8 Steps to Delicious Pan de Sal!
This was the first Filipino recipe I ever tried making. Among the various cuisines I have cooked, only two have make me shake in my boots: French cuisine and Filipino cuisine. Often overlooked, or labeled as simple, Filipino cuisine is discreetly complex. Every dish is a multitude of flavors ranging from spicy to salty to sour. What might be perceived as a humble stew is actually a plethora of ingredients that make up a rich, and complex sauce. Eyeing the complexity of dishes like afritada and lomi, I decided to keep it simple and master pan de sal (or in English,”salt bread”). When I had finally conquered this recipe I felt so proud. But admittedly, the bread tasted, well…. a bit boring. Sure, I understand that it is the perfect accompaniment to spam and eggs for breakfast, or to lap up meaty juices at supper, but I wanted to give this simple roll a bit of “pizzazz”. So I added in 1/4 cup of honey, and oh my goodness were they amazing! There was just enough sweetness in the roll to make this bread satisfying and tasty, yet not overly sweet. (Think Hawaiian rolls).
Anyway, so as I watched my daughter pound and knead the dough with me I marveled at how far I’ve come. Follow these 8 easy steps and you’ll be on your way to a tray full of delicious, pan de sal too! Enjoy this recipe everyone and let’s get cooking! 🙂
Pan de Sal in 8 Easy Steps:
- 1/2 cup lukewarm water
- 1/4 oz. (1 envelope) active dry yeast
- 1 teaspoon, plus 1/2 cup (100 g) sugar
- 1 cup (250 ml) water
- 3 tablespoons oil
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 5 cups (625 g) all-purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons breadcrumbs
- 1/4 cup honey
Step 1: Activate the yeast. Pour the lukewarm water in a large mixing bowl, and add the yeast. Add 1 teaspoon of sugar to activate the yeast and gently stir to dissolve. Let it stand in a warm place for 15 minutes.
Step 2: Make your dough. Add the sugar, salt, and flour little by little, mixing as you go, until thoroughly combined. Knead the dough until it is smooth and pliable.
Step 3: Let it rise for 2 hours in a warm place or until it’s doubled in size (like this picture!).
Step 4: Punch down the dough again on a floured surface.
Step 5: Divide the dough into 12-15 pieces. (I usually divide it into 12 so that my rolls are slightly larger). Roll each into a ball in your hand. Dip the top of the roll into a small bowl of breadcrumbs and line the rolls onto a greased baking pan to rise (in a warm place) again for 1 hour. (Note: Cover your baking pan with a dish towel to prevent the dough from drying out).
Step 6: Let the rolls rise until doubled in size for 1 hour (like this picture!) and then it’s time to bake!
Step 7: Bake for 20 minutes in a 325 degree (F) / 160 degree (C) oven or until just slightly golden brown.
Step 8: Serve warm and enjoy! 🙂 (Note: These rolls will last for 4-5 days if stored in an airtight container).