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Rolling A Log or Baston

For bread making beginners, other than the fact that the mixing part is the hardest, this task below is the second most challenging part. If you have been baking cookies and cakes, etc., this one takes you to another level. One that separates the novice from the master and more experienced ones. 
The only thing i can advise is that you practice, practice, practice. Nothing else.

First thing you do is to figure out how to make the log smooth and even. Not easy unless you have someone telling you exactly how to make that happen. Once you learn how to do that, you roll the log to tighten the edges, sealing it at the same time. Pro bakers can do this in a wink, do not be frrrrrustrated (i was before) if it is not working out the first 4 times, as long as you get to practice.

The breadcrumbs help the seal to stay put, make sure you pinch well or it will unravel during cutting, proofing and baking.

Then you cut as evenly as possible. Remember, Pandesal is not weighed but sold per piece so make sure they are even. The cuts you see here are more open only because the water % of the dough is quite high compared to the ones you normally see but they will still bake fine.

See? The cuts are now wider but the good thing is that the dough is not flat or they did not spread out. Using too much water makes the cut pieces flatter and wider like flatbreads.

Baked and still rounded. Sometimes the dough flattens out and spreads during baking if you cut it too thin and the seal on the edges unravel, or if the breadcrumbs are insufficient, proofing too long or if you just did not properly rolled it even. No weighing here, i just eyeballed the cuts which Pinoy bakers do. 

Doing the baston style cuts down the make - up stage from 30 minutes to just 5 but it takes practice to make it right.
Give yourself 5-10 times, do not fret as long as the dough is properly made, you can still eat it even the pieces are uneven. The only caution is that they need to be of equal sizes. Small pieces will burn or darken and harden faster than the large pieces.

For those inquiring, i may be in Manila back again around September. We are wrecking down the house and the area where i bake probably by February or early March so i have to go home and stash my tools and gadgets, my beloved oven and mixers etc., My next class will be after the house and my baking school are finished, same address because i do not want to relocate. I hate to lose the people around who help me like Manang and Anita, the 15 minute bakery supplier, the driver etc., :):):)


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