Pan Será dates back to a time when there were no bakeries outside of Willemstad (Bandariba), in Bandabou. So people would bake their own bread in fòrnu di klenku (outdoor stone ovens). The frugal recipe calls for minimal yeast, so the bread remains relatively heavy and (com)packed — filling you all by itself — as opposed to more traditional light, airy loaves that require toppings.
Freshly baked Pan Será would make its way to Willemstad (Bandariba) at 5 am every morning in the old days. And Bandariba folk would flock to Bandabou on Sunday in search of homemade Pan Será.
(Marshé di Barber on Sunday mornings is a notorious Pan Será hot spot)
Development and upward mobility has lightened up Pan Será over the past several years and Pan Buskuchi (Shortening Bread) is probably her most popular lighter permutation. Both carry ubiquitous fork prick marks, so just ask.
We love our Pan Será ku awakati ku salu (avocado and salt), worst dushi (salami), webu (eggs), Old Amsterdam or Gouda, ham, bòkel (salt fish)… but it’s also delicious buttered or blo bashi (plain).
Special thanks to Louis Philippe Römer’s for below Pan Será recipe (makes about 10 bread buns)
2 cups of bread flour or all purpose flour
2 teaspoons yeast
2 tablespoons sugar
5 tablespoons of margarine
200 ml cold water
According to him, ‘technique is everything with this recipe.’
First combine flour, yeast, sugar, and a teaspoon of salt. Sift the flour through to combine all the ingredients. Then, cut the margarine into the flour, until the margarine is pea-sized in the flour. Once that’s done you add water SLOWLY . And MAKE SURE IT’S COLD. Once it turns sticky you knead the dough. Put some flour on your hands and start kneading. Then let sit for about 20 minutes to rise.
Very important, don’t over-knead, otherwise your dough will harden too much. ‘Si bo mansa e pan dimas e ta bira muchu duru, pero soru pa bo mansé sufisiente pe haña un bon texture.’
After you let the dough rest for 20 minutes, you should punch down the dough, separate it and make into little buns. You can leave these to rest for another hour to rise, before you put them in the oven but that is optional. If you want your buns to have a nice shiny brown crust you can brush them with an milk wash or an egg wash.
Set your oven at about 200 C / 400 F and they’ll bake quickly in about 20 mins.