Pandesal 1

I made it, I actually made it. I made my very own pandesal, this sweet smelling, light and crusty, golden brown “Bread of Salt”.

There’s really nothing like freshly baked, hand rolled pandesal. The feel of the heavy dough taking shape under my hand, as I kneaded it, the elation I felt watching it grow right before my eyes and the joy of cutting, shaping and dusting each roll with bread crumbs and finally laying them down on a tray, and ready for the oven.

While waiting for the pandesal to cook, the smell of baking bread wafting thru the air, I recall, when I was small, walking to our neighborhood bakery, Lunar’s, to buy pandesal for breakfast.

Dad would split his pandesal in half, spread rich creamy butter on each side, put them back together and dunk it in hot coffee. I would watch the pandesal soak up the coffee, the coffee melting the butter, the butter mixing with his coffee and the entire thing would end up in his mouth and he would smile, savoring the medley of flavor in his mouth.

Mom would tear up her pandesal into bite size pieces, throw them into her bowl of warm milk and wait till the pandesal soaks up the milk and voila, mom’s version of gruel.

I, on the other hand, would split my pandesal in half, spread each side with mayonnaise and place mayo side down on an oil-less skillet till golden brown. The smell of caramelizing mayo, being absorbed by the pandesal, was truly mouth watering. This creation of mine I would down with a cold glass of milk.

And that was breakfast.

As I took the freshly baked pandesal out of the oven, I was amazed at how science and nature, together, created from a heavy lump of dough, this light, crusty, golden brown pandesal and I made it.

Jo Uygongco
July 17, 2006

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