Shaping Pan de Sal

To achieve the airy structure of pan de sal, a sweet Filipino-style bread, the key is to not overwork the dough. Once the dough comes together, gently flatten it with your fingers on a lightly floured surface and then roll it to create a series of layers that expand in the oven, yielding a wonderfully light crumb.

1. On a lightly floured surface, divide dough into 4 equal pieces. Working with 1 piece at a time, pat dough into a 4″ x 9″ rectangle about ½″ thick.
2. Working from one long end, roll up the dough evenly to form a tight, uniform cylinder.
3. Use a sharp knife to cut the cylinder of dough crosswise into 5 rolls about 1½″ wide.
4. Handling the dough with care, coat the sticky, cut sides of each roll with bread crumbs.
5. Place rolls cut side up on a parchment-lined baking sheet about 2″ apart, and proof in a warm place until doubled in size, about one hour.