Every country/cuisine/city has a nationally beloved bread. Think French croissants, San Francisco sourdough, and Italian focaccia.
I introduce you to one my favorites- pandesal (also commonly spelled as pan de sal). Pandesal is the quintessential bread roll of the Philippines.
They look very similar to dinner rolls like Parker House rolls. However, the main difference, being that pan de sal is pretty much served anytime of day except during dinner.
It’s a classic breakfast or midday snack.
Pandesal or Pan de Sal
It’s a slightly sweet, soft and fluffy white bread roll that tastes amazing with salty cheese. I like it with gouda, edam, or smoked cheddar.
It’s best served warm fresh from the oven. As a kid, I loved eating it with peanut butter.
Sometimes when I’m feeling crazy, I’ll eat it with sweetened condensed milk and salted butter… and then I dip it in sweet coffee. It’s a delicious combo…no matter how weird it may sound. Trust. It’s delicious.
They also make fabulous little ham and cheese sandwiches. They are kind of similar to Hawaiian sweet rolls in texture, except way less sweet in flavor.
This recipe makes 24 bread rolls. Each dough ball is dipped into bread crumbs before baking.
Use store-bought bread crumbs, or easily make your bread crumbs using stale white bread.
Use a digital kitchen scale for even bread portions.
Filipino Bread Roll Ingredients
These bread rolls are made with very simple ingredients:
- all-purpose flour & bread flour
- active dry yeast
- whole milk
- kosher salt
- unsalted butter
- granulated sugar
- large eggs
- bread crumbs
It’s best to use a combination of all-purpose flour and bread flour to achieve the perfect chew.
Don’t Stress. Relax, it’s just bread!
I think bread making is uber relaxing. As such, whenever I’m stressed out or mad, I bake a batch of bread to calm down.
Maybe it’s the learning to be patient part that does the trick? Or perhaps it’s the repetitive rolling of the bread?
No, I think it’s the delicious and aromatic end result that calms my nerves. A kitchen filled with the scent of freshly baked bread is pretty hard to beat.
Scroll down for Pandesal Troubleshooting and FAQ.
For visual tips, check the “highlights” section of my Instagram page.
Pandesal (Filipino Bread Rolls)
- 2 1/4 teaspoon active dry yeast
- 1 1/4 cup (285 g) whole milk, warmed to 100-105 degrees F
- 3 cups (390 g) all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups (195 g) bread flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (Diamond Crystal kosher salt)
- 3 Tablespoons (43 g) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1/3 cup (70 g) granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs, lightly whisked
- breadcrumbs, as needed
- Dissolve yeast in warm milk. Add 2 teaspoons of sugar. Stir to combine. Let stand for 5-10 minutes until yeast has activated and mixture is foamy.
- In a large bowl, whisk together all-purpose flour, bread flour, and salt. Set aside.
- Pour yeast mixture into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a hook attachment. Add remaining sugar, butter, and lightly whisked eggs.
- With the mixer running on low speed, add the flour mixture in three additions. Once all the flour has been added, increase speed to medium. Continue to knead until dough comes together to form a smooth ball.
- Remove from mixing bowl and transfer to a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let dough rise at room temperature for 1 hour, until dough has doubled in volume*. Punch dough down and divide into 24 equal parts.
- Roll dough into balls and dip the top of the bread roll into breadcrumbs. Place rolls breadcrumb side up on a parchment lined 18x13-inch baking sheet. Cover dough with plastic wrap to prevent from drying out. Allow bread rolls to rise for 20-30 minutes, until bread rolls have puffed up.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Remove plastic wrap and bake for 20-25 minutes until fragrant and golden brown. Eat bread rolls warm or at room temperature. All images and text ©The Little Epicurean.
- Listed times for dough resting/rising is based on standard 72 degree F room temperature. Dough may need more time to rise if ambient temperature of room is too cold.
- Keep dough covered with plastic wrap at all times to prevent dough from drying out.
- Dough may be a bit sticky or tacky after kneading. Do not add more flour. Too much flour will dry out the dough. The resulting dough will be dense.
- For best results, use a scale to weigh out ingredients.
- If you don't have bread flour, sub in all-purpose flour.
- Serve these bread rolls warm or at room temperature.
- Delicious with salty cheeses like gouda, edam, or smoked cheddar.
- Also great with peanut butter, sweetened condensed milk, or salted butter.
Storage and Leftovers:
- Keep cooled leftovers in an airtight container for up to three days. Reheat in the microwave, oven, or toaster oven.
I used an 18×13-inch baking sheet tray, also known as a”half sheet.”
Why is my dough dense? Why didn’t the dough rise?
- When the yeast is mixed with warm milk and sugar, it should smell fragrant like beer after 5 minutes. It should bubble and expand. If not, throw out your yeast. It is no longer suitable for baking.
- Check the “best by” date or “expiration date” on your yeast package. Better yet, try this Yeast Freshness Test.
- Dough will rise slowly in a cold environment. As such, it will need more time to proof and rest. Instead of relying on the listed proofing times, check the volume and appearance of the dough.
Why doesn’t the breadcrumb stick to the dough?
- It’s important to keep the dough soft and moist. Keep the dough covered with plastic wrap to prevent dough from drying out during scaling/portioning, resting, and proofing.
- If dough is exposed, it will create an “elephant skin” outer shell. This will prevent the breadcrumbs from sticking to the dough.
Why is my baked bread so dense? Why isn’t the bread soft and fluffy?
- For best results, use the weighted measurements in the recipe. Work in a room with an ambient temperature of 72-75 degrees F.
- The two most common problems: 1.) overworked dough and 2.) overproofed or underproofed dough.
- Overworked dough has been mixed too much or handled too much. This creates too much gluten. The overdevelopment of gluten makes the dough tight and elastic. Overworked dough needs more resting time to relax and loosen up.
- Overproofed dough has risen past its optimal point. It will rise too much and then sink. The sunken dough will bake dense. It will no longer have the energy to rise in the oven. Underproof dough hasn’t been given enough time to rise and expand. This, too, will cause the bread to bake up dense.
Pandesal Ingredients FAQ
Can I use different flours? I don’t have bread flour.
- For best results, use a combination of all-purpose flour and bread flour as listed in this recipe. I use a AP Flour with a protein content of 11.7% and a Bread Flour with 12.7% protein content.
- If you don’t have bread flour, use all-purpose flour for the entire recipe.
- DO NOT use whole wheat flour. You will have to adjust the amount of milk in the recipe.
- DO NOT use self-rising flour. That flour contains baking powder and salt.
Can I use water instead of milk?
- Yes, you use water in place of milk. However, milk provides more flavor. Milk also produces a softer crust.
- Instead of whole milk, you may also use low-fat or reduced-fat milk. In a pinch, you can also use 1/2 canned evaporated milk and 1/2 water.
Can I use a different salt?
- Not all salt is created equal. Some salts are saltier than others.
- For consistency, I only use Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt.
- Diamond Crystal is less salty than Morton’s kosher salt, table salt, and fine sea salt.