Sourdough Pandesal

Recipe by Hannah Dela Cruz

This is not your ordinary breakfast bread! These soft rolls are fluffy on the inside and delightfully crusty on the outside, thanks to a breadcrumb coating. A breakfast staple in the Philippines, pandesal are  often enjoyed with rich fillings like sticky coconut jam or over-easy eggs. Our thanks to cookbook author and blogger Hannah Dela Cruz for sharing this sourdough version with us. She promises the mellow tang perfectly complements the pandesal’s slightly sweet flavor. 

30 mins
25 to 30 mins
21 hrs
12 rolls
Sourdough Pandesal - select to zoom
Sourdough Pandesal - select to zoom
Sourdough Pandesal - select to zoom


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  1. To make the dough: Weigh your flour; or measure it by gently spooning it into a cup, then sweeping off any excess.

  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the fed sourdough starter and water. Stir until the starter has fully dissolved.

  3. Add the flour, salt, sugar, and oil and knead, using the dough hook, to form a smooth dough. If kneading by hand, use a series of quick folds on a greased work surface. Whichever method you use, if the dough remains super-sticky allow it to rest for 1 hour, covered; then continue to knead until smooth. 

  4. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover it, and allow it to rise in a warm place (ideally 78°F) until doubled in size. Depending on how warm your environment and how active your starter, this may take from 4 to 8 hours.

  5. To assemble the pandesal: Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. (A quarter sheet pan works well here.) Place the breadcrumbs in a small bowl and set aside.  

  6. Once the dough has doubled in size, turn it out onto a clean, lightly floured work surface. Gently deflate the dough and pat it into an 8” x 10” rectangle. 

  7. Fold the two long edges toward the center, as if rolling up two logs of cinnamon roll dough. Repeatedly fold the dough over in about 1” intervals until both of the edges meet, then seal the seam with your fingertips.  

  8. Gently roll the dough into an 18” log.  Using a bench knife or sharp chef’s knife, divide the log into 12 pieces, each about 1 1/2” wide (about 54g).

  9. Coat each piece of dough in some of the breadcrumbs.

  10. Place the rolls cut-side up on the prepared pan. Cover the pan and allow the dough to rise at room temperature until it looks slightly puffy, about 1 to 2 hours.

  11. Transfer the pan to the refrigerator and allow the rolls to proof overnight. This overnight refrigeration not only helps develop flavor but allows you to bake the rolls first thing in the morning and enjoy them for breakfast.

  12. To bake the pandesal: Remove the rolls from the refrigerator and let them rest at room temperature, covered, while the oven preheats to 375°F.

  13. Bake the pandesal for 25 to 30 minutes, until golden brown. Remove them from the oven and allow them to cool slightly before serving.

  14. Storage information: Store any leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature for up to two days; freeze for longer storage.

Tips from our Bakers

  • Sourdough imparts a mellow tang that perfectly complements pandesal’s slightly sweet interior and is a nod to the rolls’ origins, when they were naturally leavened with coconut wine. The success of the rolls relies on a vigorous, active sourdough starter. If your starter’s been neglected, make sure to leave yourself enough time for a few feedings in order to get it up to snuff.

  • Looking for tips, techniques, and all kinds of great information about sourdough baking? Find what you need in our sourdough baking guide.