Pan de monja
|Alternative names||monáy, pan de monay|
|Place of origin||Philippines|
Pan de monja, better known as monáy, is a dense bread roll from the Philippines made with all-purpose flour, milk, and salt. It has a characteristic shape, with an indentation down the middle dividing the bread into two round halves. It is a common humble fare, usually eaten for merienda with cheese or dipped in hot drinks.
Pan de monja is made with all-purpose flour or bread flour dough, mixed with milk (usually powdered milk), yeast, egg yolks, and a small amount of salt, sugar, and butter. The dough is kneaded into a ball and allowed to rest for a couple of hours until the dough doubles in size. It is then rolled into a cylinder and cut into small chunks and shaped. It is usually brushed with an egg wash on top before being baked. Pan de monja is traditionally slightly yellow or yellow-brown in color, but modern commercial variants are paler brown.
Pan de monja is one of the most basic bread types in the Philippines and is sometimes known as the "mother of all Filipino breads" as it can be modified to give rise to various other bread types. These include breads like pinagong and putok.
In popular culture
The distinctive shape of the bread has often been compared to the shape of the buttocks. In certain regions in the Philippines, "monay" is used as an allusion for women's private parts. Some modern versions omit the indentation for this reason or change the name.
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