Pan De Sal is traditionally baked in a wood-fired brick oven. My family used to run a bakery beside the house and my grandfather built a wood-fired brick oven for it. However, for 20+ years now, my family just rents out the bakery–brick oven and all, to a family of bakers who have earned a steady income making only one product–the pan de sal. It is very good pan de sal. Crunchy on the outside and chewy on the inside. For those who like a softer pan de sal, they have a variety called ‘manibalang‘, which is precisely that, soft and a bit chewy.
Suffice it to say that we always have access to this bread every morning. Sometimes, though, we have left-overs that we either throw away or, if someone remembers, return to the bakery so they can make bread crumbs out of it.
Last Sunday, at lunch, I was looking at the left-over bread and thought of making it into a bread pudding. As a child, I was crazy about bread pudding, even after I found out what it’s made of. But I haven’t tried making one using our pan de sal. I guess it was time to experiment so without any thought I just did it.
Bread pudding is very easy to make. Just cut up stale bread, Soak it in a mixture of milk, melted butter, eggs, sugar, salt, and vanilla then bake it for about 20 minutes. However, our oven is out-of-commission so I decided to use the microwave oven instead of my usual alternative (our turbo broiler). For this recipe I used non-fat milk, eggs, a significantly reduced amount of sugar, salt, vanilla, and cinnamon. When I assembled it on the baking dish, I added as topping some of the Lengua De Gato butter that I previously made. This was my healthier (because of the coconut oil) substitute for melted butter.
After 12 minutes at half-power in the microwave, I let it rest for about 10 minutes before serving it. Mom loved it!
I did too. Now I’m thinking what else to do in my next attempt at making bread pudding a healthier pudding!