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A plate of pan de agua with butter

Pan de Agua (Water Bread)

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  • Author: Salima Benkhalti
  • Prep Time: 2 hours 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 hours
  • Yield: 2 loaves 1x
  • Category: side, appetizer
  • Method: baked
  • Cuisine: Puerto Rican, Latin
  • Diet: Vegetarian


Pan de Agua (also known as water bread) is a popular bread in the Caribbean. It’s easy to make and perfect for sandwiches or served warm with a dab of butter. 


Units Scale
  • 1 packet (2.5 tsp) active dry yeast
  • 2 cups warm water (for the yeast)
  • 1 tbsp white granulated sugar
  • 5 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1/4 cup flour for dusting the pan
  • 1 egg white (or 1 tsp olive oil)
  • 1 tbsp water


  1. Proof the yeast. Mix together the sugar and warm water before gently mixing in the yeast. Set aside for 20 minutes or until it looks foamy and thick on the top layer. Transfer proofed yeast to a large mixing bowl.
  2. Mix the flour, salt, and yeast. In a measuring cup, measure out the flour and mix in the salt. One cup at a time, start incorporating the flour into the yeast mixture in the large bowl, mixing with a wooden spoon.
  3. Knead until no longer sticky. Once all the flour is added, move the mixture onto a clean, flour dusted surface. Using your hands, knead kneading the mixture with your hands for at least 20 minutes or until it no longer sticks to your hands (adding more four if needed).
  4. Rest for 2 hours. Prep a large bowl with nonstick spray or olive oil, transfer the dough into the bowl, cover with a towel or plastic wrap and let rest for 2 hours.
  5. Prep egg wash and divide the dough into 2 loaves. When the dough is almost fully rested, beat together the egg white and water and prep your work surface. Return the dough to your flour dusted work space and divide into two balls. Roll the balls into loaves about 1 foot in length.
  6. Prep loaves for baking by scoring & brushing with egg wash. Prep a parchment lined baking sheet by dusting with flour and place the loaves on top of the flour. Using a knife, score the tops of the loaves before brushing lightly with the egg white mixture.
  7. Bake. Bring a few cups of water to a boil in oven safe skillet. Once it’s boiling, add the skillet to the bottom rack in your oven. Place the pan with your loaves of bread on the rack above the skillet and set the oven to 400° F. Allow the bread to bake as the oven comes to temperature, setting your timer to 30-35 minutes.