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First Trial Pandesal

This is an email from Jorge Garcia, he just downloaded a copy of the ebook last week and he already made his first pandesal. To you Jorge, wait till you try the other breads, i recommend the monay which is my all time personal favorite indulgence, meaning, when i want to pig out and stuff breads in my mouth with just plain coffee while i watch tv. No palaman just plain monay. After reading the ebook for 3 times, you will be able to learn more of the techniques and procedures. I am happy for you.

Hi Sher,

OMG, almost perfect on the first try !  Thank you!

I read your ebooks (twice) over the long weekend and tried to absorb as much as I can.  Although I  encountered some of the concepts in my research your ebooks were amazingly informative.  

I read about the idea of poolish and biga before but was not paying attention to them because all the recipes I found for pandesal did not use them.  When you advised that I make a sponge overnight and mentioned the term "levadura" I assumed that is the Spanish version of poolish and biga.  

So when I was getting ready to make my first batch, I was wondering which to try first, poolish or biga.  Your examples in part 4 of the ebooks is more poolish that biga.  However, there is recipe for insaimada on the Market Manila website (I saw it after I googled "levadura") that is using a "lavadora" which is more biga than poolish.  In the end I decided to use a poolish because of your examples and because when I look at the map of the world, Spain is next door to poolish France and much farther from biga Italy.  haha.

I decided to use 40% of the base flour for the poolish using 100% hydration (hey I can converse like a baker now).    I also followed your suggested percentages of the other ingredients (salt, sugar, shortening, yeast).  The recipe I used as the basis is the pandesal one I have been tweaking for almost a year but could not get right.  I was aiming for 55% hydration, but the dough looked wet before I used up all the water so I stopped and ended up at 50%.  I also want to mention that over the years that I have been baking dinner rolls (and sometimes loaf bread),  I was not kneading the dough but was using the technique of stretch and fold.  I am very familiar with that method already so I used it in this pandesal too.

Here is the recipe on my first try:

base flour 250 grams

poolish (40% of base):
bread flour 100g
water         100g  (100%) 
yeast          .75g   (.5%)

main dough:
bread flour  150g (60% of 250g)
water           37.5g (55% of 250g is 137.5g of which 100g was used in the poolish)
yeast           4.5g (.5%)
sugar           30g (12%)
shortening   17.5 (7%)
salt               4.5g (1.8%)

What I did:

Mixed the poolish in a mixing bowl using a rubber spatula.
Fermented it for 12 hours.

Added all the ingredients for the main dough except the water.
Mixed everything with a rubber spatula.
Slowly mixed in the the water till it looked very wet and I stopped at 50% hydration.

I covered the dough and let it rest for 30 minutes.
I stretch and fold the dough.

Repeated the 30 minute rest then stretch and fold 2 more times.

Let dough rest final 30 minutes.

Made a baston, sprinkled with breadcrumbs, rest the baston 5 minutes.
Cut the baston into 12 pieces using the singkit method.
Dredged the cut sides of the pieces in breadcrumbs.
Arranged them on a silpat.
Proofed 1 hour.

15 minutes before the end of proofing, place a stone bar pan in oven
and set the oven to 375f.
Transferred the silpat and pandesal to the stoneware and baked in 375f oven fro 19 minutes.
Transferred to cooling rack.

Almost perfect.
I think the dough is a little bit dry so next time I will use all the water.

I made the baston a little too thin so the pandesal is also kind of thin and tall.

I think i did not wait for the doubling in size and I cooked them prematurely so they looked smallish.

I planned to cook them for 15 minutes but after 15 minutes they looked raw still so I let them cooked for an additional 4 minutes at which time I took them out afraid that they may dry out.   However, they are still a little uncooked.  I think my oven might be colder than what it says.  I will install a thermometer inside next time.

However, the pandesal were still quite good, the crumb is soft and most of all the crust has the crispiness I was looking for!!!  Sweet !

I attached some pictures.  Sorry I had to eat 7 pieces before I can stop myself to take the pictures :).

Thanks so much Sher,

Jorge Jorge's pandesal, great looking and for his first trial, i am impressed, way to go Jorge!!! Thank you for buying the ebook and trusting me.


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