Five Things I Learned from Pandesal

Pandesal("salt bread") is a popular yeast-raised bread and a breakfast staple in the Philippines. You can buy it in most of the bakeries and sometimes in rolling stores(usually bicycles with horn and styrofoam box to keep the bread warm) during daybreak.

Pandesal fresh from oven
Best eaten when it's steaming hot together with a cup of coffee, pandesal can be eaten alone or with your favourite filling - cheese, butter, jam or sandwich spread. My personal favourite is butter as it perfectly melt and absorbed by the bread.

During the Chinese New Year holidays here in Singapore, our discipleship group got a chance to learn and experience first hand how to make pandesal which we are all craving for.

1. Patience pays off
Patience is the first and most important ingredient when making pandesal. You'll require a lot of it when waiting for the dough to rise. While you can already imagine the oven-baked pandesal and the lasting scent of warm yeast in your kitchen, wait some more because it's going to be worth it.

2. Bakers are hardworking and dedicated people
Baking breads can be one of the most diligent profession as it demands hard work to knead the bread until the consistency becomes fine enough to pop it in the oven. Not to mention they need to wake up early in the morning, just to make sure the work is done and the breads are baked into perfection. Respect to all bakers and bread makers in the world.

3. Tough times will transform you
Without the pressing, mixing, slicing and the oven-baking which all means inconvenience and hardship to the dough mixture there wouldn't be a soft, tasty and hot pandesal. Oftentimes we are captivated by the success and greatness of a person, forgetting the difficult process he went through to achieve it.

4. Don't just bake for the sake of baking
While you can instantly buy anything now in the market including breads, there will never be a pastry equally delightful compared to the ones you made yourself, because these are baked with love. And every time you learn a new recipe, you gather indescribable pleasure in sharing them with your friends (who  by the way gladly makes themselves available to taste your cooking, haha what are friends for).

5. Every good thing comes to an end
These freshly baked babies which we waited for one hour for the dough to rise, knead and mix like a professional masseur, sliced and wait for another 15 minutes to rise and baked for 15 minutes were all consumed in no time after serving in the table. But may this last statement not discourage you instead inspire you to appreciate whatever you have while you have them.


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