Since we don’t know of any Filipino bakeshops here in Central Texas, I bought a good supply of our favorite goodies such as polvoron, mamon, and pandesal from Goldilocks during our recent trip to Southern California to bring back home with us. I might have gone a little overboard with stocking up because even after days of eating pandesal filled with chicken salad or cheese pineapple for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and all the snacks in between, I was still left with a couple of bags on the counter needing to be consumed.
So what do we do with day-old bread that’s beginning to dry out? Make crunchy, gooey cheese dog bread rolls or into crispy, buttery Biscocho!
What is Biscocho?
Biscocho or biskotso refers to various types of Filipino oven-baked goods that were cooked twice until dry and crunchy. Bread such as monay, ensaymada, and pandesal are coated with either a sweet mixture of sugar and butter or a savory spread of garlic and butter and are then baked a second time to draw out excess moisture, thus prolonging shelf life.
These crisp, buttery “biscuits” are traditionally served as a midday snack or after-dinner dessert and usually enjoyed with coffee or tea.
Tips on How to Make Biscocho
- As the twice-baked method is meant to draw out moisture, it’s best to start with day-old bread that is already beginning to dry out.
- Cut the rolls into about 1/3-inch thick; the thicker the slices, the longer the bake time.
- For a nice sugary crust, use softened and not melted butter.
- Although you can use regular pandesal, try to use the Baliwag variety if you can. They have a deep yellow color and sweet, rich flavor that work really well in this recipe.
How to Store Biscotti
Allow the biscuits to cool completely and transfer into an airtight container. Kept in a well-sealed container, they’ll last for up to 2 weeks at room temperature or up to 2 months in the freezer.
Low and slow is the key here; please do not rush the bake time by increasing the temperature as the bread slices might brown too much before they’re sufficiently dried out. It takes about 1 1/2 to 2 hours at 200 F to crisp up them up but I promise these buttery biscuits are worth the wait. They’re golden and crunchy yet with a tender crumb that literally melts in your mouth.
You might want to double or triple the batch as everyone would be vying for a piece!
Using a serrated knife, trim off the top and bottom of the pandesal very thinly and cut each roll into halves, about 1/3-inch thick.
In a small bowl, combine butter and sugar and stir until smooth.
Spread the butter-sugar mixture thinly on each side of the bread slices.
Arrange the coated bread on a baking rack. Bake in a 200 F oven for about 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until dry and crunchy.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool.