How to make: Pandesal (home baked, of course) |

How to make: Pandesal (home baked, of course)

I’m not so sure if the Philippines has a national bread but if it does, it would be pandesal. What is pandesal exactly? It is a small bun characterized by the coating of fine bread crumbs. Despite its name (pan de sal is Spanish for salt bread), pandesal is sweet. Next to rice, it’s everyone’s favorite breakfast. Speedy likes dunking his pandesal in his coffee, I cringe at the practice because I don’t like eating wet bread. Makes me feel like a fish because it reminds me of how we threw pieces of stale bread in the fish pond when we were kids.

For us who live in the Philippines, we have easy access to pandesal anytime of the day. Even in the dead of night, in fact, as there are bakeries that are open 24 hours a day. But for many Filipinos who grew up here but have immigrated elsewhere, the craving for pandesal is hard to satisfy because it is not a staple in bakeries abroad. The most logical solution, of course, is to bake pandesal at home. It’s a daunting project for many but, take it from someone who knew next to nothing about baking until a couple of years ago, it’s not that hard. As with anything else, it takes practice but pandesal is not something delicate like souffle so perfecting the art of pandesal baking can be more easily learned.

Recipe: Homemade pan de sal recipe


  • 1 c. of lukewarm water
  • 1 tsp. of instant dry yeast
  • 1 tsp. of salt
  • 1/4 c. of sugar
  • 1/4 c. of vegetable oil
  • 1-1/2 c. of all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 c. of bread flour
  • additional flour for dusting
  • additional vegetable oil for greasing the bowl
  • 1/4 c. of fine bread crumbs


  1. Prepare the dough following the instructions for the basic bread recipe.
  2. home baked pan de sal
  3. After the dough has risen, transfer to a lightly floured working surface. Roll into a log then cut into four equal pieces. This is for convenience and easier handling.
  4. home baked pan de sal
  5. Take one portion of dough and roll again into a log. Cut into six pieces. Do the same for the other three portions of the dough. You now have 24 pieces of dough.
  6. home baked pan de sal
  7. Roll each piece of dough in bread crumbs. Arrange on a baking tray at least an inch apart. Leave to rise for 30 to 45 minutes.
  8. About 10 minutes before the dough is done rising, preheat the oven to 325F.
  9. home baked pan de sal
  10. Bake the pandesal for 25 to 30 minutes or until nicely browned outside.
  11. home baked pan de sal
  12. The pandesal should be lightly crusty outside but soft inside. Serve warm. With butter or cheese. Or split and fill with all your favorite fillings.

Quick Notes

As an aside, I was experimenting with ham-making, the pork was supposed to sit in the brine for ten days but, the other night, there was nothing else to cook so I was obliged to bake it after brining for only four days. It still turned out great and you can see it in the first and last photos in this entry. I’ll post the recipe and photos for that baked pork next.

Preparation time: about 4 hours, including rising time

Cooking time: 30 minutes

Number of servings (yield): 24 pieces of pan de sal


  1. sheila says

    Thanks for sharing!!
    I have been looking for an easy tutorial on pandesal. Can this dough be used for … let’s say … spanish bread?

        • says

          hi ms connie! i had tried this yesterday, but i didn’t read the instructions properly (i mixed the salt and sugar with the flour)while the bread turned out okay there is still a hint of the yeast smell. could it be because of my mistake? or should have i baked the bread a bitlonger?
          in any case i would be trying it again and again to perfect it! :) thanks!

          • natzsm says

            Cheryl Esteban,
            A yeasty smell is usually an indication that you over proofed your dough. If your kitchen is warmer and more humid than usual. doubling of the dough could happen even in less than an hour.

            If you used instant yeast as opposed to active dry yeast, you could actually add the salt, sugar and yeast to the flour then add the liquid ingredients without any problems.

          • Clarisa says

            Hi ma’am! Can I substitute bread flour with all purpose flour? If yes, by how much? I can’t find bread flour in any store near my place. Thank you!

      • Shiela says

        can i prepare everything the night before, up to the cutting of the dough into pieces, then sa morning ko na lang i-bake sa oven.?

        • Connie says

          That’s how they do it in bakeries. If you don’t have ant problems, you can try that. :)

  2. lori says

    hi,thanks for the recipe try ko later,subukan mo po butter ang gmitin instead n oil at buttermilk masarp sya at pino .

  3. Libby says

    Miss Connie,

    Thank you for the recipe. I tried this right away. It didn’t look like the way your picture but my family liked them. I live in the cold part of the US. Would that make any difference on the dough? It didn’t double the size. Should I add more yeast?

    Again, Thank you


  4. peterb says

    Around 4 hours to complete. My challenge is to wake up early! Can this be started the night before? Also, can i omit the sugar? I’d like to make a sugar free version. Both my parents are diabetics. Thanks Connie! :)

      • Homediva says

        Re leaving it to rise overnight: how long can I leave it to rise overnight? won’t it “over-rise” and fall flat? Thanks in advance!

          • Lyra says

            I left my dough overnight then baked it the next morning, it still turned out the way as I expected. Thanks Ms. Connie! My husband and kids love my home baked pandesal.

  5. mark says

    I tried it and it turns out great I use wheat flour on the part of bread flour… thanks ms connie. happy new year………..