Vegan Pandesal (Filipino Bread Rolls)

April 12, 2019

Appetizers and Sides

By: Jasmine Briones 

A Filipino classic-made vegan! These soft, fluffy, and sweet bread rolls are great for a snack or meal, any time of day. They can be enjoyed on their own or with sweet and savory fillings.

Vegan filipino pandesal bread rolls stacked by Sweet Simple Vegan

Many of you have requested that I share more vegan Filipino recipes from my childhood, and today I am making that happen! Pandesal is a classic Filipino bread roll that I knew I needed to veganize.

I remember when we used to pick up fresh pandesal at Filipino bakeries on the weekend and enjoy them as a family, so I’m excited that I can now do that again when my family visits us here in Washington, but all vegan, of course.

Vegan filipino pandesal bread rolls in a glass pan by Sweet Simple Vegan

Pandesal (or pan de sal) is a famous yeast-raised bread in the Philippines and is something that always reminds me of my childhood. Pandesal is to the Phillippines as croissants are to France or focaccia is to Italy. It is THE bread of the Philippines. Although its name in Spanish technically translates to salt bread, pandesal is not a salty bread, but it is more on the sweet side!

Ingredients for vegan pandesal on a wooden photography board by Sweet Simple Vegan

I thought that these would be hard to veganize, but it was easy to make without eggs and milk.

Ingredients You’ll Need

  • Lukewarm water: The temperature should be between 105 and 110°F for proofing.
  • Active dry yeast: We used active dry yeast which needs to proof separately before mixing with the rest of the ingredients. If you want to use instant yeast, use 25 percent less active dry.
  • Granulated sugar: Used to activate the yeast and sweeten up the bread. If you would like sweeter pandesal, increase the sugar to 1 cup. Coconut sugar can be used in place of granulated sugar, but keep in mind that it will create a darker dough/result.
  • Vegan Butter: We really enjoy using Country Crock Plant Butter.
  • Unsweetened plant-based milk: You can really use any type that you’d prefer, we typically opt for soy or almond.
  • Salt: Not only does salt add flavor, but it also works to tighten the gluten strands that are formed, which makes them stronger.
  • All-purpose flour: We have not tested this recipe using bread flour or whole wheat flour. 
  • Plain breadcrumbs: Not all bread crumbs are vegan, so double-check the ingredients! 
Vegan filipino pandesal bread rolls with jam and butter by Sweet Simple Vegan

There are many ways to serve pandesal, which makes it so great! It pairs well with sweet and savory fillings so that you can enjoy it any time of day.

Here are some ideas for you to try out:

  • Dipped into coffee or hot chocolate (this was my favorite as a kid)
  • Filled with vegan butter and fresh jam (coconut jam is great in pandesal!)
  • Stuffed with vegan cheese slices or a vegan cheese spread
  • Used to make a vegan ham and cheese sandwich
  • Loaded with peanut butter or any nut butter of your choice!
Vegan filipino pandesal bread rolls in a brown bread basket by Sweet Simple Vegan

If you enjoyed this pandesal recipe, you might also like:

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Vegan filipino pandesal bread rolls stacked by Sweet Simple Vegan Blog

Vegan Pandesal (Filipino Bread Rolls)


  • Author: Jasmine @ Sweet Simple Vegan
  • Total Time: 2 hours 55 minutes
  • Yield: 20 rolls

Description

A Filipino classic-made vegan! These soft, fluffy, and sweet bread rolls are great for a snack or meal, any time of day. They can be enjoyed on their own or with sweet and savory fillings.


Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup lukewarm water
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons (1 packet) active dry yeast
  • 3/4 cup* + 1 teaspoon granulated sugar, divided
  • 6 tablespoons vegan butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 cups warm unsweetened plant-based milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 5 to 6 cups of all-purpose flour
  • Oil, for the pan
  • 1/2 cup plain and fine breadcrumbs

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl, mix the lukewarm water and 1 teaspoon of sugar until dissolved. Add in the active dry yeast and gently mix it to combine. Set this mixture aside for 5-10 minutes to activate. You will know it is ready when it is fluffy!
  2. Stir together the melted butter, warm milk, remaining sugar, and salt in a medium mixing bowl. Stir in the yeast mixture.
  3. Slowly add the flour until a smooth dough forms.
  4. On a lightly floured work surface or with a standing mixer, knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic, about 8-10 minutes.
  5. Grab another large bowl and lightly coat it with oil. Transfer the dough to the oiled bowl, toss it around, and cover it with a clean and damp kitchen towel or plastic wrap. Let the dough rise in a warm area for 1 hour or until doubled in size. We raise ours in the oven with the oven light on (no heat!).
  6. In the meantime, get your baking dish ready. You can use either a lined baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat or grease a few small glass or metal baking dishes (enough for 20 pieces).
  7. Punch it down once the dough has risen and portion the dough into 20 even pieces. If you want this to be extra precise, you can use a kitchen scale. Next, shape each dough into balls (see video for how we did ours).
  8. Add the breadcrumbs to a wide bowl or plate and gently coat each pandesal roll in the breadcrumbs. If the rolls are too dry to cover, you can spray them with cooking oil or water to moisten them up. Transfer the rolls into the prepared dish, reasonably close together (about 1/2″ apart), to help them fluff up as they bake.
  9. Cover the pan(s) with a clean cloth or plastic wrap and place them in a warm place to rise for 1 hour or until doubled in size. We raise ours in the oven with the oven light on (no heat!).
  10. Preheat the oven to 375°F. If you are raising the dough in the oven, remove them before preheating! Bake the rolls for 23 to 26 minutes, or until golden. Cool for 10 minutes before serving, and enjoy. 

Notes

  • If you would like sweeter pandesal, increase the sugar to 1 cup.
  • Coconut sugar can be used in place of granulated sugar, but keep in mind that it will create a darker dough/result.
  • If you want to make the dough ahead of time, you totally can! Here are two options:1. When you reach step 6, cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a resealable wrap instead of allowing the dough to rise, and then place it into the fridge overnight. Next, remove the dough from the refrigerator, let it come to room temperature, and continue rising (about 1-1.5 hours). Once it has come to room temperature, continue with the recipe.2. The second option is to place the dough into the fridge after step 9. Place the rolls onto your pan of choice, cover it, and place it into the refrigerator overnight. Remove the dough from the fridge and allow it to come to room temperature, continue rising (about 1-1.5 hours or so), and continue with the recipe.
  • We made this recipe by hand, but it can also be made in the bowl of a stand mixer with a dough hook. 
  • We have not tested this recipe using bread flour or whole wheat flour. 
  • Not all bread crumbs are vegan, so double-check the ingredients! 
  • Prep Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Category: Breakfast, Side
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: Vegan, Filpino

Keywords: pandesal, filipino, rolls, bread, appetizer, side, breakfast, easy

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Recipe rating

  1. Mari says:

    Would coconut sugar be ok instead of regular sugar?

  2. Daniela Betanzo says:

    Hi Jasmine.
    Just wanted to say I love all your recipes!!! One quick question, could I make the dough the night before, refrigerate and then bake the next morning?
    Thanks!

    • Hi Daniela! That is a great question. If you make the dough, ahead of time, you have two options.

      The first is to place the large ball of dough in an oiled bowl, cover it with plastic wrap or a resealable wrap, and then place it into the fridge overnight to do a “slow rise”. Remove the dough from the fridge and allow it to come to room temperature and continue rising (about 1-1.5 hours or so), and then continue with the recipe.

      The second option is after you form the pandesal into balls and roll them in the breadcrumbs, place them on the baking pan you will be using 1/2″ apart, cover it, and place it into the fridge overnight. Remove the dough from the fridge and allow it to come to room temperature and continue rising (about 1-1.5 hours or so), and then continue with the recipe.

      I hope this makes sense and helps!

  3. […] Click here for the recipe […]

  4. K says:

    I’ve made this and turned out so good! I have tried several recipes before but yours is the best! Thanks for sharing!

  5. xenia says:

    can you use gluten free all purpose flour instead of generic all purpose brand

  6. pinay_nanay says:

    I made this! And this is actually the best vegan version I’ve ever had!

  7. Carmi says:

    First time ever to make bread and I can say that this recipe is foolproof! Pandesal stayed soft even after a few days, and my toddler loved it so much that he almost finished an entire batch by himself! Do you think adding ube powder will achieve the same result or would I need to tweak measurements of the other ingredients as well? Thank you!

  8. Dennis says:

    Hey Jasmine,
    Prep this last night and baked today.
    I made a mini vegan pandesal out of this recipe.
    My brother said it was so good. It was really soft and fluffy with a hint of sweetness while you eat it. It does brings back memories from where I used to live, a local bakery, Malaya Bakery.
    Hope you developed some more plant-based Filipino breads, .like Pande Coco, Pandilimon, Monay and many mire. Glad I found this website and watch your YouTube about on how to make a vegan pandesal. Thank you

    • Chris Petrellese says:

      Thank you so much! Happy to hear you and your brother enjoyed the pandesal. We will definitely be putting out more Filipino-inspired recipes 🙂

  9. Cris Godinez says:

    Nailed it on my 3rd try. I realized that it helps to bake it in a baking dish as opposed to a cookie sheet because the “walls” of the dish keep the dough up when it rises and bakes. Having vegan pandesal helps me and my husband transition to plant-based eating. The omnivores in our house actually ask for this pandesal.

  10. Tracy says:

    Hi, my son’s anaphylactic to dairy and tree nuts so we can’t use almond milk. He only drinks oat milk. Do you think it would make a huge difference if that was used instead?

  11. APPLE says:

    Hi Jasmin,

    Thank you for this recipe, I tried to cook it several times and I really love it. I just have a bit of problem right now because its hard to find all purpose flour. I am wondering if I can use self raising flour to make pandesal.

    • Chris Petrellese says:

      Self-rising flour can work for certain types of bread, but it wouldn’t work as a replacement for yeast and all-purpose flour in this one (at least we don’t think). Hopefully, flour is more accessible in your area now.

  12. Kiy says:

    Hi Jasmine. Great recipe!
    Can I use coconut oil instead of vegan butter?

  13. Elle says:

    Hi, do you think its possible to use almond flour instead? I’m hoping for a lowe carb version too.

    • Chris Petrellese says:

      I don’t think almond flour will work for this recipe. You can cut it with 50% whole wheat flour, but I don’t know if that is what you’re looking for.

  14. Britta says:

    Hi, does it have to be almond milk? I only have oatmilk or almond/oatmilk at home…

  15. Ana says:

    Hello guys 🙂 is it possible to do this recipe without the breadcrumbs?

  16. Gwen says:

    Thank you so much for this recipe! Pan de sal is one of my favorite Filipino staples!!

  17. Patty says:

    Hi! Can I use refined coconut oil instead of butter?

  18. Victoria says:

    These look so good! Do you think coconut oil could be substituted for the vegan butter?

  19. Michelle says:

    OMG! These are so fluffy, I’m going to die! ????
    Thanks so much for making my first time making pandesal as success! My 8 year old baby even asked me if we could have them for dinner tonight! ????

  20. Bea says:

    This recipe is amazing! Just made these and they’re so soft and fluffy I am resisting making this batch on my own! Any tips to keep it soft and fluffy? The batch yielded a lot (which is awesome!) but there’s only two of us at home to finish it and we can only eat so much so fast.

  21. Denise Marcelo says:

    hi! would using bread flour instead of AP flour make a big difference?

  22. Christia says:

    Hi jasmine, what would you suggest as replacement for vegan butter? Couldn’t get it where I am at the moment. I have extra virgin Coconut oil, you think that would be good substitute? I wouldn’t mind having coconutie flavour in my pandesal. How about olive oil? I’d like to pick your brain on this. Thank you in advance.

  23. Irish says:

    So fluffy and yummy! Thank you for sharing your recipe ❤️

  24. lisa says:

    I have made these 2 times already and they always turned out amazing! I used almond crackers the first time and plantain chips as breadcrumbs the second time lmao. They are fluffy but a bit dense since the dough was really sticky so I added another cup of flour but overall recommend!

  25. miA says:

    can i use oil instead of vegan butter?thank you

  26. Gemma says:

    could you sub the vegan butter for coconut oil?

  27. Christina says:

    how would we use instant yeast in this recipe?

  28. Katie says:

    I made them and they were very good, except the texture was not as soft as I’d like. But I’ve never had pandesal before so I think I’m just comparing with with Hawaiian bread rolls.

    What’s the best way of heating them back up because they do get dry/stale after a day or so. Thanks!

  29. Ruby says:

    Great recipe! My family loves it :). I used half all purpose flour & half whole wheat. It brought back childhood memories from the Philippines! Thank you 🙂

  30. Nancy says:

    Hi im in the process now of making these the buns are rising as i type all 20 minus the breadcrumbs cause being a diabetic i dont need the added starch and more carbs so with that said do you know the nutritional value for each bun?

  31. Chi says:

    Thanks for this recipe. This is my first time to bake pandesal and it turned out to be great! Just one tweak – I used 1/2 sugar instead of 3/4 and it’s perfect for me!

  32. Margie says:

    Hello is it ok to omit butter?

  33. Hope Armstrong says:

    Truly amazing, I’m obsessed! Came out perfect the first time and my family loved it.

  34. Maria says:

    Can I use whole milk instead of almond milk?

  35. TPC says:

    This recipe turned out great, but I did have to add an extra cup of flour because my dough was quite sticky. I would love for my bread to be less dense. In the video, it appears that you added a full measuring cup of milk and then a smaller measuring cup of milk. The written recipe still reflects 2 cups milk. Can you clarify the correct proportions? Thank you!

  36. Breenda says:

    Hi! I was wondering if I could sub the butter with oil instead?

  37. Lani J says:

    Omg!! I’ve made this over and over again and we just Love it!
    Thanks you two!

  38. Kat says:

    This is my second time making this recipe (last April in the beginning of the pandemic, and now again because I’m somehow nostalgic for early pandemic things we were all doing!) I LOVE this recipe, thank you for making it! I didn’t have almond milk so I used oat milk. I also didn’t have bread crumbs so I rolled each dough ball in coconut flour which worked beautifully! Last year I simply left out the bread crumbs because I didn’t have them and they were still just as amazing.

  39. Pilar says:

    I tried this recipe and im not a baker but man it came out soft, really yummy and my daughter who has egg allergies can eat it. We tried adding cheese cubes in ours its so so yummy.

  40. Clarissa says:

    Delicious! how do you store these? Theres only 2 of us and it made a lot for us to eat.

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