Roughly translating to ‘kneaded bread’, pan sobao is a Puerto Rican delight that has been gaining popularity abroad.
Similar to a brioche or challah, this bread is semi-sweet and delicious. It has a soft crust and a spongy texture that can’t be beat.
If you have ever bought it before you know it’s common practice to buy 2 because you can’t help eating one on your way home.
Pan sobao gets its unique taste and texture from one of its main ingredients: lard.
For a vegetarian alternative you can use vegetable shortening, but you won’t get that authentic taste.
Despite being a semi-sweet bread, pan sobao is extremely versatile.
It can be used in savory meals, as a part of breakfast, ate as a midday snack, or turned into a delicious dessert.
The best part is, it is so easy to make. Soon you will be swapping out all the bread in your house with homemade pan sobao.
Below you will find the easiest way to make pan sobao at home and what flavors will work well with it.
Once you’ve mastered the basic recipe you can try experimenting with different flavors.
How To Make Easy Pan Sobao?
This bread only takes 6 ingredients to make, and if you’re a baking fan then you probably already have most of these in your pantry.
This recipe makes about 1 loaf, but we recommend doubling or tripling the recipe. Trust us,
You’ll be disappointed you only made one loaf when it goes in one day.
What Flavors Works Well With It?
Although pan sobao is extremely versatile, the best way to eat it is by itself.
There is nothing better than a slice of freshly baked pan sobao, we recommend spreading a small amount of butter on it while it’s still warm.
We will warn you, if you do this then you might ruin all future bread for yourself.
Of course, you can toast slices of it to get a wonderfully crunchy texture to this otherwise extremely soft bread.
The nature of pan sobao is that it can work well with pretty much any meal.
So below we have compiled a list of some flavors or recipe ideas, so that way you can start getting creative with your baking.
- Coffee – While coffee isn’t necessarily a sweet drink, the bitterness of it makes the bread taste sweeter. This makes for the ideal breakfast combo.
- French toast – Some eggs, milk, sugar and good vanilla extract is all you need to make the best french toast. Top with a sprinkle of cinnamon and your favorite fruit, make it your own.
- Icing sugar – The simplest way to serve it, just a dusting of confectioners sugar while it’s still warm.
- Honey – Either lightly drizzle it or make a glaze and let it soak.
- Jelly or jam – For a breakfast staple. You can add cream for a British twist.
- Bread pudding – Mix cubes of it with sugar, eggs, and milk for a crispy top and soft inside.
- Fruits – Berries, bananas, pineapples, the choice is endless for what fruit goes well with it.
- Fried sticks – Slice it into sticks and fry it like donuts. Roll them in cinnamon sugar or dip in your favorite sauce.
- Ice cream – Use this bread to make a unique ice cream sandwich.
- Nuts – Top with an assortment of nuts like walnuts, hazelnuts, and pecans.
- Rolled up – Spread it with chocolate spread or cinnamon icing and roll it up. Pan fry in butter for an easy take on a rolled desert.
- Garlic bread – Garlic goes well with everything, this includes pan sobao.
- Grilled cheese – Use a good strong cheese, and have it with a side of tomato soup.
- Charcuterie board – Create an elegant and unusual board. Pair it with salami, figs, and soft cheeses.
- Bread crumbs – Blend any leftover bread with herbs like rosemary and thyme.
- Eggs in basket – Dig holes into pan sobao buns and crack an egg into it. Top with chives, bacon, cheese, or peppers for a great work lunch.
- Stuffing – Cubed bread with butter, onion, sage, eggs and vegetable stock for the best side dish.
- On soup – The soft bread goes fantastically with french onion or your favorite chowder.
- Sandwiches – Fill it with various meats and vegetables for the perfect picnic treat.
- Burgers – Form your pan sobao into buns for the best burgers.
- Croutons – Lightly toast with olive oil and top any salads with them.
- Avocado toast – A slightly sweet take on a morning classic. Lightly toast your bread and top it with a delicious spread of mashed avocado.
While pan sobao is gaining popularity globally, it is still criminally underrated. For being so versatile, it deserves to be a part of your weekly meal rotation.
So why not give it a try and discover your own flavor combinations to go with it.