One of those soft breads that have become not only a Filipino traditional breakfast bread but an all-time favorite bread is pandesal. Pandesal literally means bread with salt but since most Filipinos are "genetically" sweet tooth (I am not though but I am a proud Filipino... evil grin) it evolved into a sweet bread. Some bakeries usually use 16-20% of sugar in their pandesal which is way to high. Less than 10% is recommended.
If you grew up in the Philippines, specially in the provinces, you could have had experienced this. Every morning, one gets to wake up to the "pandesal! pandesal" calls of the pandesal boy who roams around the neighborhood carrying and selling a box full of hot pandesal. In our town, the Ilocano pandesal boys usually shouts "pandesal napudot pay" which can be literally translated to "pandesal, they're still hot" with the unspoken words "gumatang kayon" which is "buy now" in Ilocano. They usually beat the magtataho (person seeling silky tofu) in the morning (evil grin). Breakfast or snack is also not complete without dunking a piece of pandesal in a cup of coffee. Oh well, those were the days when the earth is a lot younger than today (evil grin)
Personally, I want a pandesal that has a crunchy crust but soft in the inside. You cannot buy that from our part of the world (we are currently residing here in Doha, Qatar) pandesal here do not taste the same as those sold in the Philippines. And mostly, most breads like pandesal are already packed and stocked on the shelves for consumers to be able to grab it as soon as they see it. In which case, the pandesal is no longer crunchy. Heating them in an oven will do no good (sad face)
So, the best thing to do is make my own pandesal. What's the use of having a dough mixer and an oven if I can't make my pandesal?
With my pandesal, I combined all purpose flour with 12.5% protein content and bread flour with 14.5% protein content. Why not just use pure bread flour? Because using bread flour alone usually makes bread dense and heavy like the sourdough breads and I don't want a dense and heavy pandesal. I also don't want to use pure all purpose bread because I might not be able to get the crunchy crust I want to achieve. So there you go (evil grin)
All Purpose Flour (12.5% protein) - 1 cup. (set aside at least 15 grams for dusting)
Bread Flour (14.5% protein) - 2/3 cup
Water- 2/3 cup
Instant dry yeast (le saf) - 1 tsp
All Purpose Flour - 1/2 cup
Bread Flour - 1 /3 cup
Instant dry yeast (le saf) - 1/4 tsp
White Sugar - 1 tbsp
Salt - 1/2 tsp
Butter Flavored Shortening - 1 tbspWater- 2 tbsp
Bread Crumbs - 1/2 cup or more
First Fermentation time: 12 hours
Second Fermentation time: 1.5 hours
Dough Scale: 45 grams each
Proofing time : 45 minutes
Resting Time : 10 minutes
Baking : 180 degrees celsius / 18-25 minutes or until the top is light brown and crusty
Yield: 12 pcs
1. In a bowl, using a wooden spoon, mix all the ingredients for the sponge. Cover bowl with cloth and place in a warm place. Allow to ferment for 12 hours
2. Mix the dry ingredients for the dough except for the salt. Set aside.
3. After 12 hours, mix all the ingredients of the dough in a mixing bowl. Using the dough hook attachment, mix on low speed for about 30 seconds. Then gradually add the sponge. Continue mixing for a minute. Increase speed to medium and mix until the dough comes together and gluten has fully developed.
Use the window pane method in checking for gluten development. Cut a small chunk of the dough and stretch it. If a thin film appears in the middle and it doesn't break, the gluten is fully developed.
4. Cover the mixing bowl with cloth and set aside in a warm place to allow it to ferment for the second time. Ferment for 1.5 hours.
5. After 1.5 hours, punch the dough and place it on a flat surface sprinkled with flour. Form into a log. Rest for about 10 minutes
6. Cut the the dough into 12 pieces. Roll each piece on bread crumbs, shake a little to remove excess and arrange them on baking trays.
7. Leave bread to proof for 45 minutes. Pre heat oven to 180 degrees celsius atleast 30 minutes before baking.
8. After 45 minutes of proofing, bake pandesal for 15-18 minutes or until the top is light brown