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Filipino Spanish Bread Recipe

Spanish Bread is a popular ‘merienda’ or afternoon snack in the Philippines. It has nothing to do with the Spanish bread of Spain (Pan de Horno) except maybe that they share the same form (rolled) but the Filipino version of Spanish bread has a sweet buttery filling in it!

Spanish bread has been on my list, like forever, but I made it a priority, now that two lovely ladies have been asking for it! This is for you Espie and Belle!
Learn how to make this delicious Filipino Spanish bread for your afternoon snack. | wordpress-152313-459899.cloudwaysapps.comMaking the bread itself was no biggie. I read a lot of different recipes for Spanish bread and they all have the same ingredient for the bread, which is similar to Pandesal, so I just used my own recipe for that. However, it took me four batches to finally get the filling right. That is, at least, my idea of what a Spanish bread filling should be. Sweet (but not overly sweet) and buttery with a bit of a texture to it and moist.

The first batch,I followed what most recipe online uses for a filling: simply mixing butter, sugar and bread crumbs together and spreading it to the dough before baking. I am not sure if it is the kind of breadcrumbs I used, because they turned out having a dry filling. Maybe it absorbed too much of the butter? But then how come most of it oozed out into the pan while baking, which seems to be a common problem with all the online recipes I found (say the comments).

The second batch was almost the same, only with different measurements plus it adds powdered milk to it. The taste was good though.

Learn how to make this delicious Filipino Spanish bread for your afternoon snack. | wordpress-152313-459899.cloudwaysapps.comThe third batch, I only used butter and brown sugar. I also smeared some butter on the center of the  dough before adding the filling mixture. The outcome…slightly moist filling(check) but there was no texture at all. Just a sticky syrup that also dries out when the Spanish breads get cold, like standing for some hours. I recommend this recipe if you are eating them immediately after baking.  

So after squeezing my brains out for some ideas, I decided to make an experiment. I cooked the filling!!! Yup, I cooked the filling before spreading it to the dough of my Spanish bread! It is an additional step you will not find in any of the other recipes online (believe me I read them all, or at least those I found).   But, for me, it was a necessary step to have a moist, textured, no-oozing-while-baking filling!

The filling was brownish, not yellowish like ones I see on bakeries back home. I reckon that is from using butter (and brown sugar) instead of margarine. I would try the margarine version next time and give you an update! 

Learn how to make this delicious Filipino Spanish bread for your afternoon snack. | wordpress-152313-459899.cloudwaysapps.com

5.0 from 11 reviews
Filipino Spanish Bread Recipe
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 16
 
Ingredients
  • FOR DOUGH:
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1½ tsp instant dry yeast
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ¾ cup milk
  • 3 Tbsp melted margarine or butter
  • 1 egg
  • FOR FILLING
  • ¼ cup butter
  • 2 teaspoon flour
  • ½ cup bread crumbs
  • ⅛ cup water or milk
  • ½ cup brown sugar /white sugar
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • butter for brushing
  • FOR BREADING:
  • 2 Tablespoon milk or water
  • ½ cup bread crumbs
Instructions
  1. In a big bowl, mix together flour and yeast. In smaller bowl, combine sugar, salt, milk and margarine or butter. Warm liquids in microwave for 1 minute on high power. Remove from microwave and add the egg and beat several times until well blended.
  2. Pour the liquid mixture over the flour mixture and fold until a dough forms. Knead the dough on a clean surface dusted with flour until it becomes smooth and elastic, about 5-10 minutes.
  3. Form the dough into a ball and place the dough in a grease bowl cover with kitchen towel or plastic wrap and place it in a warm area and let it rise until it doubled in size. Depending how warm it is, could take 30 minutes to an hour.
  4. Meanwhile, prepare the filling. In a saucepan over medium-low heat, melt butter. Add the flour and ¼ cup bread flour and mix well. Once it starts to boil, add water or milk, sugar, salt and rest of bread crumbs. Cook until it gets thick. Remove from heat and continue stirring until it forms paste-like texture.
  5. Punch down the dough and divide into 16 equal parts using a knife of dough slicer. Roll each piece in a long triangle (like a pizza slice). Brush the middle part with butter or margarine then spread filling on the surface leaving about a centimeter around the edges unfilled. Jelly-roll from the wider end towards the smaller end.
  6. Brush each rolled dough with milk or water then roll it on a plate of breadcrumbs and place on baking sheet lined with parchment paper: make sure that the end part sits at the bottom so it won't open up while baking. Cover with cloth or kitchen towel or fling wrap and let them rise for another 10-15 minutes. Remove cover before baking.
  7. Place the baking sheet at the middle rack and bake at 150°C for 20 minutes.
Notes
You may also use active dry yeast but it needs to be proofed first by dissolving it in lukewarm water or, in this case, in the milk with a tablespoon sugar (taken from the ingredients for dough)
Learn how to make this delicious Filipino Spanish bread for your afternoon snack. | wordpress-152313-459899.cloudwaysapps.com

Bebs

Bebs here! I love to cook and try new things and DIY projects! And although I think of myself as a homebody, I like seeing other places from time to time.
If you are looking for a recipe and it ain't here, make a request and I will try my best to make it for you!

This Post Has 54 Comments
  1. This recipe was awesome, thank you! My husband was craving Spanish bread, so he was quite happy. 🙂

    Questions:
    1. Where do you buy the bread crumbs in Manila? Haha no idea, so we made them without.
    2. If we wanted to make multiple batches for many people, could we prep the night before (or earlier) and freeze the dough? Or hope you can share which steps of the process we’d do as early prep and insert freezing somewhere. I hope there’s a way!

    We also added just cheese in some rolls, and in another batch, made mini cinnamon twirls. 🙂 Love!

    1. Hi Leslie,
      Happy to hear you like this recipe. To answer your questions:
      1. I see some in grocery stores (SM, Robinsons etc., just ask for breadcrumbs, but not the Panko (Japanese). You can also grind an old hardened pandesal using a food processor or blender.
      2. You can put the dough in the fridge (not freezer) after kneading overnight or up to 2 days. Place the ball-shaped dough in a big oiled bowl and cover the top with cling wrap. Just make sure you check it from time to time as it will still rise, albeit slowly. Just tap it down and cover again whenever it rises to the rim of the bowl.

  2. I just made this recipe. I used 4 egg yolks and it was awesome!!! Thank you for your time fixing the filling before you shared it to us :-).

  3. Hi. I wonder what will taste like if we add the powdered milk? Can you provide me the measurement if ever I want to add powderes milk in making the filling? Thank you.

    1. Hi Maria,
      I haven’t tried adding powdered milk to the filling so I cannot give you the measurements. Uf I am gonna try it I would start with 1/4 cup. But do remember that as you increase the dry ingredients for the filling, you may need to adjust your butter as well or it might end up too dry.

    1. Hi Gina, I used fresh milk for the dough but evaporated can also work, but you might need to add a bit water because it is usually thicker than fresh milk.

    1. Hi Cheng, sorry for the late reply, your comment was flagged as spam so I only saw it now. To answer your question, I haven’t tried using bread flour for this recipe and I think it would make the bread heavier and denser instead of light and fluffy which was my aim. Use your bread flour if you want to make a chewy bread like baguettes or something similar…

  4. Firat time to make and it’s sooo soft and ao good. Brings back Phil memories; partnered with iced cold softdrinks!

    How do I attached photo of finished product?

    Thanks, Bebs!

    1. Hi Maria, I usually do this bread manually, but if you want to use your stand mixer then go ahead. Just use the paddle attachment for mixing the ingredients for the dough at medium speed. Then change to the dough hook once the dough is formed and knead the dough until smooth and no longer tacky.

      1. I made this last night manualy and it did not rise. The dough was gnarly. I followed the instructions though but I still baked it and it was crispy from the outside and soft in the inside maybe because the dough did not rise. I will try it again. Its my first time baking breads.

        1. Hi Maria, it sounds like your dough is too dry. If this happens again, try adding water (a Tablespoon at a time). The dough should be just a bit sticky. Goodluck on your next try and I hope you are enjoying baking!

        2. Chia seeds…interesting! I am guessing you mean to add it to the filling, right? I haven’t done it myself so I cannot really say how the outcome would be. But I know chia seeds are flavorless so it should not affect the taste but maybe the texture. You can try adding it in some pieces of your next batch to test of course. Please do share how it goes…

  5. Your recipe is so yummy! i did this two times already 🙂

    I used bread flour instead of all purpose flour, loved the texture as they came out soft and chewy. On my first try, I weighed each roll at 46g then on my second try, i weighed each roll at 28g (because my bf requested for smaller pieces) and baked them for 10mins. I didn’t roll each piece in a long triangle anymore because i was in such a hurry, LOL. I just shaped them into balls then used a rolling pin to flatten them out. I just made sure that the end part sits at the bottom to prevent them from opening up (like you suggested). Oh, and the filling — perfect! I took photos but i don’t know how to post it here but yours look way better than mine:)

    Thank you so much!:) excited to try other recipes from your blog. (cheese bread — next!)

  6. i really love love love the recipe!!! i made it first time and my three kids love it. then second time i made it, my husband and son are in a hurry to eat even still hot. then third i got an order, 30pcs of it. then i made two batches today coz my family misses the taste of it.. thankfull for the recipe bebs, you are a big help since were staying in singapore and no pandesal or spanish bread.

  7. Thank you for this recipe! I’ve tried making this bread before, but I failed because of all the butter that oozed out. Anyway, I followed this recipe to the T, and it turned out perfect! My husband said it tasted better than store bought. Thank you for sharing this!!! Xoxo from Kansas

    1. Hi Esa, that’s great! I also had the same problem before about the oozing butter that’s why I tried solving it and came out with this recipe! Glad you and hubby also like it! ????

  8. Hi Bebs,
    So, the bread flour arrived on Friday and I baked these goodies last night for my breakfast this morning. They are ohhhhh ssoooooooo goooooddddd!
    As usual, I used my bread machine to do the dough. Then I rolled the dough into a round shape like of a pizza crust and then cut into 12 pieces. I filled 6 with your filling and the other 6 with cheddar cheese. OMG! Fantastic! Thank you so much for this recipe. I took pictures of them but i don’t know how to attach it here. I hopenyou see my tag in Instagram as I posted it there.

  9. Hi Bebs,
    I´ll try this recipe as soon as I get all the ingredients ready.
    Do you think this will work if instead of the filling you have in this recipe I use cheddar cheese? Cheese roll? I´ve got to try with both fillings and let you know how they come out.
    Thanks for this recipe and the ensaymada as well 🙂

    1. Hi Aileen, I think it should also work with cheese. We do have something similar and it is indeed called cheese roll. Will wait for your update 🙂

      1. Thanks, Bebs.

        There´s one recipe of Spanish bread I found on the web which uses Bread Flour. I researched and I came up with Mehl 812 (German equivalent), which you can´t buy from any supermarket. So I ordered it online. Then I found out, you only use all purpose flour! (geez!:().

        1½ tsp instant dry yeast is that the same quantity of a normal sachet of yeast in Germany?

        Update coming soon when the flour arrives 😀

        Thanks, Bebs and more power

        1. Hi Aileen, Bread flour would be fine but I think it would be just a bit denser and maybe chewier than using all-purpose flour. A normal sachet of instant dry yeast is like 7-9 grams which are about 2.45 to 3.15 teaspoon. .-) Will wait for your update about using bread flour! ????

  10. Hi Bebs,
    I just tried your recipe & I’m so proud of myself for making it to perfection the fact that this is my first attempt to do it ☺️ Thanks
    Glenda

  11. What kind of yeast do you use? Brand? Self rising? Etc… I have various attempts on making pandesal n looks like ive tried all brands and still no luck. I want to try to make your spanish bread version but, havinh doubys when I see that yeast is needed. Please help… thnx in advance.

    1. Hi Jerly, I use instant dry yeast and the brand does not matter because I’ve used several different brands with the same outcome. Instant dry yeast means it needs no pre-proofing. But any yeast, even the fresh one (as opposed to dry), should also work as long as you know if it needs to be proofed first (like active dry yeast) or not. It may also depend on where you live. If your area is generally cooler then sometimes it takes longer time for the dough to rise. A reader shared a tip in the comment section of my ensaymada recipe post that he applies when working with yeast dough. Hope it helps.

  12. I tried this recipe and my family loved it. Thanks for the posting this recipe. Will try the ensaymada next time. 🙂

  13. I have this problem also with all the Spanish recipe’s online, the filling is oozing all over the baking sheet 🙁 I will definitely try this one. Thank you, very smart idea!

  14. I just baked this and it brought me back to my childhood spanish rolls! Thanks for the recipe. I too had not-so-good attempts before with just the butter/sugar filling.

  15. In the 4 pargrapgh of the instructions it ask for bread flour. Did you mean bread crumps? Its for the filling

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