Pan de Sal

Get in my belly!

Pan de Sal. If you're Filipino, it is your birthright to have had this in your belly. My nieces and nephew are all American born and they love Pan de Sal.

According to the website: traveleronfoot, bread was introduced to the Filipinos by the Spaniards; they brought in wheat flour, as wheat does (or did) not grow in the Philippines, and the bread-making techniques. Preferring, bread to rice and the importance of the Christian host (for Catholic communion) - which can only be made from the purest, finest wheat flour, it was necessary for the Spaniards to bring wheat to the islands.

"When the Filipinos began baking their own bread, they came up with the crumbs-sprinkled pan de sal, a pinch of salt that originally gave this simple Filipino bread its distinctive flavor and thus its name."

5 cups bread flour, plus more
1 cup, plus 1 tbsp. sugar
1½ tsp. kosher salt
2½ cups milk
1 tbsp. active dry yeast
4 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted (half a stick)
1 egg
1 cup plain bread crumbs

Whisk flour, 1 cup sugar, and salt in a bowl.

Stir 1 tbsp. sugar, 1 cup milk, and yeast in another bowl; let sit until foam for 15 minutes (the bottom portion of the photo on the left is what it should look like after 15 minutes.

Add remaining milk, plus the melted butter and egg; whisk until smooth.

Slowly stir in dry ingredients until dough comes together. On a lightly floured surface, knead dough until smooth.

Transfer to a lightly greased bowl and cover loosely with plastic wrap; set in a warm place until doubled in size, about 45 minutes to an hour. I set my dough inside the oven (not preheated.)

Place bread crumbs on a plate.
On a lightly floured surface, divide dough into 4 equal pieces.
Working with 1 piece at a time, pat dough into a 4″ x 9″ rectangle about ½″ thick.
Working from one long end, roll dough into a tight cylinder.
Cut dough crosswise into five 1½″ rolls. Gently coat cut sides of rolls in bread crumbs; place cut side up on baking sheets, spaced about 2″ apart (closer if you like to pull-apart pan de sal)
Cover loosely with plastic wrap or a towel; set in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour. (Again, oven for me.)

After an hour, heat oven to 350°. Bake rolls until golden, 15–20 minutes.

It seems simple right?

Moving to a town where I only know of another Filipino, you bet finding Pan de Sal is impossible. Being from Southern California and surrounded by hundreds of Filipino restaurants, bakeries, and grocery stores, I didn't think I'd have the need to learn how to make them. I'm glad I did but now I have to figure out how to keep them away from Ben. He likes them more than I do.

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