But anyway, this post is about pan de sal. It's been a while since I made pan de sal. I was disheartened as all my attempts in the past fell short of my "ideal" pan de sal. (read earlier post on pan de sal). We've never made it at home in the Philippines that is why my "ideal" pan de sal is store bought hot pan de sal. Our neighborhood bakery bake pan de sal all throughout the day. You're almost always guaranteed to get hot pan de sal any time you feel like it.
Although pan de sal is available here down under they are normally not freshly baked. They are either frozen or, if you’re lucky enough to have a Pinoy bakery nearby, already packed but never fresh from the oven. There is no other way for me to get hot pan de sal unless I bake it myself.
Thank God once again to Miss Eufemia C Estrada who wrote a really wonderful book that renewed my interest in baking! I, of course, used her recipe which she apparently got from Dexter Rebolledo (of the famous Dexter’s Bakeshop & Coffeeshop in Manila).
I was a bit ambiguous about step 2 of her recipe but nevertheless the resulting pan de sal smelled, looked and most importantly tasted like my "ideal"!
Here's the recipe:
Dexter's Pan de sal
2 tablespoons active dry yeast
1 cup lukewarm water
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup hydrogenated shortening
2 egg whites
1 cup scalded milk
1 cup lukewarm water
7-8 cups flour
1. In a bowl, sprinkle yeast in lukewarm water. Wait about 5 minutes for yeast to dissolve. Add sugar and wait for the mixture to bubble. Add the salt, shortening, egg whites and 1 cup flour to make a soft dough. Mix by hand thoroughly. Add 1 cup milk with 1 cup lukewarm water. Add all of the flour. Knead until smooth. Form into a ball and let rise until double in bulk. Do not cover with cheese cloth. Do not brush with butter.
2. After dough has doubled in size, divide into 3 parts. Flatten each piece into a rectangle and place one on top of the other.
3. Divide rectangle pieces into strips. Powder the strips with bread crumbs. Cut into serving pieces. Place each piece on slightly greased cookie sheets, standing on cut side. Bake in preheated 450F oven for 15 minutes. Yields 62 pieces.