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My basic bread recipe that wows bread lovers

How to get that perfect ‘chew’

You go to a local panaderia and see all those breads in different shapes but taste the same? It’s probably because they have a basic bread recipe and they just repurpose it into something different. Add some butter and sugar filling and it’s Spanish bread. Add coconut and it’s pan de coco.

That’s how I tweaked this bread recipe from my Lola’s recipe book and turned it into brioche, dinner rolls, hotdog buns, burger buns, baked pork buns, pesto bread, chocolate babka, ham and cheese bread, cinnamon rolls, with just a few changes here and there.

Two things I look for in bread: of course, it has to taste good, I don’t like it overly sweet, and it has to have the right chew that can be achieved by perfecting your fermentation process. But hey, I am no nerd when it comes to yeast. I use instant yeast! The right chew is having soft, pillowy bread, not airy and dry.

Here are some tips on perfecting that chew:

  1. Knead well. I use a stand mixer, I guess I don’t have to explain why. You’ll know your kneading process is done when the dough passes the window-pane test. It means it has developed a strong gluten structure that will hold the gas bubbles that the yeast creates.

  2. Let the dough rise in a warm, humid environment and don’t overproof. I must say our weather is perfect for baking bread! The dough rises beautifully in warm temperature. Just make sure you don’t leave it rising far too long. With this weather, I’d say check after 30 minutes, and when you poke it and it springs back right away, it’s done.

  3. Needless to say, don’t overbake it. When you keep the bread longer in the oven than it has to be, more liquid will evaporate from the bread and this will make the bread dry.

Using the recipe below, you can change a few ingredients or procedure and turn it into an entirely different bread.

  1. Brioche bread – instead of ¾ cup of oil, use butter.

  2. Chocolate babka – Here’s how to shape a babka:

    Credit: Pretty. Simple. Sweet./YouTube
  3. Pesto bread – replace chocolate with pesto.

  4. Pork buns – put pork fillings, or even corned beef or adobo and you’ve got adobo roll for breakfast.

  5. Cheese bread – cut the dough in 6 pieces, flatten each dough using a rolling pin, sprinkle cheese and roll into a loaf. This makes for a very good Korean egg drop sandwich.

  6. Dinner rolls – roll into small balls and bake in a square pan

The possibilities are endless! Try it and share how you’ve tweaked this recipe.


  • 2 tbsp yeast
  • 1 c lukewarm water
  • 1/3 c diluted milk
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 5 c bread flour
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 c sugar
  • 3/4 c oil
  • 1/3 c milk and ½ c water for brushing


  • Dissolve yeast in lukewarm water for 10 mins.
  • Combine dry ingredients.
  • Beat egg yolks.
  • Add the dissolved yeast then the dry ingredients.
  • Add the milk alternately with oil. Blend well.
  • Knead until smooth.
  • Let the dough rise for 1 hour or until double.
  • Preheat your oven.
  • Cut the dough into pieces about 1 inch thick.
  • Form into balls. Let rise for another 30 mins.
  • Brush the top with egg whites.
  • Bake in a well-greased pan for 25-30 minutes until golden on top.
About author


Spanning two decades of a career in publishing, she began to see the lockdown as a priceless boon – for it has given her the leisure of unleashing her potential as an amateur baker, writer, and digital publisher.

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