Welcome to the second part of this series on Filipino Breads. Today, I’m going to share with you how to make Filipino “Spanish” Bread. Yup, you read the name right. This is one of the more popular and common breads in the neighborhood bakeries in the Philippines. Filipino Spanish Bread? Whoa, are we missing a trick here? How can a bread be called “Spanish” but still be 100% Filipino?
This post is part of the series on Filipino breads which aims to promote well-loved Filipino breads to Filipinos and non-Filipinos alike. Check out the other posts that are included in this series under the hashtag #FilipinoBreadSeries.
It’s no secret that Spain had influenced the Philippines in so many ways. Three centuries of Spanish rule had left an indelible mark on Filipino culture. One area that had definitely benefited from Spanish influence is food, which accounts for why some Filipino dishes look more similar to European dishes than to their Asian counterparts.
But what does three centuries of Spanish colonization have to do with Filipino Spanish Bread? Well, absolutely nothing! Sorry to string you along but all my Googling came up with zilch to tie this bread to Spain! Let’s just put it down to our ancestors’ quirkiness in naming food.
Spanish Bread is easily identifiable by its shape. This sweet bread is rolled and is often smothered with breadcrumbs. Its filling is made of (surprise, surprise) butter, sugar, and more breadcrumbs. There are several ways to achieve the distinctive shape. One option is to cut the dough into smaller pieces and then to shape them into ovals. Starting from the bottom, you then roll the dough diagonally.
I wanted to do something different with my version. I’ve always been fascinated with croissants and crescent rolls so I decided to shape my Spanish Bread in a similar fashion. I started by dividing the dough into three. I rolled each portion until I had a 12″ circle, which I then divided into 12.
In hindsight, I could have just divided the circle into 8 but I was happy with the end product. The first batch that I made were too big and puffed up too much in the oven.
And I just remembered a much easier way to shape the bread. Instead of rolling into a circle, you can roll the dough into a rectangle and divide it into 4 squares. You can then cut each square diagonally to end up with 2 triangles.
They were perfect for dunking in coffee.
Whoops, I dropped a piece completely.
It’s fine. I had more. 33 more to be exact. I quickly transferred another one to my plate. No one will know I took an extra piece (except you guys of course).
Spanish Bread is lightly sweetened and filled with a butter and sugar filling. The dough is rolled and smothered in bread crumbs.
240 ml milk
2 eggs, large
540 grams (4 1/2 cups) all purpose flour
110 grams (1/2 cup) sugar
35 grams (1/4 cup) milk powder, optional
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons instant yeast
57 grams (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened
For the filling:
113 (1/2 cup) grams unsalted butter, softened
56 grams (1/2 cup) bread crumbs
110 grams (1/2 cup) sugar
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
- Combine milk and eggs in a bowl.
- Mix in flour, sugar, milk powder, salt, and yeast. Knead until the dough is beginning to come together. Add the butter in batches while continuing to knead the dough.
- Knead until dough is soft and elastic (until windowpane stage). Form into a ball and transfer to an oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let it rest for 1-2 hours or until the dough has doubled in size.
- For the filling: Cream butter, sugar, bread crumbs, and cinnamon (if using) together.
- Transfer the dough onto a well floured surface. Punch down the dough to slightly deflate.
- Forming the Spanish Bread: There are 3 ways to shape the dough:
Divide the dough into 3 portions. Roll each portion to form a circle. Divide into 12. Spread enough filling on each piece. Starting from outer edge of the circle, roll each piece inwards. Roll each piece in bread crumbs and place onto a baking sheet.
Divide the dough into 36 equal pieces. Shape each piece into a ball. Flatten each piece and spread filling on top. Starting from the bottom right side, roll diagonally upwards. and roll it in bread crumbs.Roll each piece in bread crumbs and place onto a baking sheet.
Roll the dough to form a rectangle.Divide the rectangle into 18. Divide each square into 2 triangles. Spread filling on each triangle. Starting from the longest side, roll each triangle. Roll each piece in bread crumbs and place onto a baking sheet.
- Cover the shaped dough and rest for 15-30 minutes hour or until the dough has puffed a bit. Preheat the oven to 350F/180C.
- Bake the Spanish Bread for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown.
Check out the other post(s) included in this series: #FilipinoBreadSeries.