This ube cheese pandesal is absolutely delicious and not to mention very pretty to look at. It’s the modern take on the classic Filipino bread roll.
Recipe and photos updated on January 2021.
- 2 ½ tablespoons – ube powder (dehydrated purple yam powder), see notes https://amzn.to/3pg0mDe
- ½ cup – hot water
- ⅔ cup (160ml) – non-dairy milk, warmed at 100° Fahrenheit (I used soy)
- 1 ½ teaspoon – active dry yeast
- 2 ½ cup (320g) – bread flour
- ⅓ cup (68g) – granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon – salt
- 3 tablespoons (42g) – vegan butter, softened at room temp
- 1 tablespoon – ube extract, optional, see notes https://amzn.to/3sU6ALc
- Bread crumbs for topping, optional
- 1 pack – vegan plain cream cheese, I used Kite Hill
- 1 jar – ube jam (ube halaya) https://amzn.to/39fZFnV
- 1/3 cup – breadcrumbs, use any unseasoned and vegan-friendly breadcrumbs you prefer
- Small saucepan
- Heatproof rubber spatula
- Stand mixer with the dough hook attachment, optional
- Measuring cups and spoons or food scale (way more accurate)
- Large bowl
- Damp cloth or bowl covers
- Bench scraper or large knife
- Parchment paper
- Square baking pan
- First thing, remove your butter from the fridge and set it out to soften at room temp. Set aside until ready to use!
- Next, in a small saucepan, combine the hot water and ube powder. Place over medium heat, and stir the mixture together until all the ube powder has been properly rehydrated. It should be smooth and have a mashed potato-like texture. Remove from heat, and set aside to cool until ready to use.
- Heat up the non-dairy milk until lukewarm, or 100° Fahrenheit. Stir in the yeast and set it aside for 10 minutes to bloom. (Do not overheat your milk, it’ll kill your yeast!)
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, add in the sugar, bread flour, and salt. Mix until well combined.
- When your yeast has bloomed, add it to the dry ingredients along with the softened butter, ube extract (if using), and the rehydrated ube.
- Attach the bowl to the stand mixer and use the dough hook attachment. Set your mixer on low and allow it to mix all the ingredients together.
- Once a shaggy dough has formed, set the speed to medium-low and let it knead the dough for 10 minutes. You’ll know when your dough is fully kneaded when it springs back when you lightly press down on it.
- Remove the dough from the bowl, and lightly knead it to form it into a nice round ball. It’ll be a bit sticky, but try to avoid adding flour as you knead it.
- Place it in a lightly greased bowl, cover with a damp cloth or a bowl cover, and set it aside in a warm spot to rise for 1-2 hours, or until doubled in size.
- While you wait, prepare a square baking pan by lining it with parchment paper and set it aside.
- When your dough is done rising, lightly oil your hands, and punch down the dough. Measure out 9 equally sized pieces. You can eyeball this, or use a food scale for more accuracy. (This dough is stickier than normal dough, instead of adding more flour, lightly oil your hands so the dough will not stick, see notes)
- Working with one dough ball at a time, while covering the rest with a damp cloth, flatten the dough with a rolling pin, about 3 inches in diameter. Then flatten out the edges about 1-inch more, leaving a lump in the center. See notes
- Scoop out about a tablespoon of ube jam and spread it over the dough, leaving the edges bare.
- Next, add a tablespoon of vegan cream cheese and place it over the jam.
- Pull up the edges of the dough to cover the filling, and pinch the seams together.
- Flip it over so that the seam side is down. Use your hands to move it around in a circle, while using your pinky fingers to encourage the dough to tuck under itself and seal the seam.
- Repeat for the rest of the dough. When you’re done shaping and filling the pandesal, roll the tops of the dough with bread crumbs. (If your breadcrumbs are chunky, blitz in the food processor or high-speed blender to get them in a finer texture.)
- Cover them with a damp cloth and allow them to rise for another 30-40 minutes or until doubled in size. While you wait, preheat the oven to 350° Fahrenheit.
- When the dough balls are ready, remove the cloth and place the baking pan in the oven. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until the tops turn slightly dark, but not burnt. (Since these are purple it will be hard to tell if they are “golden”).
- Remove the ube pandesal from the oven, and allow it to cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Serve the rolls warm or at room temp, enjoy!
- Measure your flour properly. A common reason baked goods fail is incorrectly measured flour. I always recommend using a scale for accuracy when baking. This greatly improves your chance for success and lessens room for error. My recipes are 100% tested in grams.
- If you’re measuring by cups, avoid scooping the measuring cup directly into the flour. This tends to pack the flour into the cup, resulting in too much flour and a very dense or gummy finished product. Instead, aerate your flour (fluff it with a fork or spoon) and then spoon it into your measuring cups, leveling it with your finger or the back of a butter knife. Keep in mind though, this method is not guaranteed to be accurate.
- Watch this video from King Arthur on how to properly measure your flour if you don’t have a food scale: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GUSovVHpqsU
- Substitutes for purple yam powder. If you can’t find dehydrated purple yam powder, you can also use 1/3 cup of fresh mashed purple yam.
- Ube extract is totally optional, it just adds a boost of ube flavor and deeper purple color.
- Vegan Cheese. I personally prefer cream cheese in this recipe rather than cheddar because it goes together better. Cheddar is just too sharp for this recipe. You can totally swap in whatever cheese you prefer!
- No need for extra flour. Using additional flour as you knead or assemble, will cause the dough to get stiff and dry. This recipe is meant to be soft, using oil on your hands is a better option to keep it from sticking.
- No stand mixer? No problem, you can totally knead this by hand.
- Assembling method. Before you add the filling, you’ll have to flatten the dough. To do this, you’ll first want to roll out the dough to 3-inches in diameter. Then, flatten the edges about 1-inch more, leaving a lump in the center. Leaving a lump in the center will even out the top and the bottom of the pandesal. If you do not leave a lump in the center, it’ll cause the top of the pandesal to be super thin. Which might cause the filling to breakthrough.
- These Amazon links are mainly used for as a reference, these certain ingredients are very expensive to buy online. I bought all of these specialty ingredients at my local Filipino store! So if you have one near you, please check there first before buying online!
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