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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…
Recent posts

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…

Dealing with Flour, My March session

Below is a photo of my Tercera or Third Class flour that i sifted, and you can see the tiny maggots in. I could the flour and the weevils with it but this is just to show you what the temperature does to your flour. Some say you can still use it, some say throw it away. You either belong to one side for sure but what exactly do you really do?
If my flour has a real weevil, they look black like over fed ants, and if they are really one whole barangay in number, then i throw the flour. If that ever happens to me, which is very rare because i always ran out of flour here and in New York. 
Smell the flour. If it smells foul and rancid, then by all means there is no way you can use that flour. 

Now since there are no weevils, i smelled the flour and it smells like flour so yes, you can still use this one. The next step is to..... clean the container and do not i repeat, make the mistake of saying oh well, there is no more flour inside, blah blah blah.  The container will have residual flo…

January Hands on Special Class

Here are some of the photos from my January special one on one class. Tonette inherited a bakery and has been the purchasing officer for her Aunt for some time but decides to learn the trade herself. She missed my group class so she is taking the one on one session with me.

I love the enthusiasm and the interest, the hard work she put in during the class and her determination to succeed. My only advice to beginning students out there and this is what i tell my students all the time. You cannot force the baker out of you in two days, not in 4 days, or even a month. It's a lot of hard work, patience, understanding, calculating, more patience and TIMING. Not every student will learn the same way, same time, same manner. You cannot put a clock into coaxing the baker out of you.

If you will expect to perfect your pandesal just because you took a crash course in 4 days, then you will be setting yourself to more frustrations. It may have taken 1 sack of flour before i was able to write d…