and milk weren't at the right temperature. Gee, guess we'll just have to make this awful tasting recipe again...ha.

Anyway, that's the pandesal saga.....I ate two rolls Saturday and haven't had one since because I'm on some crash diet that my mom and I swear will be the answer to our prayers. We'll see. I told my husband to hide the remaining rolls somewhere so I wouldn't be tempted. We froze 12 of them too. If I finally lose weight, I'm celebrating with pandesal!