25 Mar2008


The day after we arrived at the beach, I got up at around 5 a.m., and with the rest of the household still fast asleep, decided to make a starter and dough for some Pan de Sal. I used the recipe which originally came from the Aboitiz Family Cookbook, which I posted earlier, here. It is a simple recipe, with a couple of odd “shortcuts” or ingredients like eggs and boiling water. I only had really nice organic eggs with incredibly orange yolks so the addition of 2 eggs made this version a little more yellow or “buttery-looking” than usual.



After making the dough and putting it in a bowl to double (rising for nearly 2 hours), I slipped out to the Nasugbu market to pick up crabs and other seafood for the rest of the stay at the beach. Upon my return home, I cut up the dough after forming long “logs” and let these rise a second time to again increase in size, before sticking them in a hot 400-420 F degree oven. I tried to use the convection feature (a fan that moves the heat around) on one batch and it resulted in a darker crisper skin for those who like that… Other batches were lighter colored.


Overall I felt the results were very good for the minimal effort expended. The bread had a nice crisp outer skin, dusted with breadcrumbs and cornmeal, while the inside was a little more dense than commercial pan de sals, and chewy and light, but not airy at all… Also, this bread was notable for its absence of sweetness and if you use the maximum amount of salt (not IODIZED table salt, please!) suggested, it is in fact rather salty. Several of the crew felt it was “matabang,” or more precisely, lacking the sweetness of say a Pan de Manila. But 48 pieces that started to come out of the oven at about 9a.m., were wiped out in less than 15 minutes…. Some reminders for a successful batch – use yeast that is alive, not dying or dead. Use water that is 100-110F for the initial yeast sugar mix. Use kosher or natural salt with no iodine. Make your dough rise undisturbed in a warm but not HOT part of the kitchen, covered with a damp towel. Breezes and draughts affect the dough. Pre-heat your oven to a hot 400-420F.


My favorite palaman for a fresh out of the oven pan de sal? Good sweet butter. Then we opened up jars of homemade mangosteen jam, kalamansi marmalade, mango preserves, my sister’s damson plum and those were delicious with the freshly baked bread as well. Finally, we started to make longanissang hubad sandwiches with the freshly fried longganisa patties and the fresh bread…ahhh, heaven at the beach!



  1. rocoi says:

    i would guess this is accompanied with your morning cup of coffee, MM? yum! i don’t remember having pan de sal for breakfast as a kid, only for merienda! my favorite palaman – condensed milk! :)

    Mar 25, 2008 | 5:18 pm


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  3. Teresa says:

    MM what is the stone you used for your counter top? Any good suggetions as I am planning to renovate my own baking corner in the kitchen.

    Mar 25, 2008 | 5:27 pm

  4. Marketman says:

    rocoi, with a cup of tea, oddly, I don’t drink coffee… Teresa, it’s made from a large thin slab of Carrara marble, white with streaks of grey… perfect for baking or pastry, but not great with soy sauce, vinegars or other acidic stuff as it can stain in a frequently used kitchen… Carrara is a town in Tuscany, Italy famous for marble and they have been supplying white marble to sculptors, builders, etc. for nearly a thousand years. Michelangelo’s David is made from Carrara marble, I think. How’s that for trivia? :)

    Mar 25, 2008 | 5:40 pm

  5. kitkathie says:

    Hello MM, great morning to start with a pan de sal! Will have to try your recipe!!!

    Mar 25, 2008 | 7:54 pm

  6. kasseopeia says:

    Wow! I am such a sucker for good pan de sal.

    Yes, I agree with MM. Warm pan de sal with sweet butter and some pineapple or guava marmalade by Mom, a cup of peppermint tea and the morning paper (with crossword puzzle).

    I can’t wait for the rest of your posts on the beach holiday you had, MM!

    Mar 25, 2008 | 8:23 pm

  7. enna says:

    Pandesal and tea in the morning- the simple pleasure in life!

    Mar 25, 2008 | 8:37 pm

  8. Ebba says:

    I was reading all the links you have re: Pandesal and wanted to share to you that last year on my visit to Quezon Province, a neighbor gave me hot, hot pandesal “the way you described an authentic one taste (and look)like. When inquired where it came from, he said that he works for a nearby Flour Mill Company (Hondagua Flour), and the workers there (bakers specifically), bakes fresh “milled” flour into their wooden fired brick oven (inside the jobsite), and everybody gets to bring some back home (around 4:00pm). It tasted so good with Dairy Kreme and Reno Potted Meat. This year I am coming back to the Philippines and would stay in the same province, I will make sure ask this guy to bring me some Pandesal. If not, I will have to wake up 4:00am to go the town’s bakery who sells bigger version (but still the crusty salted type) pandesal. At 6:00 am they are gone because local corner sari-sari buys them wholesale.

    Mar 25, 2008 | 9:44 pm

  9. michelle says:

    Now I am REALLY hungry. Darn, I just started my ‘Nothing-After-8 pm’ rule…It’s going to be a long night with thoughts of warm buttered pan de sal and hot chocolate on my mind. (I can even see the melted butter swirling in my hot chocolate. I am a pan de sal dunker.)

    Mar 25, 2008 | 10:22 pm

  10. eej says:

    MM,you’ve finally broken down my will! I will try this pan de sal recipe this weekend and keep you posted on how it turns out.

    My oh my, who would have thought I’ll be making my own pan de sal in a life time. Exciting times!

    Mar 25, 2008 | 11:47 pm

  11. Maria Clara says:

    Yummy looking pan de sal and thank you for the informative tips and recipe which are very encouraging and assuring baking success! I love well sauteed canned corned beef with lots of tomatoes in mine or my own take of adobo rolls – flaked pork or chicken drowning in adobo gravy or butter lined queso de bola drizzled with guava jam.

    Mar 26, 2008 | 12:31 am

  12. nina says:

    Na-miss ko tuloy ang mainit na pandesal. Wala kasing freshly- baked pan de sal dito….

    Mar 26, 2008 | 1:11 am

  13. dhayL says:

    It’s always good to start your day with good and satisfying breakfast and nothing beats homemade pandasal and homemade magosteen jam! This will put you on the right track, this what “bakasyon grande” is all about! Wish i was one of your guests MM!

    Mar 26, 2008 | 3:36 am

  14. ellen says:

    My social worker friend just baked two dozens of fresh pandesal for me last night. She sees me how eat her homemade pandesal with just plain butter on it. Super sarap especially with accompanying brewed coffee early this morning. I guess I was eating like a pig that I even add hot dog inside. Yummy.

    Mar 26, 2008 | 5:12 am

  15. Dale says:

    I’ve baked this version a few times already and the texture is just like home, but I have experimented with the sugar/salt ratio on this. The original recipe I found to be too salty. I then tried using more sugar (closer to the pan de sal I remember from Zamboanga) and less salt, but some visitors from back home said that it SHOULD be salty, since it is pan de SAL. So back to the drawing board on the taste aspect… Another comment that my wife made on her first visit to the Philippines recently is that my homemade pan de sal (using the Aboitiz recipe) smelled and tasted more “yeasty” vs the commercial Zamboangueno version. Is it possible that the North American yeast overpowers in flavour? Some baker friends of mine back home just wouldn’t give up the secret though, but did send some pan de sal from their bakery. maybe I’ll try it again this weekend while I’m making brioche…

    Mar 26, 2008 | 6:05 am

  16. desie the maybahay says:

    beautiful-looking pan de sal. i used to love these with ‘kesong-puti’. feta will have to do these days..

    Mar 26, 2008 | 7:39 am

  17. corrine says:

    My, your pan de sal blog is to timely. I will be making them soon. Last week, I bought the primera class flour from our neighborhood bakery. I’m so into bread these days. Hope to get more tips from other readers!

    MM, how do I know if the yeast is alive when I’m in the store? Is there a way to know or will I know it only when I’ve mixed it with the other starter ingredients? Thanks!

    Mar 26, 2008 | 8:32 am

  18. bagito says:

    fresh hot pan de sal+fried egg=heaven in the a.m.

    does anyone remember that Queensland butter (or was it margarine?) in the red & gold tin in the 70’s? I remember eating that w/ hot pan de sal also when I was a kid and I remember it went really well w/ the hot pan de sal din. memories!

    thanks again, MM. down gastronomic memory lane palagi ang blog mo. very much appreciated by us!!

    Mar 26, 2008 | 10:36 am

  19. aggy says:

    you are a great baker! i would love to try this…would whole wheat flour work? i’m trying not to consume too much white flour

    Mar 26, 2008 | 11:47 am

  20. marco says:

    the ultimate pinoy food. while i do like my pan de sal with herb cream cheese, butter, jam, etc., for me, nothing beats dipping the pan de sal in my coffee to get my morning fix. i guess i got that from my lolo.

    Mar 26, 2008 | 12:04 pm

  21. Sands says:

    YUM! Being a true-blue Batangueno, I dunk my pan de sal into a cup of brewed coffee (with no creamer)before swallowing. Oroes is to milk as pan de sal is to coffee. Hehe

    Mar 26, 2008 | 12:35 pm

  22. Lex says:

    At what point in history did the pan de sal become sweet? Is this the Filipino penchant for sweet things? It is nothing like its original name that is pan de sal (Salt). I am still searching for the ultimate pan de sal which most leave my disappointed.

    Mar 26, 2008 | 3:20 pm

  23. CecileJ says:

    BAgito, Queensland Butter in the red can is still available in supermarkets. Bruun butter, also in a can (gold, if memory serves) was also a favorite.

    Mar 26, 2008 | 3:29 pm

  24. Emily says:

    I tried making some yesterday – my first attempt at bread! but used whole wheat flour, so I didn’t quite get the taste and consistency I was looking for. But the recipe is super easy, the whole-wheat pan de sal turned out well, the kitchen smelled heavenly, and I’m looking forward to trying it with white flour. (Too many choices in the grocery here, actually, and I think I picked the wrong one!)

    Mar 26, 2008 | 4:51 pm

  25. Marketman says:

    Emily, yes, the whole wheat flour could change the flavor and consistency a bit. All purpose should yield you exactly what you see in the photos above. I just tried making a traditional recipe with only yeast, water, salt and flour but the results were a disaster. I still have to keep at it, as I want as basic a pan de sal as I can manage. Back to the drawing board, trial and error it will be… Lex, I think the sweetness factor started in in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s. My grandmother used to have a bakery with traditional brick pugons and my older siblings say the pan de sals were definitely not sweet. Also, I think the quality of flour has deteriorated and so all kinds of compensatory tricks have been used that has essentially changed the nature of the “original” pan de sal of say the 1930’s and 1940’s. I have looked up recipes for Pan de Agua from The Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico and Bolillos from Spain with the same four basic ingredients and they describe a harder, tougher and plainer roll than our pan de sal… I think our version with breadcrumbs is what makes it our national treasure… but I still have to get a basic recipe right, without tricks if possible… aggy, I would try it with all-purpose flour first before venturing to variants… but I have seen whole wheat pan de sal for sale in the weekend markets… bagito, yes they still sell the canned butters in some groceries here… they have a stronger and more intense flavor… on their way to cheese it seems… but great for some cakes and baked goods. corrine, just buy a sealed pack of yeast, make sure it is way in advance of any expiry dates and hope for the best. You will see if it is alive when you place it in warm water. desie, hmmm, with feta, sounds good to me! Dale, I like them a bit salty, but check what salt you are using. If you use table salt or iodized salt, it won’t yield the best results. I like kosher and un-iodized salts, and range the salt from 1 tablespoon and up. Yeast in the U.S. may be more active or potent, and again it depends what kind of yeast you use so you may want to try it with a little less yeast the next time around. As for fluffiness, the local versions try to grow the dough as much as possible and often add milk or oil or other ingredients to “cheat” the tastebuds, as it were… eej, try it and adjust the next time you make it… it will take a good 2-3 tries before you achieve the right consistency based on your ingredients, location, weather, etc. Ebba, try and finagle the recipe, old style pan de sal has nearly disappeared in the Philippines, in fact, in all of our recent local travels, I haven’t found a decent commercially sold pan de sal! kitkathie, actually this was the Aboitiz family recipe… :)

    Mar 26, 2008 | 6:30 pm

  26. Homebuddy says:

    Sorry for making my comments late, but I would like to add my 2 cents worth to Pan de Sal. As the name invokes, it should be salty. However, the ones sold in provincial bakeries have become sweet, most probably because they have adapted it to the Filipino’s penchant of adding sugar to everything, like sweet sphagetti, sweet peanut butter, etc….. In my opinion,commercial pan de sal is now sweet, especially in the Provinces, to do away with the “palaman” which not everybody can afford.
    MM, I hope suggestions are welcome. After rolling the dough into logs, let rise first before cutting, so the cut line on top is fine(pencil thin by pressing to cut) and the pan de sal becomes rounder at the last rising, before baking. I noticed that the pan de sal in the photo is somewhat flat topped just like mine when I started experimenting on it.
    Here is a recipe I shall share with you from way back 30 years ago. I hope you and your readers will like it:
    “Special Pan de Sal”
    1 tsp. sugar, 3/4 c. water, 2 1/2 tsp. yeast
    Dissolve sugar in water, sprinkle yeast and allow to soften.
    Mix in 1 cup a. p. flour. Let stand for 2 hrs.
    Mix together 1/4 c. sugar and 5 egg yolks. Add this to risen dough. Beat in another 1 c. of flour and let rise again until double.
    To the risen dough mix in 5 egg yolks, 1/2 cup butter, softened, 2 T. sugar, 1 1/2 tsp. salt and 2 1/2 c. flour.
    Mix well and knead until smooth and elastic. Divide dough into 4 pcs. and form into rods, about 12 in. long, then roll in bread crumbs. Let rise 30 min. Cut into 1 inch pcs.
    and place on a greased baking sheet, cut side up. Let rise until double and bake in preheated oven at 400 deg. F for 15-20 min.
    Practice makes perfect, enjoy!

    Mar 27, 2008 | 1:52 pm

  27. Marketman says:

    Homebuddy, thanks for that… Yes, I agree the local evolution of pan de sal is now actually sweet, and whould be renamed Pan de Leche or Pan de Sucre and definitely not Pan de Sal. As for the Pan de sal experiements going on in our home at the moment, I am trying to get a bread that is the most basic first, that is, yeast, water flour and salt only. And my first attempt was a disaster. The second attempt an hour ago was much better, say a 7.0/10.0, so I am getting there. Once I have gotten results I like, I will post the recipe, and then after that try variations with milk, eggs, etc. Thank you for your recipe will try it one day. And yes, I do now roll and make the roll rise (after consulting with my sister last night) and I cut with a metal pastry implement (I don’t have a wooden one). Will have to keep going on this one. One more try tomorrow and hopefully I have an 8.0 or 8.5/10.0 and will post then… At this stage, versions with butter, fat, milk, sugar and eggs really make this more like a softer dinner roll… I would like to approximate the century or more old version, which is quite a change from pan de sals for sale today…

    Mar 27, 2008 | 3:04 pm

  28. Katrina says:

    I’m not sure if your and my idea of a traditional pan de sal are the same, since my basis is what I grew up with — what the nearby panaderia sold in the 70s and 80s. That’s much more recent than the 50s-60s version you remember, yet I cannot find it anymore. The commercial pan de sal that’s packaged and bought in the grocery, especially, has little relation to the real thing — too big, soft, and dense. I remember it being no more than 3 inches long, crunchy on top and soft on the bottom, and inside, it was rough, with holes (the ones I see now are almost smooth). Is real pan de sal truly extinct? :-(

    Mar 27, 2008 | 5:35 pm

  29. Marketman says:

    Katrina, I haven’t found the older styled pan de sal for sale anywhere in the past three years of serious food escapism with this blog… so it might only exist in small town neighborhood bakeries or from home bakers. But actually, with some of my research now, it really was a bsic bread and similar breads from other colonies of Spain seem to approximate it except for the breadcrumbs. I am on my second attempt today and will keep going tomorrow and the day after until I get a workable basic recipe; then will try the variations… I think the cost of high quality flour was one of the main reasons for the demise of the originalish version. Then the addition of other ingredients to make it softer, sweeter, etc. I think 95% of marketmanila’s readers wouldn’t like the pan de sal’s I made today, but the same might be true for ensaimadas as well…

    Mar 27, 2008 | 5:54 pm

  30. corrine says:

    I baked my first bread last Easter Sunday…an attempt at all home-baked muffins and bread. I used a Spanish recipe which says “crusty roll” and looking at the ingredients I surmised it is close to pan de sal. It was sprinkled with cornflour and flour before baking. When it was done, it really was close but much crusty than pan de sal. With home-made mango jam using MM’s recipe, it was heaven!

    Will await your results on the pan de sal, MM.

    Mar 27, 2008 | 8:43 pm

  31. Homebuddy says:

    MM, would an italian hard crusty roll or french baguette recipe be the answer for the pan de sals of yesterday?

    Mar 28, 2008 | 11:48 am

  32. Homebuddy says:

    Here I am again on the topic of pan de sal which I found challenging. After learning that you were looking for the perfect recipe perhaps one, a century old, do you mean those hard as rock bread I truly remember from the past? I interviewed some very old retired bakers in our place and this is what I learned.
    They used fermented starters for the dough, used a little purico (veg. shortening) or pork lard, used this dough for pan de sal and frances bread and baked them in a pugon (brick ovens). So it got me thinking, it could very well be a french bread recipe. Anyway, thanks to your post, I am into baking bread again! It should keep the house with the aroma of freshly baked bread that is so inviting and welcome to everyone. Will experiment and keep you posted if successful.

    Mar 29, 2008 | 10:51 am

  33. Homebuddy says:

    I forgot, they used bread flour not all purpose.

    Mar 29, 2008 | 11:20 am

  34. Marketman says:

    Homebuddy, yes, the original pan de sal was just salt, water, yeast and flour (and typically higher gluten flour or baking flour, once referred to as primera in commercial bakeries. The bread would not have lasted more than a day, in the same manner that french baguettes don’t, either. Actually, the older version is like a mini-baguette, though methodology is a bit different, and salt/breadcrumbs is a slight alteration… I have tried FOUR times so far this week and while I have achieved a 7/10.0 result in my scoring scale, I am not yet happy. I even strayed into more modern versions with milk, butter and eggs… but to no avail.

    My grandmother’s bakery had starters from the day before so yes, they were “old” and apparently, according to my sister, that develops the lactic acids which must help the bread in a way… Some people have starters that are YEARS old and just constantly fed to “keep it alive…” I am not a great baker but I can be a persistent cook, so I will just keep trying. Also, without primera flour, which I have bought from bakeries, though primera today is NOT the primera of old, I use all-purpose flour with a touch of gluten added. Oddly, I found gluten flour in Metro Grocery in Market!Market!… Ahhh, the pan de sal chronicles continue…

    Mar 29, 2008 | 12:59 pm

  35. betty q. says:

    The basic ingredients as you have mentioned,MM produces pan de sal that is akin to maybe french or italian rolls as Homebuddy have mentioned as well. That is what we call a LEAN type of dough. Now, the addition of milk, eggs, butter all produces a pan de sal that has sort of a soft texture since milk, eggs etc. all have a tenderizing effct. Sometimes, people ask me how do I know if I have achieved the right consisitency of the dough….others do it by feel or here is something I have learned from the master bakers….take a piece of dough and stretch till it’s like paper thin..if you can stretch it like that before it starts to tear apart, then you have already developed the gluten. Also, if what you’re after is the crusty type of pan de sal…sometimes putting a cookie sheet on the bottom shelf of the oven and the SQUIRTING it with water using a bottle spritzer while baking the bread produces the STEAM needed to achieve that crusty pan de sal…do you have a book on bread baking by Bernard Clayton?…I know I have it somewhere ..have to check mom-in-law’s house and I’ll get back to you ….hope this helps for your quest of the perfect pan de sal!

    Mar 29, 2008 | 2:30 pm

  36. Marketman says:

    betty, I do have Bernard Clayton’s book and have been referring to it. And yes, I did try the water trick to get a crust. Actually the crust was not the problem, it was the insides really. And my specimens were just too much like a hard roll… so I suspect some milk or other substance is required to find that personal favorite… Also, the flour in Manila is really quite a challenge I find… sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t…

    Mar 29, 2008 | 3:50 pm

  37. Homebuddy says:

    Betty,you’re right, I too read about the technique you mentioned called windowpaning described in detail in Baking Illustrated Book by the Editors of Cook’s Illustrated.
    MM, first time I’ve heard of gluten flour, its good to learn new things. I use what’s available, good old bread flour. I wouldn’t know its protein content but I’ve read that bread flour translates to a sturdy dough for a crisp crust and chewy texture.
    I am trying the “Rustic Italian Bread Recipe” from Baking Illustrated for my pan de sal experiments. Although the recipe says it requires a bit of patience because of the sponge dough, it calls for only for bread flour, yeast, water and salt. No shortening, but I will add a little so it doesn’t become too hard. If it doesn’t work then I’ll try the one of Bernard Clayton, “pain Italien, Page 262. Have you tried this?

    Mar 29, 2008 | 11:19 pm

  38. betty q. says:

    If I were there, MM ,here’s what I would do…Since I am not that familiar with the type of wheat the flour mills use there, I would call the HELP LINE number which is usually listed either at the side or back of the package. I would ask them the paricular type of flour I am looking for..in baker’s terms: hard flour. OR maybe they have a website. Try googling ROBINHOOD.CA. I get the impression that what you are looking for is something similar to PORTUGUESE BUNS (UH…OH! I am asking for trouble if SILLY LOLO reads this!!!). This is the wrong time to go back to the drawing board and start baking PAN DE SAL>>>I have TOTALLY cut down on my WHITE bread intake and have switched to ORGANIC BREAD made with sprouted wheat. But I am willing to assist you MM in your quest for perfect PAN DE SAL ONLY if there are people willing to taste them..ANY TAKERS? PLEASE let me know…BUT you guys have to pick them up for I cannot and am NOT ABLE to DRIVE for another 3 months at least!

    Mar 30, 2008 | 1:18 am

  39. lety says:

    Hi, MM.

    I tried to make some pandesal but from the get-go my dough was very dry. The recipe called for 5 to 6 cups of flour and I used 5 cups of all purpose flour. I do not have a mixer so I mixed it by hand. Is there a correct way of kneading the dough? Thanks!

    Apr 7, 2008 | 10:05 am

  40. LJ says:

    If I could eat pandesal everyday for breakfast, I would. I’m not a baker, but when I visit a filipino bakery I always get a bag. Very nostalgic for me waking up to the aroma of the slightly sweet bread. Coco jam, melted cheese, sweet butter, baked condensed milk, sardines; I can think of several things to put in it. Simple things like this make life so much more interesting!

    May 30, 2008 | 1:38 am

  41. Marylou says:

    I love the pandesal with bruun butter, I live in New York now
    Where can I buy Bruun Butter? do we still have it in Manila?

    May 30, 2008 | 11:14 pm

  42. Delia V says:

    I am now in Georgia,US and I missed the taste of our PINOY pan de sal which we used to enjoy with a coffe in the morning or even three times a day as long as its freshly baked. Much yummier if its hot.
    I’ve searched for recipes and try baking.At first I was so frustrated; it doesn’t come out really good.I have tested too some of yeast is what you call dead? Now, I finally make it right and I am receiving orders from my friends here.

    Oct 6, 2008 | 11:42 pm

  43. Steven says:

    Where are I can find “Pan De Manila” in Malate?

    Apr 18, 2009 | 6:25 am

  44. john says:

    How many calorie do one bread contain?

    Feb 8, 2010 | 11:41 am

  45. JONATHAN says:

    Saraaap nman niyan. I like pandesal with corned beef or sardines with egg na ginisa. Well we will be serving it here at soon to open Jonathan’s Grill in Houston, Texas USA.

    Mar 12, 2010 | 4:23 am


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