Every Chilean has their unique spin on pan amasado (kneaded bread). But my mother’s is the best of course. So I’m giving you her recipe. Chileans eat a lot of bread and once you taste this bread, you’ll understand why. Chilean bread and Chilean wine, its like Spielberg and Williams, Leone and Morricone.
The trick to good Chilean pan amasado is in the kneading of course. So don’t shortchange yourself in this step.
- 5 lbs of white flour
- 1 stick of Crisco
- 2 envelopes of yeast
- 1/2 teaspoon of sugar
- 4-6 cups of warm water with a tablespoon of salt stirred in each cup
Take the 1/2 cup of warm water and pour into a small bowl. Add the two packets of yeast and 1/2 teaspoon of sugar into the warm water and stir. Place the bowl in a warm spot such as near the stove, under a hot light, etc. Let it sit for 5 minutes.
Take the flour and put on a work surface that is large enough (say at least 2×2 ft. in surface area) could be a clean wooden table or granite counter. Form the flour into a small hill shape and make a hole in the middle (yes, like a volcano). Melt the crisco stick and pour it into the hole. Slowly add yeast water mix in the hole. Now slowly begin adding the warm cups of water.
Now comes the fun part. With your (clean) hands begin folding the flour and the mix in the hole together. You’re going to do this until all is well blended and the consistency of the dough is such that it’s not too sticky. Add more water if its too dry, conversely add flour if you feel it’s too sticky. Continue kneading the dough until soft. Total blending and kneading may take you 10-15 minutes.
Now roll the dough into a long roll approximately 3-4 inches in diameter. It will resemble a long thick tube. Now begin cutting pieces of about 2 inches in length until the entire roll is cut. Roll each of these cut pieces in your hand into a rough ball. Lay out all the little balls on the surface with at least 2 inches between each one (remember, they are going to grow and we don’t want them sticking to each other). Cover the dough balls with cloth towel.
Let the dough balls sit for 45 minutes in a warm place…a warm kitchen, near the oven, etc.
Warm up oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Take breads and flatten them out to about 1-2 inch thickness while maintaining round shape of bread. Lay them out on the baking sheet and keep them separated by at least an inch. You may need to bake two batches. Don’t place them too close together please.
Bake for half an hour until light-gold brown in color.
Remove and let cool down a bit. This bread is incredible right out of the oven with a little margarine or butter…Nothing better in the world… I could live on this and nothing else….well…this bread and some wine…
Enjoy….let me know how it went for you. You’ll always want more Pan Amasado.
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