What comes to your mind when it’s snack time (meryenda) in the Philippines?
Honestly, my mind is loaded with lots of options for snacks. There's bananacue, turon, congee, pansit, puto, kutsinta, palitaw, lomi, spanish bread, pande coco, Jollibee 😁... I can go on all day. But one of my favourites is the Spanish bread.
Spanish Influence in Filipino Kitchen
As we all know, Spanish have great influence in Filipino kitchen. We probably know as well that bread is always present in Spanish table. It is basically part of their every meal. These breads also comes in different variety.
Pan basico is the traditional Spanish bread in Spain. It is made by mixing flour, sugar, warm water, active dry yeast, egg and salt. Then, baked in an oven. Out of this basic bread recipe, arise the Filipino version of Spanish bread. The delicious buttery and sweet filling made it a winner to every Filipino palate.
Proper Timing on Kneading
The technique and timing is essential in baking. I have learned this after so many tries and failures. But I am happy to say now, "Bring it On!". The kneading itself is something you need to pay attention. It does not only to mix the ingredients well but importantly, it add strength to the final product.
Flour has the glutenin and gliadin proteins. These proteins expand to make strands of gluten giving texture to the bread. That will happen on kneading. The process needs a good effort on pressing, stretching with the heel of the hand, folding over and doing it repeatedly until the dough become elastic and smooth.
Two things to remember, too much kneading will lead to tough and chewy bread while dough that is not kneaded enough will become a flat-looking, heavy and dense bread. That is why timing is essential too. I normally do the windowpane test. This is done by simply stretching a lump of dough. If it tears easily, then you need to knead more. If it stretches without tearing apart and it creates a windowpane, then you are good to go. Time to rest the dough and let it rise.
When it comes to proofing (also called proving), I trust my handy CleverChef especially on colder months. (Disclaimer: not a sponsored post, just really happy with this kitchen gadget) I just simply put the dough in, cover and set to "Bread Rise", adjust time to 1 hour and Voila! Dough is ready to cut and fill. As we all know, the effectiveness of proofing rely on the temperature and I choose the machine for steady and controlled 40° C. Otherwise, you can still do proofing the traditional way. That is, putting the dough in a bowl, cover with linen proofing cloth and setting it aside for an hour in a warm spot in your kitchen.
Spanish Bread Recipe
For the Dough
1 cup warm milk
1 medium egg
2 tablespoon butter, softened
2 teaspoon instant yeast
3 cups bread flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
For the Filling
1/2 cup All Purpose Flour (Plain Flour)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
For the Dough
- In a large bowl, mix warm milk, egg, butter and instant yeast. Then, gradually add the bread flour, sugar and salt. Mix everything until you get a thick dough. Note that I used instant / dried yeast in this recipe. So, no need to reactivate the yeast.
- Sprinkle flour on your clean counter top or board. Turn over your dough and start to knead until you achieve an elastic and smooth texture. This will take about 8-10 minutes.
- Then put the dough in a greased bowl, cover with tea towel and set aside in warm spot in the kitchen for 1 to 1.5 hours.
- Punch down the dough to release some gas bubbles formed during proofing. Cut the dough in 20 portions. Use a rolling pin to create a flatten oval shape dough. Then, spread 2 teaspoons of filling on each portion and roll it to form a log. After that, roll it over the tray of breadcrumbs. Finally, arranged in a greased or lined baking tray, cover loosely with cling film and do final proofing for 20-40 minutes.
- In a pre-heated oven, bake the Spanish Bread at 180° C for 15-20 minutes or until light golden brown. Serve while hot.
|Baking at 180° C|
- This Spanish Bread is best consumed within 3-4 days. Keep at room temperature.
For the Filling
- In a small bowl, combine all purpose flour, sugar and softened butter. You aim to create a thick paste like mixture. Set it aside. You might consider doing this few minutes before your final proofing ends.
|Spanish Bread Filling|
The sweet lovely aroma of Spanish Bread brings me back to Philippines; where I can easily buy delicious bread for snacks. However, being away from home, gives me the privilege to enjoy the art of baking. I got to say that I am one of the Filipinos who have brought Philippines in other countries through our delicious bread.
How about you? What is your favourite bread from our Filipino Panaderya (bakery)?