|Place of origin||Philippines|
|Main ingredient(s)||Flour, eggs, yeast, sugar, salt|
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Pandesal is the most popular yeast-raised bread in the Philippines. Individual loaves are shaped like garrison caps due to its unique method of forming. The dough is rolled into long logs (bastón) which are rolled in fine bread crumbs. These are then cut into portions with a dull dough cutter, are allowed to rise on sheet pans and baked.
Its taste and texture closely resemble those of the Puerto Rican bread pan de agua and Mexican bolillos. These breads all use a lean type of dough and follow similar techniques learnt from Spaniards or Spanish-trained bakers early in their history. As with most commercially-produced food items, pan de sal vary in quality to meet the taste requirements and economic standards of various communities.
As indicated by the Spanish origins of its name, pandesal was introduced in the Philippines in the 16th century. Pandesal originally started out as a plain roll, traditionally served for breakfast and accompanied by butter, cheese, scrambled eggs or filled omelettes, sausages, bacon, Spanish sardines, jams, jellies and marmalade, coffee, tea or hot chocolate. Originally, pandesal was similar to the French baguette as the only ingredients needed were hard wheat flour, water, yeast and salt. Later on, the quality of available wheat flour could no longer produce the ideal crusty exterior and chewy interior, and thus pandesal gradually became sweeter and richer. The remaining commonality between the earlier lean pandesal and the modern version is the coating of bread crumbs, giving its identifying flavour.
Pandesal can be made from any type of dough and still resemble pandesal as long as the dough is rolled in fine breadcrumbs before baking. The softness of the newer type of pandesal—which consumers unaware of the proper texture now find desirable—is due to a weak dough structure derived from inferior quality flour.