The Softest Ever Pandesal ( Filipino Bread Rolls recipe) - I Bake - I Cook - I Gobble (2024)

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My first attempt at makingpandesal was a major disaster. The Filipino Bread Rolls were tasty but rivaled a blackhole in density. Because they were so hard, eating them felt like I was eating stones. Since then,I swore never to makepandesalin my entire life again. Up until last week, that is.

Pandesalis the quintessential Filipino bread roll. It comes from three Spanish wordspan de salwhich literally translatetobread of salt or salt bread in English. No surprise there because the Philippines was a colony of Spain for 333 years.

Filipinopanaderias(bakeries) always boast that their recipe is the best. My apartment back in Manila was a stone’s throw away from a bakery and I could smell the aroma of freshly baked pandesal at 4 or 5am everyday. Pandesal is always the first order of business in any bakery in the Philippines and no self-respecting panadero (that’s baker in Filipino) would dare remove it from the list of goodies to sell at the bakery. By mid-morning, you’d be hard-pressed to findpandesalasthey sell out like hotcakes.

While I enjoypandesalas much as the next Filipino, I do have one gripe with it. The normalpandesalthat you get from bakeries tastes like cardboard, bland and coarse. I guess it has something to do with the rising costs of ingredients and the drive to turn a profit.

But is it possible for a home baker to reclaim the sought after characteristics ofpandesal? Is it too much to hope for soft, finely textured, and mouthwatering rolls? I set to find out.

An important component of bread baking is yeast. I talked a bit about yeast in this post onChocolate Babka. Anyway, I noticed that most Filipino recipes don’t specify what kind of yeast to use. But based on experience, the most common yeast available in the country is the active dry yeast.

This kind of yeast needs to be activated in lukewarm, sweetened liquid (not hot as that will kill off the yeast) for 5-10 minutes before adding it to the dry ingredients. However, in case you have a packet of rapid rise or instant yeast, do note that this may be added directly to the dry ingredients.

There are also recipes that use bread flour. For my own version, I stuck with regular, all purpose flour. Bread flour contains more protein than all purpose flour and this helps develop gluten. More gluten equals chewier, denser bread.

The Softest Ever Pandesal ( Filipino Bread Rolls recipe) - I Bake - I Cook - I Gobble (1)

While some types of yeasted bread would benefit from a chewier texture, I prefer mypandesalto be on the soft side. Hence, the all purpose flour (4 cups of it) used in this recipe. Oh by the way, I use a kitchen scale to measure my ingredients for consistency. Check out the common ingredients and their corresponding weight measurementshere. If you don’t have a kitchen scale, make sure to measure the ingredients correctly (i.e. spoon and level or dip and level).

After mixing the wet and dry ingredients, you’ll get a wet and sticky dough. Don’t be tempted to add more flour though. That was my big mistake the first time I bakedpandesal. I added too much flour (and not by tablespoons either) because I thought that the dough was too wet to knead. Just sprinkle a tablespoon or two during kneading or make sure that your hands are oiled before handling the dough.

Surprisingly, whipping up your own batch ofpandesalis easy. Aside from dealing with the stickiness of the dough, the only other activity that was remotely hard was waiting for the dough to rise.

I think what stops some people from trying their hand at bread making is the kneading process. I admit, it also stopped me from trying to bake bread for a long time. Kneading is crucial in turning that dough to the best bread you can have. Kneading can also turn that dough into a lump dense enough to be used as paperweight.

I use my stand mixer to knead the dough for a few minutes. Once I feel that the dough is smooth enough and comes together easily, I turn outthe dough onto a silicone baking sheet. I knead the dough by hand for a few minutes until it is quite elastic. I then pinch a part of the dough and stretch it between my thumb and forefinger. If it stretches easily without breaking and is already a wee bit translucent, it means thatI have already kneaded the dough enough.

If at first you don’t succeed, there’s always a second time (or a third time or annth time). I’m sure your taste testers will be more than happy to sample your “failures”.

Ready to give it a go?

The Softest Ever Pandesal ( Filipino Bread Rolls recipe) - I Bake - I Cook - I Gobble (2)

Filipino Bread Rolls

Pandesal, or pan de sal, is the quintessential Filipino bread rolls. Each local bakery would boast of selling the freshest, warmestpandesalforbreakfast or afternoon snacks. By midmorning, you’d be hard pressed to find pandesalasthey sell out like hot cakes. Surprisingly, whipping up your own batch ofpandesalis easy. Follow thispandesalrecipe for the softestpandesalyou’ll ever taste!

Print Recipe Pin Recipe

Prep Time 3 hours hrs

Cook Time 10 minutes mins

Total Time 3 hours hrs 10 minutes mins

Course Breakfast

Cuisine Filipino

Servings 24 yield

Calories 154 kcal


  • 240 ml milk
  • 2 eggs large
  • 480 grams 4 cups all purpose flour
  • 83 grams 3/8 cup sugar
  • 35 grams 1/4 cup milk powder, optional
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 57 grams 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened


  • Combine milk and eggs in a bowl.

  • Mix in flour, sugar, milk powder, salt, and yeast. After kneading for a few minutes, just enough for the dough to come together, add the butter in batches.

  • Knead until dough is soft and elastic (until windowpane stage). Form into a ball and transfer to an oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let it rest for 1-2 hours or until the dough has doubled in size.

  • Transfer the dough onto a well floured surface. Punch down the dough to slightly deflate.

  • Forming the pandesal: There are 2 ways to shape the pandesal:

  • Method 1:Roll the dough to form a rectangle. Starting from the long side nearest you, roll into a log and pinch ends to seal. Cut into 24 pieces, slicing diagonally. Roll each piece in bread crumbs and place onto a baking sheet with the cut side up.

Method 2:

  • Divide the dough into 24 equal pieces. Shape each piece into a ball and roll it in bread crumbs. Place each ball onto a baking sheet.

  • Cover the pandesal and rest for 1 hour or until the pandesal doubles in size.



23-Aug-17: Updated the recipe to include when to add the butter. It’s in step 2. 🙂

I cut the butter into pats, since it makes it faster to soften to room temperature and easier to add to the dough.

Keyword bread rolls

Filipino Bread Rolls Recipe

The Softest Ever Pandesal ( Filipino Bread Rolls recipe) - I Bake - I Cook - I Gobble (3)

If you’re looking for a delicious and authentic bread roll recipe, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve compiled some of the best ones, as well as their preparation and storage. Let’s get started. First, let’s talk about the classic pandesal. This soft, slightly sweet bread is traditionally served as a sandwich with a filling of your choice. While it may be considered the most popular bread in the Philippines, you can enjoy it alone or with coconut jam, dunked in coffee, or with any filling you’d like.


If you are looking for a quick and easy to make breakfast that will fill you up, then try making the famous Filipino bread rolls. These rolls are delicious and extremely easy to make – the hardest part is waiting for the dough to proof! Pandesal is a popular Filipino breakfast option, but you can find this snack at any time of the day! Whether for lunch or merienda, a Filipino household will always reach for pandesal!

There are a few important steps you should follow when making pandesal. First, you need to dissolve the yeast in 1/4 cup warm water. Next, add the butter, sugar, and eggs. Stir well. After a few minutes, add the flour. Stir in the remaining sugar. After about half of the flour is added, knead the dough again until it has the right consistency. Finally, cover and let the dough rise until doubled in size.


The Softest Ever Pandesal ( Filipino Bread Rolls recipe) - I Bake - I Cook - I Gobble (4)

If you’ve ever visited the Philippines, you’ve probably tasted Filipino bread rolls, also known as pandesal. These soft, fluffy buns have a delicious, slightly sweet taste, and are best eaten plain or stuffed with any filling of your choice. They’re also great as a snack or breakfast item. Read on for the recipe! Below are some tips on making delicious pandesal! We hope you enjoy!

First, you need to make the dough. The dough should be soft and elastic. When tested, it should spring back into shape. This is how you can tell it’s ready. The dough is delicious either by itself or with filling. It can be eaten warm or cold and goes well with hot beverages. You can easily make pandesal at home by following this recipe. For starters, you need to mix yeast with 1/4 cup of warm water, then add sugar, butter, and eggs to the milk mixture. Next, add 2 cups of flour, and mix well.


The Softest Ever Pandesal ( Filipino Bread Rolls recipe) - I Bake - I Cook - I Gobble (5)

The best way to store your homemade Filipino bread rolls is in a ziplock bag. Once you have shaped and cooled them, simply transfer them to the bag and freeze them for up to 4 weeks. If you are freezing your rolls, be sure to use active dry yeast for longer rising times, and double the amount of yeast for long-term storage. Some of the yeast will die after freezing, so you’ll want to increase the amount of yeast used.

Unlike Spanish bread, which requires refrigeration, Filipino bread rolls can be kept on the counter for two days or frozen for up to a week. To reheat them, just microwave them for 15-20 seconds and eat! For longer-lasting bread rolls, store them in an airtight container. For convenient reheating, you can also freeze them for up to 1 month. Once they’ve been frozen, simply thaw them in the microwave or toaster oven before eating.


The Softest Ever Pandesal ( Filipino Bread Rolls recipe) - I Bake - I Cook - I Gobble (6)

Filings for Filipino bread rolls can be as simple as cheese, butter, or any other filling. This soft, fluffy bread is traditionally baked for breakfast, but it is also commonly eaten throughout the day. Whether served plain or with a filling, pandesal is the perfect snack or breakfast food. This recipe for Filipino bread rolls combines butter, eggs, and sugar. It takes two cups of flour and a half cup of warm water to make a soft, elastic dough.

For a savory breakfast, try Pandesal with ham and cheese. This bread is good plain, but it is also delicious with other spreads, butter, or dunked in coffee. Another filling option is Matamis na bao (coconut jam). Before starting your pandesal recipe, be sure to activate the yeast in lukewarm milk. Make sure that the temperature is between 105 and 115 degrees Fahrenheit because yeast will not survive in colder temperatures.

The Softest Ever Pandesal ( Filipino Bread Rolls recipe) - I Bake - I Cook - I Gobble (2024)


Why is my pandesal not fluffy? ›

Why is my pandesal dense and not fluffy? A dense and pandesal can be caused by using inaccurate proportions of ingredients, for example, not enough liquid or fat, or using too much flour. Another reason is under rising. If the dough did not have enough time to rise, then the bread might come out dense and hard.

What is the most popular bread in the Philippines? ›

Pandesal is the most popular local bread in the Philippines. It is the Spanish term for “salt bread,” since the name originated during the 16th century Spanish colonial era. Most bakeries all over the country, from small backyard establishments to industrial bakeries, produce and sell this bread.

What is the English name for pandesal? ›

Pandesal, also known as Pan de sal (Spanish: pan de sal, lit. "salt bread") is a staple bread roll in the Philippines commonly eaten for breakfast. It is made of flour, yeast, sugar, oil, and salt.

What does pandesal mean in Spanish? ›

A soft and airy flour roll, pandesal —€” which is sometimes spelled out as "pan de sal" —€” is Spanish for "salt bread." However, contrary to its name, the bread is actually relatively sweet. The yeast-raised bread is similar to the Mexican bolillo, and is the breakfast bread of choice throughout the Philippines.

What is the secret to a soft and fluffy bread? ›

Add Milk

To make your bread soft and fluffy, another trick used by commercial bakers is replacing water with milk. Milk has fats which make bread softer.

What is the trick to fluffy bread? ›

If you want a lighter fluffier bread loaf just add 2 Tbsp of dry milk to the flour per loaf of your bread. Vinegar has a very similar effect to the dough as the ascorbic acid. It helps hold the dough together and strengthens the bubbles so they won't pop.

What is the mother of all Filipino bread? ›

Monay is one of the most basic bread types in the Philippines and is sometimes known as the "mother of all Filipino breads" as it can be modified to give rise to various other bread types. These include breads like pinagong and putok.

Why do Filipinos love pandesal? ›

Pandesal brings comfort and familiarity during the rush of the day. Even more so when you have your cup of hot coffee or chocolate to enjoy your warm and soft pandesal with – it's always a great way to kickstart your day!

Why is Filipino bread so sweet? ›

Contrary to its name, which means salt bread, pan de sal became sweet over the years as sugar became cheaper and more easily available, perhaps to extend shelf life and meet changing Filipino tastes.

How do Filipinos eat pandesal? ›

A freshly baked pandesal is great on its own, but Filipinos most commonly eat it dipped in coffee or hot chocolate, filled with breakfast staples like Spam and eggs, or topped with rich spreads like peanut butter, coconut jam, or kesong puti (fresh farmer's cheese).

What does pandesal mean in Tagalog? ›

pan de sal is an alternate spelling of the Tagalog word pándesál. Alternate spellings may include abbreviations, informal spellings, slang, and/or commonly misspelled variations of a word. Base word: pándesál. [noun] a very common, potato-shaped bread, usually small and served during breakfast or snack time.

Is pandesal healthy? ›

Is Pandesal healthy? HEALTH BENEFITS OF PAN DE SAL: Pan de sal has 4 grams of protein, 25 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram fiber, and 3 grams of fat. Pandesal also has iron, which is necessary for developing hemoglobin, for carrying oxygen in the blood. This is helpful for people with anemia and pregnant women.

What is a fun fact about pandesal? ›

Pandesal is the most popular style of bread in the Philippines. The name comes from the Spanish word meaning “salt bread" and it originated during the 16th century era of Spanish colonization in the Philippines. Pandesal is known for its pillowy texture and signature breadcrumbs on top.

Why is pandesal hard? ›

Why is the crust on my pandesal so hard? Your bread should be fluffy on the inside and slightly crusty on the outside, but the crust should not be rock hard. If your crust is too hard, it could be the result of under kneading your bread. Make sure your dough is completely smooth after kneading.

What to eat with pandesal? ›

A popular breakfast choice, pandesal are also eaten as a snack throughout the day and can be slathered with copious amounts of butter, stuffed with cheese or eggs, spread with jam or peanut butter, and used as the base for a simple yet tasty sandwich.

Why is my pandesal flat? ›

The Dough Is Too Sweet

That's because sugar absorbs the liquid in the dough, leaving very little for the yeast to feed on. Subsequently, the yeast dries out, becomes ineffective and the overall product comes out flat.

What makes bread soft and Pillowy? ›

Sugar: Not only does it sweeten the bread, but sugar also retains moisture. This means that adding sugar can indeed make bread softer. Baking Soda: When added, especially in recipes with acidic ingredients, it can make bread soft and spongy.

Why is my pandesal not rising? ›

Yeast is too hot Yeast may have been dissolved in water that was too hot, or the liquid ingredients in the recipe may be too hot, causing the yeast to die. Yeast needs to be warm - not too hot, not too cold. Yeast is too cold If the other ingredients are too cold, it could cause some of the yeast to die.

Why aren't my buns light and fluffy? ›

Could also be too low hydration, or maybe under-proofed. Maybe your yeast is old… A simple switch might be using all purpose flour instead of bread flour. Bread flour naturally has a much chewier denser texture because of the protein content.


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