If you’re Spanish, I am apologizing in advance. If you managed to get here looking for a traditional Spanish recipe for a loaf or a roll, then this is not it. But do stick around. I’d love it if you did.
Okay, so I’m not really sure how much of this bread did come from the Spanish (well, aside from the fact that it is bread and the natives most probably did not make bread as we know it today), but if you are a Filipino, you’ll most likely recognize this bread.
The Spanish Bread is actually a roll filled with a sweet, buttery filling. It’s very popular, eaten as a snack item in the afternoon, and sometimes, even during breakfast just like the Pan de Sal. Again, I made this from my Lean Dough recipe (using all-purpose flour), so if you practiced after reading each of my earlier posts, then you should be well acquainted with the process of making a batch.
- 1 batch of Lean Bread Dough
- 1 stick softened unsalted butter
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/2 cup dry bread crumbs
- 1/2 tsp orange extract
In a large bowl, combine the butter, salt, sugar, bread crumbs and orange extract. Set aside.
Make a 3-inch log from the lean bread dough after punching it down.
Making a Dough Log: One method I was taught to get a more uniform log is to roll out the dough first. Roll out the dough into a 12″ by 24″ rectangle, long side facing you. Start rolling your dough from the long side nearest you, up. Every inch of rolling, pinch the roll onto the remaining open dough along the length, making sure that there are no air packets or gaps within the roll. Upon reaching the end, pinch the open end onto the rest of the log, making sure that it is “seamless”. Pinch the ends to seal. If done correctly, you will get a uniform log, and slicing in the middle, you will see that there is no spiral gap (or kept to a minimum), and the log is solid.
Using a bench scraper, cut the log into uniform pieces, using your index and middle fingers to measure. (Refer to my Pan de Sal post).
Take one piece of dough, and roll it out using a lightly floured rolling pin into a very thin diamond shape (about 1/8 inch thick or slightly thinner). Spread a teaspoon of the prepared filling on the dough, but leave a half inch band around the dough untouched.
Start rolling the filled dough. Seal the end by pulling slightly and pinching onto the rest of the roll.
Cover the filled roll in bread crumbs and place sealed end down on an ungreased cookie sheet. Repeat for the rest of the dough, leaving a 1 inch gap between the finished rolls on the sheet.
Rest covered with cling wrap in a warm, draft-free spot for 30 minutes, or until double in size.
Bake the rolls in an oven pre-heated to 350ºF (180ºC) for 20 to 22, or until golden brown. Cool the rolls for 10 minutes and serve warm. This will make 30 rolls.
As popular as this bread is, not many know that the filling actually has a mild orange flavor, lending it a refreshing taste reminiscent of summer. My recipe makes use of orange extract, but I have seen one variation which uses Royal Tru-Orange. That’s one way to make use of soda.