Ivy's Pandesal

by Destini

I woke up with a huge craving for bread.... fresh bread. Straight out of the oven, hot and soft. But alas, I've never made bread before.... so I took the plunge and decided to try Pandesal - a sweet philipino bread. And of course, inspired by the sugar buns by Giovane. It wouldn't be an Ivy cooking experience if I stuck to the recipe.. so I had to deviate a little from the recipe and add a sweet twist... cinnamon sugar.

2 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
2/3 cup white sugar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons salt
6 cups all-purpose flour - I used bread flour.
1 egg
cinnamon sugar

I mixed some warm tap water in a small mixing bowl and add the yeast and 1 tablespoon of the sugar; stir to dissolve. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the remaining sugar and the oil and mix until smooth. Add the salt, 1 cup of flour and the yeast mixture; stir well. Add the remaining 5 cups flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Now the original recipe calls for half the sugar and salt, but countless reviewers said it lacked in this department and highly recommended adding more sugar and salt. I followed their directions and have no regrets.
Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth, supple and elastic; about 10 minutes. Lightly oil a large mixing bowl, place the dough in it and turn to coat the dough with oil.

Cover with a damp towel or plastic wrap and let sit in a warm place until the dough has doubled in volume; about 1 hour. Our house is cold so I heated the oven to the lowest setting, then placed a damp tea towel under the metal mixing bowl, and another covering it, and let it rise in the oven. Don't be impatient. It really does take atleast 1 hour. It does not rise as quick as cinnamon buns or pizza dough.

Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface. The dough is warm and soft like baby skin and feels great! Forming each piece a log with 2 inches in diameter. Using a knife or string, I cut the 1 inch sections, rounding them lightly in my hands before placing them on the cookie sheet. Pretty sure this isn't how you are SUPPOSED to do it but the end results were good looking so I'll likely do it again.
I recommend laying them in a pattern so that the finish product looks more professional. I left only .5 inches between each dough ball with the hope they'd crowd each other a bit. I would recommend letting them be even closer  for more squishiness. Crack open an egg and beat it with a brush and give them a quick egg wash before you bake. A required step imho tho it too is not included in the original recipe.
Sprinkle with Cinnamon sugar.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
Cover the rolls with a damp cloth and let rise until doubled in volume, about 30 minutes.
Bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) until golden brown, about 20 minutes.
Voila! As they came out of the oven they were sweet hot yummy goodness. AMAZING with a cup of tea.

The 9 are covered in cinnamon sugar with a hint of vanilla paste from Maison Cote. Delicious but not neccessary as the buns were AMAZING even without the sugar. the 6 on the top right are just plain without cinnamon sugar, and were really great with honey ham and cheese. The buns had a soft fluffy brioche like quality. An easy recipe but very time consuming. 24 hours later, all buns are missing in action.