There are so many recipes for Pandesal out there, in fact, i can write down as many as 20 in one sitting if you ask me but it is not practica.l You can build as many variations as you can using just one recipe and tweak it from there to save time. This is what most bakeries do, they mix one whole 25 kgs sack of hard wheat flour and then create different variations.
Below is a crispy, crackly recipe for Pandesal if you prefer this type. The only problem with this style is that it will dry out on Day 2 and more on Day 3 and so on. Because you want the crispy style, fat is reduced, definitely no egg or it won’t be crackly on the outside. Get it? Well, that’s what happens when you add any type of fat.
So here it is;
Bread flour 500 grams
Instant yeast 8 or 9 grams
Shortening 25 grams
sugar 75 to 80 if you want it not too sweet
90 to 110 if you want it a bit sweeter ( this will reduce the crispiness so i suggest you don’t do it)
Vanilla 1 1/2 teaspoons
Water about 270 grams to a maximum of around 290 grams***
*** how much water is the crux of my lessons, it’s hard to tell you when to stop adding the water if you cannot touch or feel the dough. The water absorption level depends on the protein quantity and quality of every flour so this is the part where you will have a hard time.
If you want a crispy on the outside but soft on the inside Pandesal, your dough should be on the slightly sticky side, not stiff like the Hard Monay or Siopao dough. (if you attend my class, you will know what i am talking about).
How much water to add depends on the flour you are using, so my tip for those who want to try the recipe is to just add the water in trickles, one tablespoon at a time until you reach the stage where the dough cannot take in extra water anymore. Wheew!! I know, I know, it’s hard but that’s exactly what my problem was when i was starting bread making. You won’t believe how much i wasted. Not to scare you but..c’est la vie!
***See how the dough below forms an elastic, smooth dough. I do not weigh my dough anymore, so i just eyeball them into the portion i prefer. This is about 29 to 30 grams each which i find the minimum portion i like to bite on.
Shape each piece into an oval, or if you like, you can do the baston style or log and then cut into pieces. I just prefer this style since i like working with stickier dough.
Anyway, mix all the ingredients above until you create a cohesive mass, until the gluten is 100% developed. Rest the dough in a bowl, oiled and covered with cling wrap.
Place the dough inside the refrigerator, better cover the bowl with a damp cloth and leave it there for at least 2 to 3 hours.
Get the dough after 3 hours, it should be doubled by now, lightly work on it on a table and create a log. Divide the dough into 35 pieces or weigh about 25 to 30 grams each.
Round the dough and shape into Pandesal (photo above), dredge in breadcrumbs and then place into a greased baking sheet and proof inside a cabinet. No air should get into it, must be sealed airtight and proof the dough for about 2 hours or until they double in size.
Below you can see the photo of the Pandesal after proofing and now ready to be baked.
Pre heat the oven to as high as 375 F, the sugar in the dough will create browning faster than a dough with less sugar so watch out. Some recipes require only about 12 % sugar so they can bake the Pandesal in a higher 400 F oven so be sure to know your oven.
Bake the Pandesal for 15 minutes. In my class, the students learn how to trouble shooot my large 4 sheeter oven and most of them buy the same oven for a start. My oven is hotter on top so i tell them to shift the pans halfway through the baking. This is very important. You do not want your breads to burn!!!
If your oven is small, then bake in two batches, make sure you know what part of your oven is hotter so you can adjust.
Two things you have to remember if you want the crispy crust is to blast the skin of the dough with very high heat, then reduce the heat midway through baking so the inside is light and fluffy.
Now again, this bread will be very good to eat while it is warm and freshhhhhh off the oven, but because it does not have any softeners and tenderizers such as eggyolks etc., it won’t stay soft long.
In my class, we do the Artisan style method of bread baking so i encourage you to create a sponge or a starter. I will create one and post it here soon, monitor its progress as we go along baking together.
Shirley Villafranca Baking Instructor Penuche Pastries 2017
Bk 6 Lot 11 Yakal Street Northridge Park Subd Sta. Monica Novaliches QC 1117 Philippines