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Pinoy Pandesal and How to...

So i got an email from a friend. ... who asked me if i could help out with her baker, and just to make the conversation short, it is basically to critique their Pandesal and how to improve it sort of ish.

I agreed, what is one day right? So i asked her baker to show up at one of our sessions, i already had something in my mind on what to make him do, and also asked her to make him bring samples of their Pandesal.

So he showed up. Young fellow, very thin and well, not to be too blunt, and i do not know him from Adam so i cannot tell much about his character and so forth and so on. I think he is a decent baker, able to probably produce breads and pastries like he said he does. I asked for the Pandesal, i asked the usual questions, what's wrong with it, what is the formula etc., etc., etc.,

Now, i did not discuss this with my friend, not yet... because i doubt if she would understand me. Teaching breads in one day just don't cut it. But since i have no more time to teach this guy…
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Cakes and Cupcakes For Beginners

Baking cupcakes, muffins and then on to the bigger world of Chiffon Cakes and Sponge Cakes is every girl's dream. I would say most and not all because i have 2 sisters and both do not bake at all. Both would love to cook but i guess their careers come first so the cooking and baking part did not materialize.

For me, the picture of this lavish party food spread on Gulliver while he was tied up in Lilliput started it all. I can still remember the photo of the layered cake with pink icing and a red cherry on top, a huge roasted turkey or maybe chicken ( i was only 5 years old then) and lots of other goodies all on one page. It made me dream of a party like that. Made me think that someday i would create that pink and colorful cake one day. And so i did.

Do not ask what my favorite book then. Indeed, it is Gulliver's Travel, and i fell this sadness when Ondoy came and was not able to find my book again. If it weren't for this photo stuck in my brain, i never would have known…

Soft Buns, Hamburger and Hotdog, Pan de Lito Bonete etc.,

Soft buns are one of the best sellers when you have a bakery. I remember this bun or bread used way back when i was a child as a container for dirty ice cream in Baler. The soft bun is perfect for burgers and ham/cheese, tuna salad, chicken salad, and many other sweet and savory fillings.
The best thing about the bun is that it is soft and neutral. It is not sweet, but not too plain like a baguette. Getting the right proof is crucial. The photo below is from a bun brought by a special class student of mine, and this is what it looks like when opened. The crumb structure inside is too open (meaning it is overproofed) that's why there are holes inside. It could also mean that the dough was not shaped properly but judging from the open crumb structure, i say this has gone through more proofing.


My student bought this from a neighborhood bakery, notice how huge the bun is, but when there are holes inside when you open it.
These are the buns we make in class. The same dough is used to…

Artisan Bread Making At Home

When you're hungry and have no taste for anything else sweet and fatty inside the pantry, what does one reach for? Bread! At least that's what i can honestly say about moi. I would rather have a couple of slices of crusty Ciabatta with just olive oil, sea salt and pepper. That's it. I'm done. It is still calorie ridden, not a low calorie treat at all but i must say, something on the lower rung of the calorie diet buster snacks out there. You know, chips and cookies, ice cream and pasta. Them all.

When i stroll the food aisle at Walmart, i can only imagine why most Americans could hardly maintain their desirable lean weight with all the foods and boxed prepared meals prettily displayed in the shelves. I am simply speechless, and if i want to pig out, this is where i would definitely go. Sadly enough, the tv ads are so hard to resist. Every time i get asked to go to Walmart or groceries, i have to shop with one eye closed.

Anyway, bread should always be in the kitchen. I…

Cake Decorating Lessons

We are only on Day 2 so there is still 1 more session to go but i want to post these beautiful cupcakes because... I just have to. I woke up early today and had a good sleep so i am feeling refreshed once again. After my class yesterday, i fell asleep while watching tv for like 2 hours and woke up with this horrible pain in my legs and feet. Comes with the job of hovering around, standing up, running over to my students to check their flowers, checking their lunch, mixing the icing, adding sugar etc., etc.,

A day like this, if i can still manage the pain, i don't take The pill. I just look at it and ask myself, do i really need this, or maybe just not yet. If i pop it inside my mouth, that means i have to be awake up until 2 am, eyes wide open, maybe sipping tea and eating... so i decided to take just half just so i can sit and walk to get dinner. Go down the stairs and brush my teeth. Ha ha ha.

Anyway, i love to see Annie Cacho back in my class. She took breads with me and reunio…

How to Bake Pandesal with Corned Beef and Asado

Learn how to make the dough and the possibilities are endless. From one basic dough, you can create different breads both savory and sweet such as the ones shown below. You can use the dough to make Spanish bread, cheese bread, dinner rolls, fruit and nut, corned beef, asado, etc.,

One time my sister gave me some lechon from her husband's birthday party and i used this filling inside a Pandesal dough instead of the usual paksiw. Now, the cooking of the filling is not a problem, most of us know how to cook adobo and asado, or anything sauteed or ginisa.

It is the making or mixing of the dough that is problematic which is why most choose to take a lesson outside of their kitchen.

But once perfected, you can do anything with your dough.


So like i said, this is a Pandesal dough with corned beef and leftover Siopao Asado filling. Flatten the dough, (25 gram portion), place the filling at the center.

Fold to cover the filling and press the edges to seal.

Fold the sides and seal. Then dr…

Pandesal for the First Time, an OFW's story

So i understand why some students would be so so so excited to bake their very first perfect Pandesal.  Pero to bake two days after your Day 1 of the Pandesal class and not use an oven thermometer like i told you to is uhhhh, hmmm. Don't expect your Pandesal to turn out right, and as expected, it won't.

From my website, www.breadmakinglessons.comyou can already read my strict admonition to use an oven thermometer. Do not bake unless you have one inside your oven.

So, seriously i just found out that my student already bought a set of baking equipment, mixer, oven and all. He went home from Saudi, his sister didn't want him to go back, bought the set of bakery stuff and took a baking class. This is Day 4 when i found out his full story, and he tried baking every other day, every day since our session started.

Sus! Yun pala he did not have an oven thermometer in his oven and he had this from what, last year? He also attended a baking class which is getting popular these days,…

Baking Pandesal, Manual Kneading

So baking Pandesal is what everyone who wants to bake breads ask all the time. No one in the Philippines start out with wanting to learn how to bake Putok or Monay, or Soft Buns, maybe Ensamaida comes second but Pandesal is always the first one they ask.

Want to know how you can bake the best breads or Pandesal FAST? I mean fast not 1 week fast but at least not dragging 1 month fast or months and you still have not done a decent Pandesal.

Learn how to knead properly. What do you mean knead properly? Is there a technique into making kneading much easier and faster? Well, technically bakers will tell you there is only one way to knead, siempre by the hand or "mano mano". Pag masa ang tawag in Tagalog and i have to say there are, not just one but at least 4 ways to make the kneading faster and way more efficient.

For proprietary reasons, not to be stingy though, I show my students how. It is their choice whether to use them or not. Not all appreciate the finer points and benefi…