Monday, December 22, 2008

Pan de Sal (Fresh Breakfast Rolls)

Pan de sal is a familiar bread roll. The Filipino version differs slightly in that it is sweeter than the regular roll and delicious when eaten warm from the oven with butter.
2 teaspoons dry yeast
1/3 cup plus 1 teaspoon sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
6 cups flour
1/4 cup dry bread crumbs

Soften the yeast in 2 cups lukewarm water with 1 teaspoon sugar added. Set aside for 6 to 7 minutes.

In a bowl, mix together the remaining 1/3 cup sugar, salt, and 1/4 cup oil. Add the softened yeast and 3 cups flour. Blend well, gradually adding the remaining 3 cups flour and mixing until the dough no longer sticks to the sides of the bowl.

Transfer the dough to a lightly floured board, and knead until smooth, 8 to 9 minutes.* Form the dough into a ball, and place in a lightly greased bowl. Brush the surface of the dough with the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, and cover with a damp cloth. Allow to rise in a warm place away from drafts (inside a kitchen cupboard) for 2 hours, or until the dough doubles in size.

Punch down. Roll out on a floured board to 3/4-inch thickness, and cut into 1 1/2-inch strips. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon bread crumbs. Let rise for another 15 minutes.

Cut dough into 1 1/2-inch pieces. Arrange on a lightly greased cookie sheet, cut side up, about 1 1/2-inches apart. Sprinkle with the remaining 3 tablespoons bread crumbs. Let rise for 30 minutes more, or until the dough doubles again in size.

Preheat oven to 375° F. Bake the pan de sal for 12 to 15 minutes, or until light brown. This recipe may be halved, or freeze the leftovers. Yields about 36 rolls.

*Tip: To knead the dough, curve your fingers over it and press down with the heels of your palms. Give the dough a quarter turn, fold it over, and push down again. Knead it until it is elastic and has a satin sheen.

Picture courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

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