Pandesal Break Makes Pinoy Feel At Home

After i post about the Filipino foods i missed as well as the Pinoy Sisig as i think of Pinoy foods i can only munch if i come home. I never realized that i'm enjoying a Pinoy favorite every morning. This is the Pandesal (or pan de sal; literally, salt bread) the most popular yeast-raised bread in the Philippines. How lucky we Pinoy here in Saudi to have many bakery, even huge department stores, to have fresh baked Pandesals.

As Saudi and Middle East (GCC) countries have a huge turn-over of Filipino worker, businessmen here took the advantage of providing this Pinoy bread feast. The good it bring is it provide jobs for Pinoy baker. Just hope that other Pinoy would start-up a bakery to complete our feasting on Pandesal feel more Pinoy.

For those who would want to try doing their own Pandesal. This recipe is from The Secrets of Jesuit Breadbaking. It's the pan de sal recipe used by the Jesuits at Ateneo University.
by: James Sly (alt.food.asian of google group)

Pan de Sal

1 tbsp. vegetable shortening
1 tbsp. salt
1 tbsp. sugar
1 cup boiling water
1 tbsp. active dry yeast
4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
4 ounces plain crackers, crumbled (about 40 crackers)

Combine the shortening, salt, sugar, and boiling water in a large mixing
bowl. Stir and set aside to cool to a warm temperature (about 110-115F).

Combine the yeast and warm water in a small bowl, stirring until yeast is
dissolved. Set aside for 5 minutes. Gradually mix in flour to make a
dough.

Turn out on a lightly floured surface. Knead for 8 to 10 minutes, until
dough is smooth and elastic, adding flour as necessary to prevent
stickiness. Return it to the bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in
a warm place until doubled in bulk--about 45 minutes.

Preheat oven to 425F. Flour two baking sheets.

Gently knead the dough again. Divide into 16 pieces and shape into buns.
Roll the pieces in the cracker crumbs and place on the baking sheets, spread
well apart. Cover and let rise 20 minutes. Bake for 15 minutes. Transfer
to a wire rack to cool.
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