Pan de Sal (The Bread of Salt) Recipe

How to make homemade breads?

This is a delicious sweet roll from the Philippines, which is always a part of every Filipino’s breakfast, usually dunk in hot cocoa or coffee.  It is also served as an afternoon merienda (snack) after a siesta (nap), that every kid enjoys tossed with a warm Bear brand powder milk.  It’s Spanish for “The Bread of Salt”.  It also reminds me of that short story of N.V.M Gonzales about a boy named Albert, who has a crush named Aida, whom both came from two different and opposing social classes.  The story is a cross between  Atonement, The Westside Story and Juno 1950’s style.  I can still remember a fragment of this story, since way back in High School we have to read this for our Filipino Literature class and we get divided into groups to present a short play after.  If you are interested with this story, which by the way the author is considered a National Artist in the Philippines, you can read a PDF version online.

Pan de Sal Ingredients

Pan de Sal Ingredients

I tweaked the recipe I found online, as some of the ingredients I are not available in the states.  I used butter/margarine instead of vegetable oil, buttermilk instead of whole milk and vanilla, for better consistency and added flavor.

What you’ll need:

2 cups warm water (approx. 110F or 45C)

2 tsp. active dry yeast

1/3 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup melted butter / margarine

1 1/2 tsp salt

1/4 cup Buttermilk

3 cups All-purpose flour

3 cups Bread flour

2 tsp Vanilla extract

The BreadMan

The BreadMan


The Bread Man

The Bread Man

The Process:

Well, I do have a bread maker which cuts the processing time in half.  I received this as a wedding present from Eric, my stepbro-in-law.  Since  then, I’m obsessed with bread making.  Credits to Mrs. Canono, my High School Culinary Arts Teacher, for always reminding me to measure all ingredients accurately and to always pre-sift the flour and sugar.  So our procedure is a shortened sketch from the conventional one.

1.  Place all the ingredients into the bread maker in this order (from the bottom): liquids, melted butter, sugar, dry(flour) and yeast at the very top.

2.  Set it to “Dough” setting.  This runs for 1 hour and 20 mins.

3.  Remove all of the dough from the bread maker and place into a working area pre-dusted with flour.

4.  Cut the dough into 2×2 in. squares and make into dough balls.

5.  Arrange the balls into a greased cookie sheet 2 inches apart.

**Optional:  You can either coat the rolls either by: egg wash (1 egg beaten)or either with bread crumbs or flour.

You can also insert either: cubed cheddar cheese, ham or Coco jam in the middle.

6.  Bake at 375F (190C) for 25 minutes or until golden brown.

Pan de Sal: The Bread of Salt

Pan de Sal: The Bread of Salt

The Verdict:

It didn’t end up tasting like the usual Pan de Sal I’ve always purchased at Julie’s Bakeshop growing up.  However, it did taste like the “Pan Bisaya”, which is cooked using an earthen oven fueled by burnt coconut husks.  You can always buy this from a “Walking Bakery” but never in a physical bakeshop (one reason, Taxation!)  A “Walking Bakery” is someone who sells bakery goods and pastries, roaming around your neighborhood and you’ll hear them cry out loud the name of the goodies they’ve got.

My Bread-afficionado Dad gave this a “thumbs up” and he thinks it tastes like a bread called “Francis” and I don’t have any idea why they named it that way.  Maybe the dude who works at a bakery who created the recipe after screwing it up, was named Francis.

‘Til then! Happy baking!

Let me know if you’ve tried this homemade Filipino sweet roll Pan de sal recipe?

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