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 a part of the Filipino Bread series. This series aims to promote well-loved Filipino bread to everyone. Check out the other posts included in this series: #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).
Check out the other post(s) included in this series: #FilipinoBreadSeries.