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My mum’s Pandesal (Filipino bread roll) Recipe

We had a shared lunch at work where we had to bring a homeland dish to celebrate the cultural diversity here at Rhema Media. My mum is Filipino, and I love her Pandesal that she bakes so I decided to get her to show me how to make it.

First of all, what is Pandesal? Pandesal translates to salted bread although it is actually sweeter than salty. It's soft and fluffy and covered with breadcrumbs. It’s a traditional Filipino bread roll that used to be sold only in the early hours at bakeries or on the streets by vendors on bicycles with loud air horns. Nowadays, some bakeries make them available all day.

The pandesal I brought in for the shared lunch was very popular and I had a few people asking for the recipe. Unfortunately, my mum’s recipe is literally just the first part of a recipe – only the list of ingredients with no method!

pandesal recipe

Now this is confusing because the ingredients list isn’t even in the right order of what to do. So, with the help of my mum I have put together the recipe to share with anyone who wants it!

Maria’s Pandesal Recipe                                           [click here for printable recipe]

Prep time: 30 mins

Rising time: 1 hr 10mins

Cooking time: 15-20 mins

Serves: 30 individual rolls



8 Tbsp soft butter or margarine

12 Tbsp olive oil

2 Tbsp instant dry yeast (or if using Edmonds instant dry yeast – then 2 sachets)

580ml lukewarm water

8 cups standard flour

13 Tbsp sugar

½ tsp salt



Mix in the 2 Tbsp of instant dry yeast to the 580 ml of lukewarm water. Once you see some of the yeast float to the surface – add in the olive oil.

In a large mixing bowl add the flour, sugar and salt. Stir together until combined. Rub in the soft butter/margarine to the dry mix. Once the butter is fully mixed in and there are no more lumps – add in the wet ingredients and mix to make the dough.

If your dough is impossibly sticky and not coming together, add additional flour just 1 tablespoon at a time.

Once the dough is made – cover it with a tea towel and put it somewhere dry to rise for at least an hour. Maria’s secret spot is in the airing/hot water cupboard. If you don’t have an airing cupboard then you could also leave it in a pre-heated warm oven (but make sure the warm oven is now turned off) and let it rise until it doubled in size. Depending how warm it is, could take 30 minutes to an hour.

After an hour, check the dough to see if it’s raised enough to proceed. To do this insert two fingers about a knuckle into the dough. If indentations remain once you remove your fingers, it’s ready to go. If not, it needs to rise longer until the indentations remain.

When the dough is ready to go, you can start to make the bread rolls. Put some breadcrumbs onto a flat plate (big enough to roll each bread roll through this).

Grab a handful of the dough – around the size of your palm and roll it out with a rolling pin. Once you have the ideal shape – roll it through the breadcrumbs, completely covering all sides. Place the roll onto a baking tray that has been lined with baking paper. With this recipe you should be able to make around 30 rolls. Make sure you leave at least an inch between the rolls.

Leave them to rise for another 10-15 mins.

While waiting, preheat the oven to 180°C

Bake the Pandesal for 15-20 minutes or until the sides are a bit brown.

Remove from the oven and serve while hot!

Maria’s hot tip: If eating it the next day try heating it in the microwave for 10 secs to make it warm and soft.


Different ways to eat Pandesal

On its own!

With a spread inside like chocolate or jam or butter

With noodles

With your coffee

With cream cheese

Or with deli

Basically, it’s great to eat with anything!!

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