It wasn’t until my late twenties that I was able to taste Spanish bread for the first time. It didn’t catch my attention when I was a kid, unlike pan de regla, custard tart and pianono. Completely understandable, since this soft bun is not as mouthwatering as other pastries with its simple appearance, a bit like an elongated pan of sal.
Today I’m trying to catch up with my childhood by bringing you a list of the best Spanish breads in Quezon City.
The first stop is the Guanabana Bread House on Sct. Rallos to Brgy. Sacred Heart. Tucked away on one of Quezon City’s less traveled streets, this neighborhood bakery serves one-of-a-kind Spanish bread with a topping made even more special by an unusual ingredient: guyabano.
“We use guyabano [extract] instead of water, ”said the lady who ran the store.
Guyabano goes well with mantikilya used as a garnish. But a word of advice to those who try this sweet treat: eat it hot, as the filling tends to dry out as the guyabano extract is absorbed into the dough.
The store opens at 5 a.m. and Spanish bread is ready to sell from 7 a.m. The best time to buy is in the morning, when the bread is hot on the grill.
To enjoy the same lukewarm dough at noon, you can ask the panadero to reheat the bread, but that might annoy other buyers who are always in a hurry.
The store usually closes at 6 pm, but sometimes earlier: “Sometimes we close earlier if there is no more bread to sell.
For those who live in Brgy or nearby. West Crame, conductor Marroits bakery along Boni Serrano for freshly baked Spanish bread.
Gemma Flores, who co-runs the store with her husband Ramir, said they bake their breads in batches. “Oras-oras gunagawa kami ng bagong spanish bread,” she said.
Their version of this afternoon treat is sought after by patrons in the community because of its subtle sweet taste and “always fresh” appeal.
The crust is soft, not crumbly, with a generously filled center.
It’s easy to miss this neighborhood bakery because of its low-key facade, with the sponsor’s logo more prominent than the bakery’s name. But if you miss it, just ask the neighborhood where you can get the best Spanish bread in the area and they are sure to point you in the right direction.
For those who live in the vicinity of Batasan Hills in Quezon City, search Lito’s Hot Pandesal along Kagandahan Street, the alley behind Sandiganbayan, to sample a piece of their version of Spanish bread.
At P5 each, their version of this soft bread may be smaller than the other two bakeries, but the dough is packed tight and the filling is thick.
Usually three pieces would make a hearty snack. Get yourself just one piece and you’ll probably end up wanting it more. I had to wait until the next day to satisfy my cravings.
And line up early: Owner Agnes Cruz said she typically runs out of products by three in the afternoon, especially when receiving bulk orders.
“Masarap kasi,” said regular customer Macleo Tayab. “Lasang-lasa yung filling pero hindi naman siya sobrang sieve.” – BM, GMA News