15 Feb2011


We tried to make another batch of homemade pan de sals a few days ago, with horrible results. This is a seemingly never-ending quest for a simple but delicious pan de sal recipe, with a nice crust and decent crumb. Not the pillowy soft pan de sals they sell in most bakeries today. I think a huge part of the problem is the flour, but maybe a home oven just isn’t hot enough either. At any rate, we had 20+ “bulbous hockey pucks” the following day and decided to try and make some biscocho.


Before getting to the biscocho itself, let me first tell you about the flavored sugars we always have around in the pantry. We keep two bottles filled with sugar and in one of them, I put all used vanilla bean pods and as time goes by, it yields vanilla flavored sugar. In the other bottle, I mix sugar and grated cinnamon, and leave a whole cinnamon stick in the bottle to make sure no one confuses it with the vanilla sugar. Cinnamon sugar has a fantastic smell as well. Having these sugars around is really handy for flavoring french toast, breakfast toast, cookies, etc.


To make the biscocho, we took the day old and rather hard pan de sal and sliced them into biscotti like pieces. Place the sliced bread on cookie sheets (preferably pans with sides, as some butter tends to drip onto the oven floor) and brush slice of bread with melted butter on both sides. Sprinkle liberally with cinnamon or vanilla sugar (also on both sides) and place in a hot oven (375F) until “sizzling” and starting to lightly brown. Flip slices over and bake for a few more minutes.


Let the slices cool and you should have nice crisp, buttery and slightly sweet biscocho. We actually put a little too much butter on many of the slices and the resulting biscocho were a bit oily. Be careful to just brush the slices quickly so you don’t overdo it. And maybe sprinkling slices with sugar before brushing butter would make more of the sugar stick to the bread. The biscocho we made looked great, and most folks in the household seemed to like them, devouring several apiece. At least the pan de sals didn’t go to waste… Now if only I could have some carbohydrates…. :(



  1. zerho says:

    Owww, my heart goes out to you Sir Marketman… : ( But flavoring those sugars is a genius idea.And the last picture with the biscochos makes me want to pluck them out right of my screen.

    Feb 15, 2011 | 6:48 pm


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  3. Tonito says:

    You definitely scored with those “bulbous hockey pucks”. More than a hat trick.

    Feb 15, 2011 | 6:53 pm

  4. teacupmoments says:

    i’ve been seeing a lot of these flavored sugars for sale online. of course, leave it to MM to make his own. pshaw so simple. how great to be you, MM. :) also, my friend and I were just discussing these giant sugar containers reminiscent of my lola’s gigantic glass jars. may i please know where you got those?

    Feb 15, 2011 | 8:23 pm

  5. natie says:

    hello MM. lately,I have been baking pan de sal using a basic bread.com recipe for loaf bread. i use whole wheat bread flour. it;s been good so far. i just have to take extra time for the dough to rise, and also for the 2nd rising. last year, i bought a small bag of dough enhancer and a small box of gluten mix which i add to the flour before mixing everything. also, i throw in extra yeast. doesn’t seem to affect the flavor too much. i’ll try a batch without the enhancers and see.

    (bettyq, got my Valentine present. happy,happy, joy,joy!! thanks–will email.)

    Feb 15, 2011 | 9:19 pm

  6. terezzac says:

    Hello MM, off topic….I think you would love Nathan Myhrvold’s 2,400-page ‘Modernist Cuisine’ upends everything you thought you knew about cooking… “The book is a large-scale investigation into the math, science and physics behind cooking tasks from making juicy and crisp beer-can chicken to coating a foie-gras bonbon in sour cherry gel. ”

    ex. “PROBLEM #3: You love Neopolitan-style pizza, but don’t want to invest in a brick oven.

    SOLUTION: Make an oven out of a steel sheet.

    Get a ¼-inch-thick sheet of steel from a metal fabricator (Search online for a local one), have it cut to the size of your oven shelf and insert it in the rack closest to the broiler. Preheat the oven at its highest temperature for ½ hour, then turn on the broiler and slide your pizza onto the metal plate. It should emerge perfectly cooked in 1.5 to 2 minutes.

    WHAT’S GOING ON: Pizza in a brick oven cooks at about 800 degrees—way hotter than the highest setting of most home ovens. The metal sheet is more conductive than a brick oven’s stone, so it can cook just as fast at a lower temperature.”

    check it out: http://finance.yahoo.com/family-home/article/112120/the-game-changing-cookbook

    Feb 15, 2011 | 10:15 pm

  7. RobKSA says:

    pan de sal ala marketman is on my santa wish list :-). the biscocho looks yummy, probably you found the right mix for the bischocho, hehe

    Feb 15, 2011 | 10:18 pm

  8. bumbleBee says:

    I agree, my heart goes out to you MM for not being able to sample the delicacies that come from your kitchen. They look so good, I seriously want to pull them one by one out of my screen!

    But, if only to cheer you on, I know that all the results of your scrimping on food would be oh-so worth it! :) Keep it up, MM!

    Feb 15, 2011 | 10:21 pm

  9. Mom-Friday says:

    ouch, I feel your pain! :| those biscochos look so yummy!
    brilliant idea with the sugar!

    Feb 15, 2011 | 10:28 pm

  10. tonceq says:

    chin up MM, remember, “no pain no gain”! or since you don’t want to gain, how about “bruise to lose”? or “carbs give you stomach garbs”? (creates extra *ehem* clothes for your midsection). xp Moving away from lame motivational slogans, just a question MM, do you keep the vanilla pods in the jar and just add additional sugar or do throw out the pods once all the sugar has been used up? thank you very much MM! :)

    Feb 15, 2011 | 10:33 pm

  11. nina says:

    so these are called biscocho.. I always called them tostado. I could just imagine how your kitchen smelled while the vanilla and cinammon sugars where burning in the oven.

    MM, what’s a good proportion for sugar to ground cinnamon?

    Feb 15, 2011 | 10:39 pm

  12. nina says:

    terezzac, that’s an interesting book… Reminds me of alton brown’s show ‘good eats’ where his food presentation and preparation was scientific rather than cookbook.

    Feb 15, 2011 | 10:41 pm

  13. Anne :-) says:

    This is is so nice….especially the flavored sugars… ingenious!

    Feb 15, 2011 | 11:03 pm

  14. stella says:

    I believe the hard crust in the pan de sal forms with the abrupt change of temperature right after baking, maybe much like the french baguette type..but I’m an amateur baker only and have been trying out this french bread recipe among others


    Feb 15, 2011 | 11:12 pm

  15. michie says:

    good use for day old bread.

    Feb 15, 2011 | 11:17 pm

  16. michie says:

    I put my cinnamon sugar mix in a clear glass salt and pepper shaker, it is easier and faster to sprinkle the mix to anything you wanna sprinkled it on like muffins, pancakes, and slices of ham before frying them. It also great on colored sugar for cookie decorations. You are good MM. I read your blog everyday.

    Feb 15, 2011 | 11:31 pm

  17. HeraKitty says:

    I do the same thing with my sugar stash. I have done the same thing with my salt except its truffles and dried bits of garlic (garlic salt) instead of cinnamon and vanilla bean pods.

    When we do biscocho with leftover bread we use condensed milk as a topping. Sometimes we sprinkle cinnamon and nutmeg for added flair but just plain condensed milk is just as good. It leaves a nice crust on the bread and that wonderful sweet bite to it. Never fails to please kids and adults as well.

    Thank you for sharing your kitchen with us. :-)

    Feb 16, 2011 | 12:38 am

  18. Getter Dragon 1 says:

    ‘Flip’ slices over and bake for a few more minutes.’ – hmmmm, pun intended MM?

    Nice save! Other than a snack, what would biscocho pair well with? Tea and coffee I guess would be the usual suspects. Maybe ice cream or gelato on top? Sliced fruit like peaches and creme fresche with mint? The possibilities are mind boggling.

    Feb 16, 2011 | 1:34 am

  19. betty q. says:

    Way back in late 70’s, I took a crash course on Pinoy breadmaking at the Philippine Baker’s Institute (am not sure if it still around) one summer vacation. My instructor ( name I cannot recall) taught us the traditional pan de sal and the hot pan de sal among other things. Here is the formula,MM.

    We always used a base of 3 kg. of flour so just scale it down. The method we used was the Sponge and Dough method. For the sponge: bread flour-2400 gm, dry active yeast-36 gm., yeast food (dough improver ARKADY )-15 gm., water 1320 gm.

    Dough: bread flour-600 gm.,sugar-180 gm., shortening-180 gm.,water-420gm., salt-60 gm.

    For the HOT PAN DE SAL…the sponge proprotions are the same based on 3 kg. of flour Howver, the dough proportions are slighly different. The bread flour remains the same. The sugar is increased to to 450 gm., the salt is DECREASED to 45 gm. the water is 360 gm. and the shortening is increased to 300 gm.

    So as oyu can see, the traditional one is more of a lean type of dough compared to teh hot pan de sal.

    The oven we used was the rotating oven like in panaderia and we baked it at 375 degees. We also used a WOODEN DOUGH CUTTER.

    Feb 16, 2011 | 3:22 am

  20. Connie C says:

    Ms bettyQ: Pardon my ignorance, but what is the difference between a traditional pan de sal and hot pan de sal? They are both “hot” to me , a pan de sal lover.

    Feb 16, 2011 | 5:27 am

  21. Rona Y says:

    Did you try the old-style pan de sal recipe from The Secrets of Jesuit Breadmaking? The author of the book got the recipe from one of the brothers at Ateneo (I think). My Lola said it was like the pan de sal she grew up with–like Portuguese buns–and she really loved it when I made them. Very little fat in it, however, so it will go stale quickly. I know the recipe can be found online, but I’m sure I have it somewhere if you want to try it!

    Feb 16, 2011 | 6:31 am

  22. millet says:

    i have cinnamon sugar all the time too, but i put mine in a shaker with larger holes. my mom always had a canister of these biscoshos on hand while we were growing up, and when my kids were small, i would occasionally make them these treats. you just reminded me that i haven’t done this in a long time, MM. another variation i do is to brush the bread with melted butter, and then dip the bread in condensed milk, and bake. sometimes i dip in dessicated coconut, sometimes not. and then bake. both ways delicious.

    Feb 16, 2011 | 6:57 am

  23. kim e says:

    biscocho is a merienda favorite. its so messy to eat, but who can say no to a great combination: bread, butter and sugar! :)

    Feb 16, 2011 | 7:14 am

  24. Marketman says:

    OMGoodness, thank you guys… going shopping on Amazon soon… the secrets of jesuit breadmaking and “Modernist Cuisine” in the shopping cart. And bettyq, will try that pan de sal recipe with Sister in town… salamat!

    Feb 16, 2011 | 7:17 am

  25. tenbreedmountaindog says:

    Puwedeng bumisita sa kusina mo, MM? Promise, di kami manggulo. Kakain lang.

    Feb 16, 2011 | 8:31 am

  26. joyce says:

    been trying to shed a few pounds as well. you have godly will to resist all the delicious food that you experiment with. also read the wsj review of Nathan Myhrvold’s tome. seems like a must have for chefs and cooks alike, i just dont like the $600++ price tag! hehe.

    Feb 16, 2011 | 9:06 am

  27. tipat says:

    love the idea of sugars! I used to make cinnamon sugar for french toast but never thought of keeping a stash ready in a bottle. I also had a recipe that called for vanilla sugar but since i didn’t have it, i just used regular sugar. Maybe its about time i started making that. Thanks MM!

    Feb 16, 2011 | 9:14 am

  28. Mimi says:

    Palpak bread of mine ends up either as croutons or breadcrumbs, sayang e.

    Feb 16, 2011 | 9:53 am

  29. jd says:

    How long do the flavored sugars keep? Is there a regular shelflife to it?

    Feb 16, 2011 | 10:10 am

  30. izang says:

    MM, where did you get your jars? Nde ba nilalanggam, even with the rubber gasket?

    Feb 16, 2011 | 10:48 am

  31. Marketman says:

    Joyce, what?!? Six hundred dollars??? :( Just checked Amazon, $450++ there, for 6 books, roughly $75 per book… that’s sounding a bit better… :)

    Feb 16, 2011 | 11:09 am

  32. Marketman says:

    Izang, surprisingly, we don’t get ants in our sugar, even the ones kept in larger jars with no rubber seal. The jars are old (meaning we have had them over 10 years, so I can’t recall where we bought them). jd, sugars keep for AGES. I just add sugar to the bottle when it goes down in level… Mimi, you are right, no waste with bad bread. Croutons can be flavored with herbed oils and dried herbs… tipat, I use vanilla beans for custards, flans, etc., so the used bean pods all just added to the pot of sugar… tenbreedmountain dog… dapat may kasamang “tour guide”…hahaha.

    Feb 16, 2011 | 11:19 am

  33. Maricel says:

    MM, one of your readers Rona Y posted this link to the Jesuit Pan de Sal recipe in your post

    I followed the link and it does lead to the recipe

    Feb 16, 2011 | 11:26 am

  34. Clarissa says:

    Hi MM. We have an Adventist’s cookbook at home, but I remember trying their pandesal recipe a couple of times before and have extreme results, either good, or terribly bad. I should look into that again.

    But I found a recipe that I like. The time alloted for it to rise makes me feel it’s too airy and have adjusted the sugar and salt ratio tons of times already. So now, I just allow one rising, cut into pieces, then throw it into a hot oven. The rising in the oven is enough for the second rising already. Mom likes her pandesal salty, and I like mine sweet, almost like a dinner roll.

    I have never failed with this recipe (though we might be looking for different kinds of texture for the bread) even with the laziest shortcuts. And I chose one also that made use of just regular APF instead of bread flour. :) I’ve mentioned it in my blog, but here is the original recipe that I followed.


    Feb 16, 2011 | 11:47 am

  35. Maria Isabel Rodrigo says:

    comfort food it is!

    Feb 16, 2011 | 12:25 pm

  36. jack says:

    sarap naman just in time for merienda :)

    Feb 16, 2011 | 1:17 pm

  37. tasty says:

    hi marketman, do you happen to know where i can buy fresh habanero chillies?

    Feb 16, 2011 | 1:32 pm

  38. betty q. says:

    ….and when the spent vanilla pods have all been spent of its aroma and flavour, you can make crystallized vanilla sticks? air dry them, and use as skewer for fresh strawberries, kiwi and any other fruit ….or how about grinding them to a fine powder in your coffee mill and when you brew coffee, add a pinch of the fine spent vanilla powder and a pinch of cinnamon on the coffee granules before brewing…this is my secret coffee concoction!

    Feb 16, 2011 | 1:58 pm

  39. sgboy says:

    yo marketman, i know this is off the topic but i just read that they are going to ban the use of poppy seeds in the phils. they say its illegal and you can jailed and get fined, but i saw theyre selling this in one of the gourmet shop in manila. whats your view on this?

    biscocho woth poppy seeds perhaps….hehe

    Feb 16, 2011 | 5:17 pm

  40. Peach says:

    Marketman, can’t wait to read about your future pandesal experiments. Thanks for doing the trial and error part for us!!!

    Gosh, betty q’s ideas are fantastic! Very Martha Stewart and Barefoot Contessa! Any plans of starting your own blog betty q? :-)

    Feb 16, 2011 | 7:14 pm

  41. britelite says:

    if you happen to drop by Iloilo -do try the pan de sal of paa (Jaro Bakery)–I think that is the one you are looking for.

    Feb 16, 2011 | 7:35 pm

  42. tintin says:

    MM, sama ako kay tenbreedmountain dog ha… promise, kakain lang.. ;-)

    Feb 16, 2011 | 8:51 pm

  43. betty q. says:

    MM…I would just like to ask a few people if they have received any e-mails from me ( Ms. Tess, Gej among others). My mushroom buddy Nadine told me a few weeks ago that she sent me e-mails BUT I have never received them…which is very annoying! So, if you guys sent me e-mails and I haven’t replied, my apologies for I am not ignoring anyone!

    Anyone? computer techie? I checked the junk filters but nothing in there. My hubby and sons cannot explain it nor can they fix it. Ms. Connie C…HELP!

    Feb 17, 2011 | 4:52 am

  44. Connie C says:

    bettyq:am no means a computer techie but I find I get most emails if you have your contact addresses in your address book, but then it may be a malfunction or function of your email carrier, dropping some messages if they feel you get or send too many messages…..and they don’t tell you that.

    Here in ‘Pins, some emails may not be sent during very busy times of use. I sometimes cc. the email to the contact so there is another chance your contact get your message.

    Another weird observation: a cousin will get messages from two different addresses with the same carrier but I cannot not get the response or message if sent to one of the addresses for some reason.

    Feb 17, 2011 | 5:41 am

  45. Libay says:

    MM, your biscocho looks like authentic biscocho from Wewins in Iloilo or Merci from Bacolod. :)

    Feb 17, 2011 | 8:28 am

  46. natie says:

    BettyQ, i sent you an email when you were recuperating..i don’t think you got it..that’s why I “sent” an acknowledgement here for you at MM’s site…sorry MM…but thanks for sparing a little space for us..

    Feb 17, 2011 | 10:13 am

  47. Mary-Ann says:

    MM, nakakagutom naman itong biscocho post mo!
    Napagawa tuloy ako ng toast and hot tea :)
    Are you going to sell this through Zubuchon?

    Feb 17, 2011 | 12:24 pm

  48. jojo ojeda says:

    this is best with ice cold coke for a sunday merienda

    Feb 17, 2011 | 2:50 pm

  49. EbbaBlue says:

    I too have been experimenting with a “perfect” pandesal. Probably I bake 3x a week, sometimes more. When I think I got it right, here I am using a different brand flour, then also trying wheat in addition to the white flour & bread flour. My finish pandesal comes out all different. Nakakainis. With today’s post, you gave me an idea what to do with my “un-eaten” pandesal. Akala ko nga gawin ko na lang croutons for our salad. Sayang kasi naman, ang hirap yata mag-knead specially by hand lang ang ginagawa ko.

    I read flour from different places are indeed different. And yeah, also the instant dry yeast, and the active dry yeast..plus pa the present temperature of the house.. and the stove – naku I baked some batch in my house.. iba ang result when I baked the same batch in my daughters’ stove.

    Plus… ayyy… lalong tumataba ang asawa ko sa ka-ta-try ng experiment ko, hehehe.

    Feb 17, 2011 | 9:42 pm

  50. wisdom tooth says:

    Thanks Betty Q for letting us know about your problem re receiving emails. Nabuhayan ang loob ko na makakatanggap din ako ng mga requests kong recipes esp the long-awaited award-winning chocolate cake. Anyway, whether I get my request :) or not :(, I hope maayos na yung email mo because I know it is very important with our communication with others. May I resend my request to your email? Salamat!!

    Feb 18, 2011 | 3:13 am

  51. Meg says:

    Cinnamon sugar is best over fried sliced ripe saba bananas.

    Feb 18, 2011 | 3:37 am

  52. Ligaya says:

    sarap nito with ice-cold pineapple juice!

    May 18, 2011 | 11:26 pm

  53. edgie says:

    i wish that ms. betty q could give me the procedure of her tradional and hot pandesal recipes

    Aug 24, 2011 | 4:55 pm


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