Monday, May 01, 2006

Comfort Food

Pan de Sal (literally means bread of salt) is a Filipino staple food and my most basic comfort food. All bakeries, big and small, carry them. They usually come in bite sizes (+/- 50g) , sold individually or by pack. High-end coffee/bakeshop Le Coeur de France carry them in 10s and are sold not so cheaply; in spite of them being my mom's most favorite, it's not my pan de sal of choice. It's taste is butter-y with a dark semi-crunchy crust and definitely not baked in an hearth oven--therefore, definitely not a pan de sal by tradition.
The hearth oven that is quite difficult to manipulate is what gives a good pan de sal its flavorful scent and taste that could not be partaken from any ingredient. If you're not sure as to how a hearth oven looks like, visit California Pizza Kitchen and see where they bake their pizzas, or better yet, Pan de Manila should give you a good view. The properties of a hearth oven is conducive to attaining a crackly crust and a soft fluffly interior in a bread. I have long wanted to have my own hearth oven, but that would be impossible for now, especially that I'm not willing to part with my kitchen wall just yet. SO, for me and for all of you out there, using a baking stone is the closest thing to achieving that hearth quality.
Now, THAT is my favorite pose. Pulling them apart revealed a creamy interior with an unbearably soft chew. I became ecstatic inhaling the deep hot scent that is pure hearth. The crust is minimal, lightly browned and oh so powdery with bread crumbs. I enjoy them best eaten alone, freshly baked and bought from the store. I use to make my own pan de sal, although they're tasty, it's not hearth bake, and if only because of that, it would never be good enough for me. Now, I become wiser and buy them instead in Pan de Manila, more so now, when branches seem to be sprouting everywhere.


Cris said...

hi there.... ure desserts are yummy..i wish i had a friend to cook for me those yummy cakes u do!

justdesserts said...

hi cris! thanks a lot for that! I WISH I have more friends like you to bake goodies for!

Cris said...

Well im a friend and i will delight with ur cakes at least virtually.. looking forward to see what will u bake next!