Pandesal Reinvented

One of my childhood favorites. 🙂

If you are searching for an authentic pandesal recipe, this is not it.  But if you want delicious bread rolls that are high in protein, you found it.  These, precious, are made with quinoa.   It’s a classic, favorite recipe that gotten a makeover.


I went to the store and browsed in the flour section.  I was trying to buy a bag of rice flour for my rice cake recipe.  While browsing, something caught my eye.  “It couldn’t be” I argued with myself.  I put my eyeglasses on to make sure I wasn’t seeing things.  Well, it was what I thought it was.  Quinoa flour!!! You have no idea how happy I was.  I could hardly contained myself.  I wanted to jump and  I had a big smile on my face.  This is me when I am elated.  My mind was racing.  I knew exactly what to use the flour for.  I immediately thought of making one of my childhood favorites, Pandesal and try to give it a make over.  I am sure the health conscious won’t mind having them because they’re made with healthier carbohydrates.  I wanted to race home so I could start baking, but I still had to do some grocery shopping.

Speaking of quinoa, I have read about it and have been blogging about it, but mentioned very little about the health benefits of this super carbohydrates.  An awesome co-blogger and my rice and pesto soul sister, Shanna of Curls and Carrots reminded me about it when she posted a link of another blogger who talked about the benefits of quinoa.  I had to go back and browse through my published posts to find out if I mentioned more about it or not.  Well, sad to say, I did not.  I know shame on me.  😦  But that’s okay because someone else did and you can read more about it here.

Growing up, I would be awakened early morning by someone bellowing through the neighborhood, “pandesal!  Hot pandesal!”  I’m talking about in the wee hours.  However, as a child, there was nothing more exciting than to hear someone bellowed those words, especially on a Saturday.  Why? Because I knew I was in for a treat. 🙂

The authentic pandesal is out of this world.  It was one of those recipes you want to keep and serve to your family for generations to come.  They were that delicious and addicting.  They were always sold warm.  It’s like someone brought the oven to you and all you have to do is take them out and eat them.  🙂  They were that fresh.  They would put them in  brown paper bags with 20 and 50 pieces of pandesal each bags for a reasonable price.  The part that made them so delicious and fun to eat?  Well, before I say anything, I must warn you.  You might find it offensive and probably unappetizing to some people.  Don’t say I didn’t warn you:  Dipping the pandesal in a glass of hot milk!   For a child, there was nothing more delicious in the world than dipping a pandesal in hot milk.  Remember the commercials for Oreo cookies?   Yes, it’s that fun and delicious.  It’s precious and nostalgic sharing them with your loved ones, especially with grandpa or grandma or the entire family.  This reminds me the other thing I miss about my childhood is how the entire family would eat together at the same time like the Italians do.  All gathered around the table and shared stories and chatted about what everyone was up to.  I remember my mother would tell her life stories on how she met my father and how she survived World War II.  She would crawl and hide under the roots of a big tree to avoid being hit by the bullets.  She would stay there for a day or two without any food or water and would only come out until she felt safe.   Imagine how she lived her life at such times.  She couldn’t fathom how she survived, but thank God she did and that is all that matters.

Anyway, besides dipping the pandesal in hot milk, my mother would also make breakfast sandwiches.  As soon as she gave me (or whoever was awake at that time) the money to purchase the pandesal, she would start boiling some water for the hot milk (milk was in powdered form back then) and cooked scrambled eggs.   She would cut the pandesal in half and stuffed them with  the cooked scrambled eggs then topped with ketchup for extra flavor.  It was the most satisfying breakfast I’ve ever had growing up.  This is how the egg breakfast sandwich with melted cheese and ketchup came about and made it to our breakfast list served only during less hectic days.  My husband would sometimes take it with him when he didn’t have enough time to eat breakfast at home.


  • 1-1/2 cup quinoa flour
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 cup bread flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 egg
  • 6 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup condensed milk
  • 1 cup low-fat evaporated milk, warm
  • 1/4 cup fresh milk, warm
  • 1 pouch active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • half of one sleeve of Ritz crackers
  • about 1/2 cup Parmesan Romano croutons


  • In a small sauce pan, heat the evaporated and fresh milk until the temperature  reaches to 100 degrees Fahrenheit.  You can use a candy thermometer to measure the heat.  Add the yeast and sugar.  Mix until the sugar is dissolved.  Let stand for 10 to 15 minutes.  The yeast mixture is ready when it bubbles up.
  • In a food processor or a blender, add Ritz crackers and Parmesan Romano croutons.  Pulse until you get the bread crumbs consistency you preferred.  Transfer into a medium bowl and set aside.
  • On a large bowl, combine  the first five ingredients.  Whisk to mix until well combined.  Set aside.  On a separate medium bowl, scrambled the egg.  Add the melted butter and condensed milk.  Whisk to mix until well combined.
  • In a stand mixer with the hook attachment,  add  half of the flour mixture, the egg mixture and half of the and yeast mixture.  Beat in slow speed just until combined.  Add the remaining flour mixture and yeast mixture and beat in low speed until just combined stopping and scraping the sides as needed.  Continue to beat until you have a smooth dough.
  • Sprinkle a clean surface with flour.   Remove the dough from the bowl and knead on the surface with flour. Form a ball and place it in a bowl brushed with oil.
  • Cover the bowl with damped cloth.   Let stand for an hour until the dough doubled in size.  I put mine in the oven with the door partly open to let the heat from the light helped the dough rise more rapidly (I learned this technique from my sister Elsa).
  • Remove from the bowl and knead again for about 30 seconds.  Using a dough cutter, cut the dough three to four ways.  Roll one of the cut doughs and shape it like a cylinder.   Cut diagonally to sizes you preferred.

Dip the cut pandesal in the bread crumbs and place in the baking tray lined with parchment paper with the cut side facing up.  Let stand for additional 10-15 minutes.   Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.


Bake for 12 to 15 minutes*.  Let cool before you try one (although I didn’t :)).  Serve with a glass of hot cocoa, milk, latte, tea or coffee.


  • Due to variations on all ovens, baking time may require adjustments.
  • Remember quinoa is gluten-free, so the texture of the rolls is different than the rolls with gluten.

If you like this recipe or my blog, don’t forget to Subscribe or Follow to get the latest recipes.   There are more original recipes coming your way.  However, please be kind and link back to source when you use or share any of my recipes.  Thank you for stopping by.  Until next time.  Have a fantastic weekend!



44 thoughts on “Pandesal Reinvented

  1. Anna, this is one of the the most fabulous blog posts I’ve ever read. I cannot wait to make your recipe and bring a bit of the Philippines to New Mexico. Your mom sounds like an amazing woman and caretaker – and a true hero and survivor. Have you recorded her stories of WWII?

    Your childhood memories are so beautiful, colorful and vivid – and the pandesal sounds and looks so soft, warm, comforting and DELICIOUS. Your food memories make this recipe come to life.

    I am so impressed that you’ve re-invented a beloved dish to make it both healthier and gluten-free. Quinoa is such an amazing food and your score of quinoa flour is awesome – I am constantly amazed by the versatility and abundance of the American marketplace.

    Nice work, Anna. A new blog post from you is like Christmas morning. Well, Hanukkah nights, since I’m Jewish – haha. Loved the photos, recipes and writing, Pesto ‘n Rice Soul ‘Sista!

    • Thank you kindly for your warm, heartfelt comment, Shanna. You know, it means a great deal when someone recognizes your potential. If you ever want to introduce “Philippines” to New Mexico, I would recommend you try out the authentic Pandesal and one of my creations soon to be published. Only then, you get to really experience Philippines. Yes, my mother is a strong, most gracious woman just like my grandmother. Her love for her children is admirable and inspirational. She did raise six children and did it with great love and care. I am truly blessed for having such a mother.
      As far as I know, Philippines is not known for documenting WW II survivors.

      Yes, quinoa is such versatile food. I am in love with it because I can now use the flour to bake goods for my children to enjoy. I stopped serving rice and introduced quinoa to them. I mix the quinoa with couscous sometimes because my son, Justin loves the combination, especially if I cook it with garlic and herbs. So thankful that I finally found something healthier than rice to serve to my family.

      Thanks for taking the time to leave such heartfelt comments and for your frequent visits to my blog, Pesto ‘n Rice Soul Sista! 🙂 I hope you had a spooky Halloween.

      • Quinoa and cous cous – what a neat combination. I love quinoa. I hope you don’t totally stop serving rice – it is so lovely on a special occasion.

        Made pesto pasta last night and totally thought of my pesto n’ rice soul sista. 🙂

        Your mom sounds quite amazing. You may consider taking time to write down her story – and even submit it for publishing. She is a hero as a mother – and also as a person who survived war.

        Have a great day. xx

      • Oh, I may not serve rice to my family, but believe me a Filipino party is not a party unless you serve rice he he he…
        Oh, my, pesto pasta. My hubby’s fave pasta flavor. Sounds delicious.
        I am a woman of few words, so writing a book would be quite a challenge…and very tempting. 🙂
        Many thanks for your continued support. Your frequent visits, compliments, and sincere comments mean so much. You have a great day as well pesto ‘n rice soul sista. 😉

      • A woman of few words. I have too many words. HMMM. Maybe a Jewish-American-Hawain-Fusion Cookbook is in our future? We could tag-team it. hehe.

        I LOVE PESTO PASTA. Totally overdid it last night. Sigh. It is one of my weaknesses. Then I ate chocolate with lunch.

        You only live once!

        Love your work. Keep it up.

        xx – your PNRSS!

      • he he he I wouldn’t mind it at all. It would be great! Oh, you are not the only one. Carbohydrates are my weakness too and if you combine them with your favorite sauce, good heavens help me he he..

      • LOL. We are PRSS. 🙂 LOVE it.

        I only live once…. and I won’t live without carbs and “sauces.” Particularly of the herbaceous variety Hehe. Even if they must be minimized as my old lady metabolism slows.

        You, on the other hand, look vibrant and the picture of salubrity 🙂

      • I must have inherited it from my mother. My mother always looked younger than her age until recently. It’s a long story, but I think exercise and eating right also contributed to it. However, I haven’t been getting enough sleep the past year and I haven’t been exercising as much as before. I noticed it really does affect our body. 😦

      • Hi, Anna. I wish you the following for the new year: walking daily, the best nutrition you can muster and as much sleep as you need. You look great from your photos. To your health and well-being! And a bit of rice and pesto – so we can still be P.R.S.S. xx Shanna

      • Shanna,that is so kind of you. Thank you so much. I used to be very active and lived a healthy lifestyle before I met my husband. When we moved from the Aloha state to the Windy city, I had a difficult time adjusting with the cold weather and super hot & humid summer. In addition, there wasn’t any fitness facility nearby. Plus, my work schedule was crazy. Early day out, in at night type of work schedule. Then we moved again and again. My health took a dramatic turned afterwards. So it was an exhausting adjustment period. I dislike moving since then. I don’t think I’ll ever give up pesto. I will surely eat rice from time to time, but not all the time anymore. Don’t worry, we still be P.R.S.S. 🙂 Have a peaceful Veterans Day. 🙂

      • Hi, Anna. I understand what it is like to move a lot (that has been our M.O. the last decade), as well as the difficulty adjusting to cold and windy weather after living in a sunny and warm climate. As well – I wish you and your family a wonderful Veteran’s Day. Thank you to your husband, you and your family for your service! 🙂 I love hearing from you; have a relaxing Sunday! – Your PRSS!

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