I usually got disappointed when the pandesal (bread) I bought was tough, as in makunat. I cannot judge whether the bread is tough or not before buying. Based on my experience, all pandesal that I bought are soft while still warm. Then some of them got tougher when cold.
I avoid buying from vendors and bakeries who sells tough bread. They should have a strict quality control to maintain product quality.
After spending a couple of minutes googling, I found out that adding too much flour during dough kneading will result in a dry, tough and flavorless bread. The dough should be kneaded for 8 to 10 minutes in order to have a silky smooth texture.
Some amateur bread makers do not have enough knowledge on baking. They should continue educating themselves to have a delectable and salable bread of uniform quality.
update June 2018
It turned out that most pandesal bread are made that way. It is baked for the masses. Competition is steep. It should be made as cheap as possible. The other thing. It is meant to be eaten while still hot. A traditional complement to early morning coffee. The hot coffee taste awful when gotten cold and so as the pandesal bread. The same case for ice cold coffee after losing its chill.
There is no real reason to make its good quality last longer. The shelf life is right after baking until the time it got cold. Bakery owners and rolling vendors keep them in thick Styrofoar boxes to prevent heat escape, until the time it reaches customers wanting breakfast.
Base on my experience, vendors are shouting as early as 4:30 am. Late birds at about 5 am. All commodities are sold before dawn, about 5:30 to 6 am. Those who wake up late have no choice but cook rice based breakfast. Or, buy other bread choices made for the rest of the day. Lucky if there are excess pandesal bread for you. However, the probability of getting cold though bread is high. Like in my case, of course.
The old paper bag ( supot ) is considered the best packaging. The series of actions are buy, quick eat and discard the paper. Our endless desire for convenience lead to the production and mass use of plastic sando bags. You know what I mean. It added lots of waste to our surroundings. Thanks to plastic ban. The bad deed put to halt. Cellophane bag, because it is paper, is a more acceptable alternative.
For your next pandesal, make sure what you get is hot and eat it while still hot.
Marvin is the lead chocolate maker of Ben and Lyn Chocolate Inc. Has strong background in food research and development. Occasionally conducts training and lectures. Lecturer of Cocoa Foundation of the Philippines. Do coaching and consultancy services on his free time.