Hot pan de sal in the Philippines is akin to the pan asobao in Puerto Rico, the baguette in France, challah in the Jewish community or the loaf bread here in the US . When I was growing up, this was a favorite. Erin and Megan love these, too. This is a versatile bread because we can eat it pretty much anytime. It can be for breakfast, snack or any meal, really.
Bakers can’t keep these long enough on their shelves especially when they piping hot off the oven! Ask any Filipino about this bread and they will tell you stories of how or where they used to buy them back home. They will also share what their favorite way of eating them, too. We always bring a bag or two when we travel back from the Philippines.
One summer, while vacationing with my aunt in Manila, I remember we would play gin rummy till late in the evening. A store about a block from her house would bake pan de sal until midnight. We would snag some, slather it in butter and oh, my. Two dozens are gone in minutes! Take my word for it that it was uber delicious! You can eat these plain, of course but it goes with practically anything. We would fill it with condensed milk, Cheez Whiz or cheddar cheese. You can also fill it with corned beef or sardines. Here in the US we’ve used cream cheese in it and it’s divine.
Finding pan de sal here in the states is not easy. You may find them more readily in stores in the West Coast especially California and Las Vegas. Where we live in the South, we sometimes find them at some Oriental/Filipino stores. However, they are few and far between. We would see them brought to gatherings when friends make them. When we lived in Tallahasee back in the early 90s, we got to taste them at a friend’s house. We used to gather with friends to play mahjong until the wee hours of the morning! When I say, wee, I meant overnight:-) On one of these occasions, our host, Melody A. baked some for early morning snacks, and we were all over them! She was gracious enough to share her ‘secret’ recipe and I’ve been using it since. It is not quite as sweet as if you used the original recipe, but this recipe hack is a breeze! I have prepared them for friends and they think I’m awesome for being able to bake them.
To all my Filipino friends, it is not the original recipe but it is pretty close. It is not as sweet as we have them but it is virtually similar. To everyone reading, give it a try and let me know what you think.
So, here is the secret to my HOT PAN DE SAL!
1 loaf Bridgeford Ready Dough (may be found in the freezer section of your grocer)
1/2 cup plain bread crumbs
Flour to prevent dough from sticking
- Remove dough from bag. It comes in 3 loaves.
- Remove and separate each frozen dough and lay it on floured surface. You can use your counter top, a baking sheet or a cutting board.
- Option A: Cover all frozen loaves with cloth, thaw. This can take between 1-2 hours depending on the temperature in the kitchen.
- Option B: Slice each dough into 8 and lay out on baking sheet to thaw. This may take a shorter time.
- Winter baking: I have turned on the oven to about 150 deg, turned it off and placed the frozen dough to thaw and rice. It is important to have the dough sliced before you place them in the oven so it is easy to use for the next step.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Once the dough has thawed it, the dough will begin to rise.
- Slice each loaf into 8 slices.
- With floured hands, pick up one slice, shape it into a roll.
- Cover with plain bread crumbs
- Place on baking sheet about 1/2 in apart
- Cover the rolls with cloth and let rise for another 15 minutes.
- Bake in 350 degree oven for 30-35 min depending on how brown you like them
- Eat 🙂 or let cool on cooling rack
Each bag will yield 24 rolls. You may make them smaller, of course, but that’s as simple as that.
Watch the Recipe Video here.