Bread rolls

Bread rolls


7000 Islands
Jana Liebenstein

When my mother was a child, she would skip to the bakery each morning to buy warm pandesal for her family’s breakfast. She had usually devoured one or two before her return home; then she would spread butter and guava jelly over a few more to accompany her meal.

Lightly dusted in breadcrumbs and oval shaped with a tip, these bread rolls are easily identified in a line-up; pandesal are rolled in a particular way for the traditional look. The lean dough is also easy to make, especially if you have an electric mixer with a dough hook. While fresh is best, the soft, slightly chewy bread keeps for a few days.


Quantity Ingredient
190ml full-cream milk
60ml canola oil, plus extra for greasing
1 tablespoon caster sugar
1 teaspoon fine salt
150g wholemeal flour
450g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
2 teaspoons dried yeast
100g dry breadcrumbs


  1. Put the milk, canola oil, sugar, salt and 250 ml water in a small saucepan over low–medium heat and heat until lukewarm.
  2. Meanwhile, place both of the flours and the yeast in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook and beat until combined. Continue beating on low speed, gradually adding the milk mixture until a dough forms. Increase the speed to medium and knead for a further 8 minutes, or until the dough is smooth and elastic (it will be very sticky). Transfer to a lightly greased bowl, cover, and set aside in a warm, draught-free place for 1 hour, or until doubled in size.
  3. Preheat the oven to 220ºC. Line two baking trays with baking paper. Knock the dough back on a lightly floured work surface. Divide into four even-sized portions and roll each into a 25 cm log. Roll each log in the breadcrumbs to coat. Cut each log into 4 cm pieces on the diagonal (don’t make the angle too sharp or the rolls will be too big). Place the pieces, cut side down, on the prepared trays, leaving 5 cm between each. Set aside for 15 minutes, or until the rolls have nearly doubled in size.
  4. Bake the rolls for 15 minutes, swapping the trays halfway through cooking. When the rolls are golden, remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes. Serve warm or cool completely on wire racks.

Where does it come from?

  • Contrary to widespread belief, pandesal (also pan de sal) heralds from Portugal not Spain. According to the group of food authorities behind the esteemed cookbook Kulinarya, it was introduced in the 16th century. Today, its name, meaning ‘salt bread’, is also a misnomer; its flavour is more sweet than salty. Pandesal began as a breakfast item, but is now equally common as a snack for mid-morning or afternoon merienda. Favourite fillings include omelette, longganisa (Filipino sausage), sautéed corned beef, kesong puti (white carabao cheese) and even leftover adobo.
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