"Kusina" = Kitchen; "Manang" = older sister

A Filipina's unabashed chronicle of her adaptations in the American kitchen. Includes step-by-step photos on how to make pan de sal, ensaymada, pan de coco, siopao, hopia, pandelimon, pianono, atsara, crema de fruta,etc., and if you are lucky, you will find videos too!

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Monday, May 04, 2009

Monay (and Putok)

I have been dreading making monay because of the long kneading time. The characterisically dense and smooth dough is due to extended period of kneading after the rising time prior to cutting. In my father's bakery, we used to have a kneading machine with double rollers where you place the dough in between to press it, stretching and squeezing out bubbles in the process. The baker would do this several times until he was content with the dough's dense and smooth appearance. Pieces were cut to precise sizes (I did mine to have 3oz pieces). I have no such machine, and the dough is comparatively minute anyway, so i used my arm power with the help of the rolling pin. Maybe I will make this again, using the bigger, sliced loaf version, only during Christmas time for giveaways. I am posting here mainly for reference not only for me but for those who have been searching for a monay recipe.

I added yellow food coloring here because that was what the bakers used to do and I am just copying. The yellow coloring of monay makes it appear like it had lots of egg yolk, when I only added one (bakeries do not add yolks at all). I just made use of one egg yolk I had in the fridge from a previous baking stint. I figured it would not hurt to add that to the monay recipe I used. For putok, it should not have the food coloring nor the egg yolk. So to point out the difference between the two, PUTOK (1) has no food coloring, (2) has a crown instead of slit (made by cross-slits), (3) has milk glaze with sugar on the crown, and (4) is made more compact and denser by shorter final rising time. But since I never want to make big batches of rolls that will probably not get eaten within a week, I made only the dough for monay (with the food coloring and long rising time), and only made a couple pieces shaped and glazed/sugared as putok.

I based this recipe on a pan de sal recipe posted in allrecipes, after reading the comments there. I adjusted the amounts according to the amount of evap milk in a can, in replacement of the milk used in the recipe, which called for heating it up prior to actually using it (sort of reducing the milk). The comments said the resulting rolls were dense and hardly rose at all, and another mentioned that the high rating he gave was because it made for good monay and putok recipe. After making these, I do agree it is indeed a good monay recipe.

1 (14-oz) can of evaporated milk
1/2 cup white sugar
1 tsp yellow food coloring (optional)
1 egg yolk
1/3 cup butter
1 (0.25 oz) package active dry yeast
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
4 cups all-purpose flour


Heat evap milk to 80-100 deg F. Melt butter. Combine sugar, melted butter, yellow food coloring, egg yolk and evap milk in the mixing bowl. Stir in yeast and let proof.

Meanwhile, measure and put together in a bowl the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt and blend well.

On stir setting of the mixer, gradually add the flour (placed at the sides of the bowl) until all is used up. Stop when dough pulls together and leaves only a small amount of flour at the sides of the bowl. Transfer to a lightly greased and lightly floured surface.

Knead for about 8-10 minutes. Grease a bowl big enough to accommodate double the dough. Place the dough in the greased bowl, then flip over (this way, all sides of the dough is greased). Cover lightly with cling wrap and let rise for 1 hr. [Take note in the photos above, the dough just before baking has the characteristic monay shape that we know after I let it rise for 1-1/2 hrs...but I should have baked these before the dough looked like so, because when I baked them, the puffing of the dough in the heat made the slit almost disappear...so I edited the time of rising here to be only one hour, and hopefully it will give you and I baked monays that have that slight dip at the middle...]

After one hour, take out the dough onto a greased and slightly floured surface. Grease your rolling pin. Flatten the dough with the rolling pin, then fold the dough, and repeat the flatten-fold-flatten-fold cycle until the dough is smooth and dense (about 8 minutes). If it becomes too sticky, very lightly flour the surface.

With dough cutter, cut into 3-oz pieces (if you did not cut the right amount, you can either cut off or add small pieces and press together to make 3-oz piece). Shape into round rolls and place on greased baking sheet (preferably aluminum). If you prefer smaller monays, make them 2-oz each. I am cutting here based on how I remember them during those days I was helping in my Tatay's bakery in shaping them to round rolls.

Before the final rising, using swift smooth motion, make deep slits at the middle of the pieces, leaving only about 1/3 of the bottom dough uncut. You might have to do this twice, since the first cutting motion gives you only good cut at one side of the pieces, so that you will have to turn the pan around and make second cuts along the same line to achieve uniformly deep slits. If the cut portions tend to stick together, gently separate them with the blade. Cover lightly with greased cling wrap. Let rise for 40-60 minutes. [Don't wait for the unbaked pieces to look more like the monay you are used to, because if you do, you will end up with overpuffed middle like I did. I should have baked these earlier (my total final rising time was 1-1/2 hours; maybe 1 hr would be enough). The middle of the pieces should still look a tad lower than the baked monay you are used to seeing. The oven heat will puff up the middle some more. Monay characteristically has a bit low dip at the middle (the slit) of the two cheeks. Well, you know what the connotation of "monay" is among Filipinos when they do not refer to these rolls.]

For putok, cut dough pieces about 1.5 to 2 oz each and shape into round rolls. Snip in a cross manner at the top to give you a crown. After the rising period (I suggest only 30 minutes because puto is characteristically very very dense and hard), brush the crown part with milk and sprinkle with sugar crystals.

Bake at 350 deg F for 15 minutes or until tops are golden brown. Enjoy with ice cream filling while hot. Cool on wire rack. Place in ziploc bag as soon as cool enough to do so without sweating inside.


  1. there's another bread which we used to buy from the nearby bakeries. It's called totoy bato or tinapay bato because it's round and hard :) That bread is really hard pero nakakabusog at nakakasakit rin ng panga. hehehe....

  2. I love monay filled with cheese "dirty ice cream".:D

    I once made monay but they came out very fluffy soft and not as dense as the ones I remember eating in the Philippines. I'll try your recipe, the monay look exactly how they should be. Thanks for posting the recipe.

  3. Hi, I stumbled upon your blog through another website. Fantastic Filipino recipes. I'm looking forward to reading the archived articles!

  4. Hi Nina,
    totoy bato...reminds me of totoy bibo! Haha! Parang putok din siguro yan no? Sabi nila, pag pinukol ka ng putok, puputok yung ulo mo...

    Hi oggi,
    miss ko na nga dirty ice cream eh...gawain namin yun noon ng mga kapatid ko pag napagtripan namin at bagong hango sa oven yung monay...sarap!

  5. Hi Julie!
    Welcome to my site! I hope you enjoy the recipes here!

  6. Manang musta na po kayo?Thanks for sharing this,ang tagal ko ng gus2ng gumawa nito kaso d ako makakita ng perfect recipe,thanks po talaga!!!!Ingat and Happy mothers Day.!!!

  7. Wena,
    Be forewarned: you need arm power and time for this! Haha!

  8. How about you make some extras and just mail them to me? 8-P

  9. hi manang,thank you talaga sa mga recipe ninyo,matagal kona talagang gusto gumawa ng mga filipino tinapay kaya lang,i do not have any recipe,thanks at i stumble here in your site.

  10. TN,
    I would if time is not a problem! My first batch is gone by now, sorry...:(

    Hi Anonymous,
    Welcome to my site! I hope you will enjoy my recipes!

  11. Hello Manang,
    Thank you for the wonderful recipes. I have your website bookmarked in my PC. keep posting recipes for us. GOD Bless....

  12. Hi Giselle,
    Thanks! I will try my best to improvise and come up with recipes we Filipinos enjoy. :)

  13. Hellow =)
    Im living in germany right now but I really miss the filipino star bread so Im going to try it today.
    Im really not the best cook but Ill try xD

    what kind of evaporated can I use? Milkmaid?
    the evaporated milk in germany is much different than the one you buy in the philippines thats why I have to go to the asianmarket.


  14. Hi Christine,
    I just use Carnation evap milk. Go ahead and try using whatever you have there. If you have fresh milk, I suggest heating it up some without boiling it (can't remember the term for it...tempering maybe?).

  15. Hey =)

    Ok my first try ended up as being garbage xD
    the yeast didnt connect with my milk,sugar,eggyolk and butter.
    Is the evaporated milk thik and sweetened?
    I just want to find out what exactly my mistake was. But I think it was the yeast.
    Maybe Ill try fresh milk next time^^

    Thank you!
    Christine <3

  16. Hi Christine,
    Sounds like it was a sweetened condensed milk you used.
    So yeah, I'd say try the fresh milk as an alternative. You might get better results.

  17. hi ate can i use rapid rise yeast instead of active dry yeast?

  18. HI anonymous,
    You can use rapid rise yeast (but adjust the proofing method -- look at the package how to). However, RRY will cause rapid rising (syempre) and so, the monay will probably be more airy instead of compact.

  19. Hi manang, thanks for the recipe. Im starting to bake and i love monay...i will try it..Very concerned with yeast here in manila it's hard to find. I found only one kind at bakers depot at robinson's.it's an INSTANT YEAST. Is this ok to use thanks...malou

  20. Hi Malou,
    I think instant yeast is the equivalent of rapid rise yeast here.
    Check these ones out too for baking supplies:
    Baker's Depot

    - San Juan: 188B N. Domingo cor Manzano st. Tel: 723-8810
    - Waltermart North EDSA - Tel: 332-1281
    - Waltermart Makati
    - Victory Mall, Caloocan City

  21. Hi Manang, I tried your recipe and the breads came out beautifully! i have one question though, on a local panaderia, their "putok" has a crack on the buttom. It looks like the bread "popped" while baking. Is it from the heat in the oven? Although the bread didn't brown at all but is still white. How did they achieve this crust? Thank you i hope you could help me out on this one:)

  22. Hi maine,
    I am not sure how they do it. Siguro they used very high heat initially so that "nagulat". The bottom probably had that crack if they used brick oven with stone floor...just guessing...
    Sorry I am not an expert in baking...I had no formal training.

  23. KoyoyJewelry@gmail.com6/12/2010 6:07 PM

    Hey manang,
    I was born in the Philippines but am living in a diffrent country now. I want to learn how to make Pinoy Star-bread, is Putok the same thing?
    You can E-mail me if you would like at [koyoyjewelry@gmail.com] Salamat po! from Sarah.

  24. if its ok to use whole wheat flour for monay to be more healty?

  25. Hi Anonymous,
    I haven't tried whole wheat with monay, but I think it will be too dry if you use it.

  26. hi manang , thanks for sharing all your recipes.sana po,someday soon meron na, print recipe link :)god bless-

  27. hi manang,
    I've been reading some of your recipes, i really love to cook for my family. I just want to ask if you have sweetheart recipe? i love those sweet breads i use to buy in cheap bakery back home. Are you familiar with it? the rectangular white bread with the sweet glaze on top.
    I hope you have the recipe. Thank you
    God Bless!

  28. Hi Anonymous,
    Sorry to say I don't have a recipe for that and I have no idea how it looks like, tastes like, or feels like, so I cannot even begin to attempt making it.

  29. hello manang,thank you so much for sharing the recipes,i tried to make monay and it came out so great...the taste is 100% like the one we buy in the filipino store...now i don't need to take off just to go and monay bread in the filipino store..again thank you so much..Godbless........

  30. Hi!may nabasa akong isang comment,asking kung bakit may bitak doon sa tinatawag na putok..i gues its same recipe and procedure,the only thing is add more flour to the dough until the dough is more hard or more firm than usual to make monay bread..

  31. Anonymous,
    thanks for your feedback! I hope you find my other recipes here enough reason for you not to have to go to the Filipino store. You will also then discover how much freshly baked tinapays are much better than store-bought. Lalo na when it comes to pandesal.

  32. Carol,
    Tama. It's the same recipe, and the way I remember it from my Tatay's bakers is that they run the dough through the rollers (to further knead) while whisking more flour (so they don't stick), and they do this several times until the dough is really compact. Then for the monay, they let it rise longer than the putok so it is more airy. The putok is very dense because of shorter rising time (after the long and repeated kneading).

  33. very useful ang Link at Site na to Manang, Keep up the good work, laking pasalamat ko sayo, kahit andito ako sa England, nakakamiss ang mga Pinoy Food, Sana magtuloy-tuloy po ito. Thanks.. Ronald, Hometown Nasugbu, Batangas, Philippines
    Presently: London, England, UK

    1. Hi Ronald, thanks for your comment! I am glad na nakakatulong ang site ko sa mga Pinoy foods na nami-miss mo dyan sa London. :)

  34. Ano po bang flour ang ginamit nyo?Bread or all purpose flour?

    1. Hi Anonymous, all purpose flour ang ginamit ko.

  35. Hi manang i lve ur spanish bread and i sell it,best seller,tnx

  36. Hi...manang ok lang ba pag walang baking powder at baking soda pls....

  37. Manang musta na po kayo?Thanks for sharing this,ang tagal ko ng gus2ng gumawa nito kaso d ako makakita ng perfect recipe,thanks po talaga!!!!Ingat and Happy mothers Day


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