Making pandesal at home is very easy! Fluffy, a little sweet, and served fresh out of the oven, these classic Filipino bread rolls are always a welcome addition to my breakfast, lunch, or dinner table!

pandesal

What is Pandesal (Pan De Sal)?

Pandesal, or pan de sal, which means “salt bread” in Spanish, is a popular breakfast bread roll served throughout the Philippines. Despite being called “salt bread”, the roll is actually more sweet than salty and has a light and airy texture similar to a French baguette.

Pandesal became popular during the early 1900s when American wheat, which was cheaper than native Filipino wheat, became more available. It has since become a staple breakfast food in the Philippines.

ingredients for pandesal

Ingredients for Pandesal

Unlike French baguette which always has the same texture and flavor no matter where it’s made, pandesal can take on slightly different qualities from one bakery to another. That’s because some bakers use a combination of bread flour and flour, while others prefer sticking to the traditional method of only using wheat flour. The ratio of sugar used can also vary, making certain rolls sweeter than others.

  • Milk: You can use 2% milk or whole milk. I have also made it using oat milk and the results were just as successful.
  • Active dry yeast: 1 packet, which comes to about 7 grams. The active dry yeast is used to leaven the bread and give it an airy light texture.
  • Butter: Butter, margarine, or vegan butter can be used. They all yield good results.
  • Eggs: Large eggs, preferably pasture raised. For vegans, replace the eggs with 2 tablespoon flaxseed meal mixed with 6 tablespoons water (for the equivalent of 2 eggs). Let the mixture sit for about 10 minutes before using it.
  • Sugar: 1/3 cup of sugar gives the bread a slight sweetness but it won’t taste like a dessert roll (I’m not big on really sweet breads). Feel free to increase the amount of sugar to half a cup if you like it sweeter.
  • Bread flour:  Using bread flour in pandesal gives it a chewier texture than if you used 100% all-purpose flour.
  • All-purpose flour: Regular all-purpose flour or wheat flour can be used.
  • Salt: A little salt is added to season the dough and balance out the sweetness.
  • Breadcrumbs: Breadcrumbs are used as a topping to give these breakfast rolls a crispy exterior.
milk and eggs whisking dough for pandesal

How to Make Pandesal

  • Gather all of your kitchen tools and ingredients.
  • Begin by adding the milk and active dry yeast to the stand mixer bowl, and stir. Leave for 10 minutes. If  you don’t have a stand mixer you can just use a regular mixing bowl.
  • Add the butter, eggs, and sugar, and mix all of the ingredients using a spatula.
  • If using a stand mixer, use the dough hook and turn the dial to medium speed. Slowly add the flour and salt and knead for 10 minutes. For the traditional way, sift the flour into the bowl and add the salt. Stir and mix until you get dough and transfer it to a flat surface. Knead the dough with your hands for 10 minutes.
  • Brush a medium size bowl with a little oil.
  • Shape the dough into a ball and place it in the bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let the dough proof for 1 hour, until it has doubled in size, somewhere preferably a little warmer than room temperature. I like to place the bowl in a cardboard box and cover it with a blanket.
  • Dust a flat surface with a little flour and drop the dough onto it. Punch it 3-4 times and cut it into four equal pieces. Or, if like me you aren’t very good at eyeballing, weigh the ball of dough first on a food scale and divide the number by four. Slice the dough into four pieces and weigh each piece so they are about the same weight.
  • Shape each quarter into a log and slice into six equal pieces (or use the food scale again to weigh). Shape each piece into a ball and place them on an 18×13-inch cookie tray that’s covered with parchment paper.
  • Cover the tray with a towel and leave for 20 minutes, until the dough has almost doubled in size.
  • Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 350ºF (180ºC).
  • Brush each ball with a little milk on top and dip them in breadcrumbs. Place them back on the cookie tray and bake in the oven for 20 minutes, or until the top is a little golden brown.
  • Serve immediately.
how to make pandesal pandesal dough balls

How to Eat Pandesal

Pandesal is best when eaten fresh out of the oven because of its light and airy texture. And let’s not forget about the irresistible aroma of butter and yeast which are hard to resist! It’s delicious dipped in coffee, milk, tea, or hot chocolate, or simply enjoyed on its own.

Best Spreads and Fillings For Pandesal

Pandesal can also be dressed up with various spreads, both sweet and savory, or sliced just like a sandwich, and stuffed with ingredients.

Here are some of the most popular ways pandesal is enjoyed in the Philippines:

Spread:

  • Butter
  • Mayonnaise (click here for my easy homemade Kewpie mayo recipe)
  • Jam
  • Chocolate spread
  • Peanut butter

Filling:

Pandesal

How to Store Pandesal

As previously mentioned, pandesal is best eaten fresh out of the oven. But you can stretch its life by a couple of days by storing the rolls in an airtight storage bag or container, left on the kitchen counter. Put the rolls in the microwave for a few seconds or toast before eating.

Once it’s gone past two days, refrigerate pandesal as it may starts to grow mold. The texture won’t be the same – they will no longer have the airy fluffiness than it did on day one – but will still be good. Microwaving them for a few seconds seems to do the trick in restoring some of the softness.

Freezing Pandesal

Pandesal rolls can be frozen too. Wait until they have completely cooled down before transferring them to an airtight storage bag. It’s also best to freeze them flat, one next another so they don’t freeze stuck together in clumps.

Before eating, take the rolls out and leave them on the kitchen counter for about 15 minutes. They place them on a plate and microwave for 15-25 seconds until they are soft and warm.

pandesal filipino bread pandesal

Did you like this Pandesal Recipe? Are there changes you made that you would like to share? Share your tips and recommendations in the comments section below!

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Pandesal

pandesal

Fluffy, a little sweet, and served fresh out of the oven, pandesal is my go-to roll for breakfast or brunch.

  • Author: Caroline Phelps
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes + 80 minutes proofing
  • Yield: 24 buns 1x
  • Category: Bread
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Filipino
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 ⅓ cup milk, lukewarm
  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 4 tablespoons butter, room temperature
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • ⅓ cup sugar (or use 1/2  cup sugar if you like your bread sweeter)
  • 1 cup bread flour
  • 3 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ cup breadcrumbs, or more

Instructions

  1. Mix milk and active dry yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer and leave for 10 minutes. Or use a regular mixing bowl if you don’t have a stand mixer.
  2. Add the butter, eggs, and sugar to the mixing bowl and mix using a spatula. 
  3. Place the bowl on the stand mixer and use the dough hook. Turn on the stand mixer (medium speed) and slowly add both flour and salt. Knead for 10 minutes. For the traditional method, sift the flour into the bowl, add the salt, and stir until the mixture turns into a dough. Transfer the dough on a flat surface and using your hands, knead for 10 minutes.
  4. Grab a medium size bowl and brush with a little oil.
  5. Turn off the stand mixer and grab the dough using your hands. Form into a ball and place it in the bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit for about 1 hour, somewhere a little warmer than room temperature (75-85ºF), until it doubles in size. I like to cover the bowl with a blanket which seems to work well
  6. Dust a flat surface with a little flour and place the dough on top. Punch it 3-4 times and cut into four equal pieces. Shape each piece into a log and cut each log into six equal pieces, about 50g per piece if  you are using a food scale.
  7. Form each piece into a ball and place them on an 18×13-inch baking sheet covered with parchment paper. Cover with a towel and let them rise for about 20 minutes, until they have doubled in size.
  8. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350ºF.
  9. Brush each ball with a little milk on top and dip the top in breadcrumbs.
  10. Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes, until the top of each bun is golden brown. 
  11. Serve hot with butter or your favorite jam or other spread.

Notes

Pandesal will keep in an airtight storage bag or container, on the kitchen counter for 2 days. After that, refrigerate for up to 1 week.

Microwave the rolls for 15-20 seconds before eating to restore some of the softness.

Keywords: dinner roll, appetizer, side

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