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How to MotherBee's Pandesal- Easy and Soft Filipino Dinner rolls

Updated: Sep 17, 2023

Pandesal: A Soft, Creamy, and Yummy Filipino Delight

MotherBee's Pandesal
MotherBee's Pandesal

Pandesal, often referred to as “pan de sal,” is a beloved Filipino bread with a rich history and a taste that has captured the hearts of many. This soft, creamy, and utterly yummy bread is a staple in Filipino cuisine, enjoyed across the archipelago for generations. Let’s delve into the origin, how it is traditionally eaten and served, and its evolution from its humble beginnings to the present day.

Pandesal’s origins can be traced back to the Spanish colonial era in the Philippines, when the country was under Spanish rule for more than three centuries. The name “pandesal” itself is derived from the Spanish words “pan” (bread) and “sal” (salt). Early versions of pandesal were simple, made with flour, yeast, water, and a touch of salt.

How it is Eaten and Served:

MotherBee's Pandesal is a versatile bread enjoyed throughout the day in various ways. It is often consumed during breakfast, paired with coffee, hot chocolate, or tea. Some prefer it with butter and sugar, while others enjoy it with cheese, ham, or even a salty, flavorful spread like “kesong puti” (white cheese). It’s also a popular accompaniment to Filipino stews and dishes, such as “adobo” or “afritada,” to soak up the delicious sauces.

From its modest beginnings, pandesal has evolved over the years to cater to changing tastes and preferences. Modern pandesal recipes, like the one provided, incorporate additional ingredients like milk powder and sugar to create a slightly sweeter and creamier flavor. The addition of shortening and butter contributes to its soft and tender texture.

The baking process, once done primarily in traditional wood-fired ovens, has transitioned to modern ovens for more precise control over temperature and baking time. Today, pandesal is not only a homemade treat but also readily available in local bakeries and supermarkets, making it convenient for people with busy lifestyles.

In summary, pandesal’s journey from its Spanish-influenced origins to the present day showcases its adaptability and enduring popularity among Filipinos. Whether enjoyed with a classic combination or with innovative fillings and spreads, pandesal remains a cherished part of Filipino culture and cuisine.

motherbee's pandesal Ingredients

Estimated total time for preparing Pandesal: 3 hours and 15-20 minutes.

Yield: 28-29 pcs. for 25g/portion


1 1/2 cups (200g) All-Purpose Flour

1 1/2 teaspoons (4g) Instant Yeast

2/3 cup (140g) Water (for the sponge)


1 1/2 cups (200g) Bread Flour

1 1/2 teaspoons (4g) Instant Yeast

1/3 cup (70g) Water (for the dough)

2 tablespoons (20g) Milk Powder

1 1/2 teaspoons (7g) Salt, fine

1/4 cup (52g) White Granulated Sugar

1 tablespoon (14g) Shortening

1 tablespoon (16g) Butter

Certainly! Here are the tools and equipment you'll need to make Pandesal based on the provided procedure:

Tools and Equipment


Preparing the Sponge

  1. In a bread maker or mixer, combine All-Purpose Flour and Instant Yeast.

  2. Gradually add Water while mixing until a soft dough forms.

  3. Transfer the sponge to a well-greased bowl, cover.

  4. Let the sponge ferment until it doubles in size (approximately 2 hours) in a cool environment (see Proving and fermentation guidelines for dough and pre-ferments).

  5. In the same bread maker or mixer add Bread Flour, Milk Powder, Fine Salt, White Granulated Sugar, and the remaining Instant Yeast.

  6. Uncover the sponge and incorporate it into the mixture, ensuring thorough mixing.

  7. Add Water and continue mixing.

  8. Add shortening and butter into the dough, continuing to mix until it reaches a smooth and elastic consistency. The dough should appear velvety and smooth.


  1. Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl and cover it with plastic wrap.

  2. Allow the final dough to ferment for approximately 1 hour or until it doubles in size. See proving or fermentation guide.

Shaping and Preparing for Baking

Manual Dough Kneading Procedure:

Prepare Your Workspace:

Combine Ingredients:

Initial Mixing:

  1. Transfer the shaggy dough onto your prepared kneading surface.

  2. Use a bench scraper or a spatula to help gather any dough stuck to the bowl.

  3. Begin by pressing and folding the dough over itself with the heel of your hand.


  1. Continue to press, fold, and turn the dough.

  2. Push the dough away from you using the heel of your hand, then fold it in half towards you.

  3. Rotate the dough a quarter turn and repeat the process.

  4. Knead the dough for about 10-15 minutes, or until it becomes smooth, elastic, and slightly sticky.

  5. Check for Elasticity: To test if the dough is ready, perform the “windowpane test.” Take a small piece of dough and gently stretch it between your fingers. It should stretch thin without tearing, creating a translucent “windowpane” effect.

  6. Check the temperature of the dough. It should not go beyond 28C.

  7. Rest the Dough:

  8. Form the kneaded dough into a ball.

  9. Place it in a lightly greased bowl, cover it with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel, and let it rest for 10-15 minutes. This resting period allows the gluten to relax.

Manual kneading requires a bit of practice, but it’s a rewarding process that allows you to feel the dough’s texture and achieve excellent results in your baking. Be patient and enjoy the tactile experience of breadmaking!

Kneading using machine

  1. Punch down the dough gently to remove excess air.

  2. On a clean surface, roll the dough into a log shape.

  3. Cut the dough into equal pieces.

  4. Roll each cut piece in breadcrumbs for that signature pandesal coating.

  5. Place the pandesal dough pieces onto a baking tray.

  6. Cover them with a damp cloth and let them ferment for another hour, or until they double in size once more.


  1. Preheat your oven to 180°C (356°F).

  2. Bake the pandesal for 15-20 minutes, or until they achieve a golden brown hue.

Enjoy your soft, creamy, and yummy Pandesal, a delightful Filipino bread that’s perfect for any time of the day!

Watch MotherBee's video tutorial⬇️

Tips for Success:

  1. Accurate Measurement: Use precise measurements for your ingredients, especially when it comes to flour and liquid. This ensures consistent results.

  2. Quality Yeast: Use fresh and high-quality yeast for the best rise and flavor in your Pandesal.

  3. Proper Kneading: Knead the dough until it becomes smooth, elastic, and slightly sticky. The "windowpane test" can help determine when it's properly kneaded.

  4. Fermentation Time: Allow sufficient time for the dough to ferment and rise. Don't rush this step, as it contributes to the flavor and texture of the Pandesal.

  5. Uniform Shaping: When shaping the Pandesal, ensure that the pieces are of equal size. This helps them bake evenly.

  6. Cooling: Allow the Pandesal to cool on a wire rack to prevent them from becoming soggy.

Common Mistakes to Avoid:

  1. Over-flouring: Adding too much flour can result in dense Pandesal. Start with the recommended amount and add more as needed.

  2. Insufficient Kneading: Inadequate kneading can lead to underdeveloped gluten, resulting in a poor rise and texture.

  3. Inadequate Proofing: Rushing the fermentation process can lead to less flavorful Pandesal. Allow the dough to double in size during fermentation.

  4. Uneven Shaping: Inconsistent sizing when shaping the dough can lead to uneven baking and different textures.

  5. Not enough pre-heating the oven: Ensure your oven is preheated to the correct temperature before placing the Pandesal inside.

  6. Storing Warm Pandesal: Storing warm Pandesal in an airtight container can cause them to become soggy. Allow them to cool completely before storing

Troubleshooting Guidelines:

  1. Dry Dough: If your dough feels too dry and doesn't come together, gradually add a small amount of water (a teaspoon at a time) while kneading until you reach the desired consistency. Be cautious not to overhydrate the dough.

  2. Excessive Stickiness: If the dough is excessively sticky and difficult to work with, you can add a little more flour (a tablespoon at a time) while kneading until it becomes more manageable. Avoid adding too much flour, as it can make the Pandesal dense.

  3. Dough Doesn't Rise: If the dough doesn't seem to rise during fermentation, check the freshness of your yeast. If your yeast is old or expired, it may not be active. Use fresh yeast and ensure it's properly dissolved in the liquid before adding it to the dough.

  4. Tough Crust: If your Pandesal has a tough or thick crust, consider reducing the baking time slightly or adjusting the oven temperature. A shorter baking time can result in a softer crust.

  5. Inconsistent Shape: To achieve uniform Pandesal, make sure you divide the dough into equal portions before shaping. This ensures they bake evenly.

  6. Flat or Deflated Pandesal: Overproofing the dough during the final rise can lead to flat or deflated Pandesal. Follow the recommended fermentation time closely, and don't let the dough rise too much.

  7. Uneven Browning: If your Pandesal doesn't brown evenly, you can rotate the baking sheet halfway through the baking process. This helps ensure consistent browning.

  8. Loss of Freshness: To maintain freshness, store cooled Pandesal in an airtight container or resealable bag. If they become stale, you can reheat them in the oven for a few minutes to restore some freshness.

Storage and Shelf life:

Ambient/Room Temperature: Pandesal can be stored at room temperature for up to 2 to 4 days in a cool, dry place. Use an airtight container or a resealable bag to keep them fresh.

Chilled/Refrigerated: If you want to extend their freshness, you can refrigerate Pandesal. Place them in an airtight container or resealable bag to prevent them from drying out. They should remain good for up to 7days when refrigerated. After this period, they may become slightly dry, so consider reheating them before serving. One trick you can do is quickly steam the pandesal for 1-2 minutes then re-heat in the oven for 2 more minutes to dry out the excess moisture formed during steaming. You will enjoy your pandesal just like a freshly baked bread.

Frozen: For longer-term storage, Pandesal can be frozen. Wrap individual Pandesal in plastic wrap, then place them in an airtight container or freezer bag. Properly stored, they can last in the freezer for up to 3 to 6 months without significant loss of quality. To enjoy them after freezing, allow them to thaw at room temperature or gently reheat them in the oven.

Note: Do not re-heat in the microwave for more than 10 seconds, any baked product heated in the microwave more than 10 seconds will change it's texture. It will dry-up, go hard and become rubbery.

Common questions related to making Pandesal:

🟣Question: What is Pandesal, and how is it different from other bread?

🟢Answer: Pandesal, often referred to as "Pan de Sal," is a popular Filipino bread roll known for its slightly sweet and soft interior with a golden-brown crust. It's typically smaller and sweeter than traditional bread, making it a unique and beloved Filipino staple.

🟣Question: Can I use active dry yeast instead of instant yeast in my Pandesal recipe?

🟢Answer: Yes, you can substitute active dry yeast for instant yeast. However, you'll need to activate active dry yeast by proofing it in warm water with a bit of sugar before adding it to your dough. Make sure to adjust the amount accordingly, following the yeast manufacturer's instructions.

🟣Question: My Pandesal turned out too dense. What could be the reason?

🟢Answer: Several factors can result in dense Pandesal. One common issue is insufficient kneading. Ensure you knead the dough until it becomes smooth and elastic. Additionally, overproofing the dough during fermentation can lead to denseness. Follow the recommended fermentation time closely.

🟣Question: Can I freeze Pandesal to extend their shelf life?

🟢Answer: Yes, you can freeze Pandesal for longer storage. Wrap them individually in plastic wrap or aluminum foil, then place them in an airtight container or freezer bag. Properly stored, they can last in the freezer for up to 2 to 3 months.

🟣Question: My Pandesal is too dry. How can I make them softer?

🟢Answer: To make your Pandesal softer, consider increasing the liquid content slightly in your recipe. You can also store them in an airtight container to help retain moisture. Reheating briefly in the oven or microwave can also help restore some freshness.

🟣Question: Can I use whole wheat flour to make healthier Pandesal?

🟢Answer: Yes, you can incorporate whole wheat flour into your Pandesal recipe for added nutrition. You may need to adjust the liquid content slightly, as whole wheat flour can absorb more moisture than white flour. Experiment with the ratio to achieve the desired texture.

🟣Question: What is the best flour to use for Pandesal?

🟢Answer: The most commonly used flours for Pandesal are all-purpose flour and bread flour. All-purpose flour yields a softer texture, while bread flour provides a slightly chewier crumb. You can also experiment with whole wheat flour for a nuttier flavor and added nutrition.

🟣Question: Can I make Pandesal without a bread machine or mixer?

🟢Answer: Yes, you can make Pandesal by hand without special equipment. Simply mix and knead the dough manually until it reaches the desired consistency. It may require a bit more effort, but it can be done effectively.

🟣Question: My Pandesal didn't rise during baking. What could be the cause?

🟢Answer: If your Pandesal didn't rise during baking, it could be due to overproofing the dough or not allowing it to rise a second time after shaping. Properly follow the fermentation and rising times in your recipe to ensure a good rise during baking.

🟣Question: Can I add fillings or toppings to my Pandesal?

🟢Answer: Absolutely! Pandesal can be customized with various fillings or toppings, such as cheese, sugar, coconut, ube (purple yam), or even hotdogs. Just be sure to incorporate them into the dough during the shaping process.

🟣Question: Can I make Pandesal ahead of time and reheat them before serving?

🟢Answer: Yes, you can make Pandesal ahead of time and reheat them before serving. Reheat them in a preheated oven or toaster for a few minutes until they are warm and fresh. You could also mix the dough and portion them, packed in freezer bag and freeze for up to 6 months. Once you want to have freshly baked pandesal, take the quantity you require and place into lined tray. Proceed to the proofing and baking. Note that since it is from frozen the proofing will take longer than normal.

Ingredient substitutions:

Flour Substitutions: Whole Wheat Flour: You can replace a portion of the all-purpose or bread flour with whole wheat flour for a nuttier flavor and added nutrition. Keep in mind that whole wheat flour may require slightly more liquid than white flour.

Sweetener Substitutions: You can replace the white granulated sugar with brown sugar or wash sugar or even coconut sugar. Just bear in mind that the brown sugar and coconut sugar will change or darken the color of the pandesal.

Milk Powder Substitutions: If you find yourself without milk powder, there are alternative options. One such option is using custard powder as a replacement. However, it's important to note that you cannot directly substitute dry powdered milk with liquid milk in most recipes. Reconstituting Milk Powder: To substitute 20g of powdered milk, you would need approximately 1 liter (1000ml) of liquid milk. This quantity is required to replicate the milk solids used in the recipe fully. This ensures that you achieve the same functionality and effect in your dish.

Shortening and Butter Substitutions:

Substitute the shortening and butter with margarine. Keep in mind that this may affect the flavor and texture slightly.

Yeast Substitutions: If you don't have instant yeast, you can use active dry yeast as a substitute. Remember to proof the yeast in warm water with a pinch of sugar before adding it to the dough.

Serving Suggestions:

  1. Classic Butter and Jam: Spread warm Pandesal with creamy butter and your favorite fruit jam or preserves for a classic and delightful breakfast.

  2. Cheese Pandesal: Slice Pandesal in half, add a slice of cheese (such as cheddar or Swiss), and toast until the cheese is melted and bubbly. Enjoy a savory and cheesy snack.

  3. Pandesal Sandwich: Fill Pandesal with your choice of fillings, such as ham, egg or conrned beef.

  4. Dipping Duo: Serve Pandesal with a side of hot chocolate, coffee, or champorado (chocolate rice porridge) for a comforting and traditional Filipino breakfast.


  • Ube Pandesal: Add ube (purple yam) extract or powdered ube to the dough for a vibrant purple color and a unique sweet flavor.

  • Pandan Pandesal: Incorporate pandan extract or pandan leaves into the dough for a fragrant and slightly sweet twist on the classic Pandesal.

  • Coconut Pandesal: Add shredded coconut or coconut flakes to the dough for a tropical and coconut-infused flavor and fill it with bukayo or coconut jam.

  • Chocolate Pandesal: Fill the pandesal with chocolate ganache and chocolate chips.

  • Cheese-Stuffed Pandesal: Place a cube of cheese (queso de bola or Edam cheese works well) inside each Pandesal before baking for a cheesy surprise in every bite.

  • Savory Garlic Pandesal: Add minced garlic to the dough for a savory and aromatic Pandesal that pairs wonderfully with meats and spreads.

  • Custard/Caramel filled Pandesal: Fill the Pandesal with rich and yummy custard filling or dulce de leche.

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