Soft and fluffy Brown Pandesal is made of bread flour and wholemeal flour with an option to add a flaxseed meal. It's nicely chewy with a touch of sweetness.
Pandesal is my absolute favorite breakfast bread and most certainly by every Filipino. If we are not eating rice for breakfast then we're probably eating pandesal, with hot coffee or in my case, hot milo.
It all started with Pandesal. My bread-making life that is.
When I moved here in Singapore many years ago, Pandesal was one of the first things I miss eating. Not being able to buy it just as easily was enough motivation for me to learn and teach myself how to make bread, in general.
I still clearly remember my first batch of pandesal. It was hard rock and slightly edible (well not really). Having no prior experience in bread making, I didn't really know what I was getting into. No idea about yeast, rising, kneading, and all other crucial things needed in order to make proper bread.
But here we are today and now I am sharing a Pandesal recipe. I can't believe it myself!
How to easily make bread at home
- Let's start off with the most important equipment. I always make my bread using a stand mixer with a dough hook. It is the easiest and fastest way of making any kind of bread. Kneading by hand, sadly, is one of the things I still haven't learned to do well.
- Kitchen scale. This is optional but highly recommended if you want your pandesal to be evenly shaped. There's no need to roll the dough into a log. After the first rise, punch down the dough and directly scoop out portions of dough, and weigh to the desired size. Medium-Size pandesal weighs about 40 grams and a big size weighs about 50 to 60 grams. After weighing, roll the dough in between your palm or onto a wooden board to shape it into a ball.
- Baking trays and parchment paper. This recipe makes 20 to 25 rolls so you will need two baking trays lined with parchment paper.
- Other tools: Measuring cups (dry and liquid), measuring spoons and rubber spatula.
Bread Making Tips for Beginners
- Make sure the water is lukewarm before putting in the yeast. If it's too hot the yeast will die. If it's cold, the yeast will not activate. If you want to make sure that the water is at the right temperature, use a kitchen thermometer. The temperature of the water should be between 30c/86f to 40c/104f.
- Add a teaspoon of sugar to the water before stirring in the yeast. This will help easily activate it.
- Activate the yeast in a bowl even if it's instant yeast. This ensures that the yeast is fresh and alive.
- Do not let the dough rise for too long. The maximum should be at least 1 hour. Otherwise, the bread will end up having a yeasty taste. The trick is (according to professional bakers) is to let it rise until it doubles in size and volume.
- Knead dough until smooth and elastic, it should spring back when poked. Add more flour only when the dough is too wet and clings heavily to the sides of the bowl.
After making many batches of Pandesal, I found that combining two types of flour is essential to achieve that soft, fluffy yet chewy bread texture.
- Bread flour is a must as it is higher in gluten compared to other flour. Gluten, as we all know, is responsible for making bread its chewy characteristics.
- Wholemeal flour. I love using wholemeal flour because it is healthier and high in fiber. If it is not available, all-purpose flour can be used as a substitute. Although it will make the bread "less brown".
- Flaxseed Meal is a great addition to pandesal. It's high in Omega 3 and is loaded with nutrients.
What you need
You can use pure all-purpose flour when making pandesal. Note that the texture will be softer and less chewy. The bread crumbs I used in this recipe is the plain packaged type. I tried using panko once and it made the bread too crusty for my liking.
- wheat Flour (wholemeal, bread flour, or all-purpose flour)
- bread crumbs (plain, packaged)
- Yeast (rapid rise or instant yeast)
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Watch the video on how to make Brown Pandesal
- ½ cup lukewarm water (temp 40c or 105f) (mix with 1 teaspoon sugar)
- 2 ¼ teaspoons instant yeast/ rapid rise yeast
- 2 cups bread flour (plus ¼ cup more if the dough is still sticky)
- 1 ¾ cups wholemeal flour
- 4 tablespoons flaxseed meal ((optional))
- ⅓ cup white sugar
- 1 ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs ( lightly beaten)
- ¾ cup whole milk (lukewarm)
- 1 tablespoon oil (i used canola)
- 70 grams/ 5 tablespoons butter (unsalted)
- ½ cup breadcrumbs (packaged, plain)
- In a medium-size bowl, combine lukewarm water, 1 teaspoon of sugar, and yeast. Stir until completely dissolved. Let it stand for 5 to 10mins until yeast begins to foam.
- Meanwhile, in the bowl of your stand mixer, combine flour, flaxseed meal (optional), sugar, and salt. Mix thoroughly.
- Combine eggs, lukewarm milk, and activated yeast. Add butter, oil and liquid mixture to the dry ingredients. Stir using a wooden spoon or spatula until a wet dough is formed.
- Knead the dough starting on low speed, then increase to medium for 8 to 10 minutes until smooth but slightly sticky. If the dough looks wet and or clings heavily to the sides bowl, add more bread flour. Start with 2 tablespoons first. Knead again then add more flour as needed or until dough is smooth and elastic (it should spring back when poked). Be careful not to add too much.
- Form dough into a ball. Wipe or spray oil on the sides of the bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let it rise in a warm spot for 1 hour until it doubles in size.
- Punch the dough down. Transfer onto a lightly floured surface. Divide the dough and form into the desired size of rolls. I used a scale so that the bread rolls will be even in size when it rises. Each dough weighs about 40 grams.
- Line the baking dish with parchment paper. Lightly roll the shaped dough in bread crumbs, shake off excess then place inside the baking tray. Make sure that the dough is arranged two inches apart. Cover with a towel or cloth and let it rise for 40mins to 1 hour.
- Meanwhile, preheat oven at 175c/ 350f 15 minutes before the dough rolls finish rising.
- Bake the pandesal for 15 to 18 minutes until it turns toasted brown. If you're using two racks, switch the trays after 12 minutes so all the rolls will brown evenly.
- Serve warm with your favorite palaman (spread) and coffee of course!
Recipe Notes and Tips:
- Make sure the water is lukewarm before putting in the yeast. If it’s too hot the yeast will die. If it’s cold, the yeast will not activate. The added sugar helps the yeast activate better.
- Add more flour only when the dough is too wet and clings heavily to the sides of the bowl.
- You can use pure all-purpose flour when making this pandesal. Note that the texture will be softer and less chewy.
- Sugar can be increased up to ½ cup if you prefer a sweeter bread.