This ube pandesal recipe is the softest, fluffiest, and tastiest purple bread rolls with a purple-yam flavor and a creamy cheese filling. Perfect for bread-making beginners and experts alike! They’re perfect as everyday breakfast or an anytime snack.
I’m obsessed with ube flavor bread, desserts, and delicacies. My first ube recipe in this blog is the very popular ube jam. This recipe for cheese ube pandesal has been tried tested so many times and it always comes out soft, pillowy, and moist even after a few days. Staying fresh for up to 5 days on the countertop with the same texture as when it came out from the oven.
One of the secrets to this ultra-soft bread roll is the ube. Ube or purple yam in English is a root crop just like a sweet potato but purple in color.
This is one of the most requested breads from my Filipino community next to my pandesal. Since people enjoy my pandesal and ube halaya recipes, I thought I will share my buttery, yummy, and easy to make ube pandesal recipe. I first shared this recipe on my youtube channel in 2019 and everybody seems to be successfull following my recipe.
Ingredients and susbtitutions notes
The ingredients for our easy cheese ube pandesal are very similar to the classic pandesal. Check out the original recipe. We will just add some ube halaya, ube extract, and cheese filling to the recipe tweaking the recipe a little bit but they are both the amazing.
- Ube halaya or boiled and mashed ube – Some people have success using ube powder. if using ube powder, use 1/4 cup of powder and 3/4 cup of hot water or milk to dissolve and rehydrate the powder.
- Ube extract – It adds flavor and purple color. Available in Asian supermarkets.
- All purpose flour or bread flour – You can use all purpose flour or bread flour. Bread flour makes your bread light and airy. You can also use the 1:2 ratio. 1 cup all purpose flour and 2 cups bread flour.
- Butter – It taste better, softer, and moist from the fat content of butter. Shortening is my next go to. You can also use margarine or cooking oil.
- Active dry yeast or instant dry yeast – Yeast helps to give a light and sponge-like texture of the bread. It also provides flavor, aroma, and nutritional value of bread. You can use instant yeast as a substitute. The latter requires less time to proof so it may be best to use it when you are in a hurry.
- Lukewarm milk – Lukewarm milk or evaporated milk if you want rich milky flavor (not hot or cold) to help activate the dry yeast making it bloom. For the softest purple bread rolls, use whole milk. Check the photo below for the yeast activitation. You can also use water as substitute.
- Granulated sugar – We want our pandesal to be slightly sweet with sugar. Sugar is also useful to provide food for the yeast. Add a few more tablespoon if you want your ube pandesal extra sweet.
- Salt – Flavor enhancer.
- Eggs – As a binder and adds flavor and moist texture to the bread.
- Cream cheese – For me, creamy cheese achieve the best filling. You can use cheddar cheese or eden cheese.
- Breadcumbs – To coat our bread. You can use oatmeal or cornmeal as substitute.
How to make ube pandesal
Preparing and baking is thebest part and it always excites me. It is an art and gives me joy and happiness to make my own homemade bread.
- Activate the yeast. Using a lukewarm milk, we need to dissolve a tablespoon of granulated sugar and dry active yeast. Why did we add sugar? It feeds the yeast. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes to activate. Check the picture below. I do this whenever I use dry active yeast or instant dry yeast to check if its still active.
- Dough. While waiting for the yeast to create bubbles, let’s make the dough. Start by combining dry ingredients: flour, sugar and salt, mix well using a dough hook. Add the rest of the ingredients including yeast mixture.
- Knead – You can use a dough hook or use your hands with a little elbow grease to knead the dough. You need extra time if you are using your hands but it is so rewarding.
- Due to the ube halaya, the dough will be sticky but that is normal. Rub some oil on your hands while kneading manually and be patient as it will lessen while continue to kneading. Knead the dough until it looks and feels smooth and elastic for about 15 minutes on hand kneading and 10-12 minutes using electic mixer.
- Proof and Assemble – Grease the dough and the bowl. Cover with damp towel and let it proof for about 1-2 hours or until doubled in size. This may vary due to your kitchen temperature. Dough rises faster in a warmer environment.
- Once it has doubled in size, punch the dough to release the air. Divide it into 2 equal parts. Form the dough into a log shape and divide into 6-7 pieces in each dough. We should have 12-14 pieces total depending on size.
- Flatten each pieces and insert a slice of cream cheese or any cheese of your choice. Tuck the ends and seal. Place in a baking tray with silicon or parchment paper on the bottom. Cover with a damp towel. Let it rise for another hour or until size are doubled.
Bake – Preheat your oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit or 177 degrees Celcius. Now it’s time to bake. Depending on the sizes of the purple bread rolls and oven temperature, the baking period will be about 20-23 minutes. Check your bread around the 20 minute mark.
- Yeast grows and multiplies best at 75 degrees fahrenheit to 85 degrees fahrenheit. If your house is too cold, turn on the oven to the lowest setting for about 3 minutes, turn off, and move the dough in the center of the oven to rise faster.
- Stand mixer will ease the kneading process but you can use your hands, kneading for about 15 minutes until your dough is smooth, elastic, and less sticky by rubbing oil on your hands and working surface. You can also avoid overkneading by hands and get an arm workout done.
- The milk or water to activate the yeast should be lukewarm or about 110 Fahrenheit – 115 Fahrenheit. Hotter than that might kill the yeast. If the yeast did not turn foamy or bubbly after 10 minutes, discard the mixture and start over again. Do this method with dry active yeast and instant yeast.
Make ahead, Storage, and reheating tips
- Make Ahead – You can prepare the dough the day before using the same step by step process. Refrigerate it after kneading or once they are filled and formed. Cover with plastic wrap and store it in the refrigerator overnight. When ready to bake, allow it to sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes before going on the next step. I recommend using dry-active yeast if you are going this route. Use within 3 days for best results.
- Storage – Cool down completely and transfer to an air-tight container.
- Countertop – Leave it on your countertop and it will last for 3- 5 days.
- Freezer – Ube pandesal is freezer friendly. It will last a long time in the freezer if you store it properly. In my own exprience, it lasts in the freezer for about 3-4 months.
- Reheating – Use microwave, oven, or oven toaster to reheat. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight or about 30 minutes on the countertop until it reaches room temperature.
- Oven – Reheat in the oven in 350F or 177C using a baking tray or oven safe container and bake for 5 minutes or until warn throughly.
- Microwave – Reheat in a microwave safe container for about 30 seconds or until warm through.
Ube Pandesal (Purple Bread Rolls) Recipe
- 1 Oven
- 1 Stand Mixer
- 1 Baking tray
- 1 Silicon mat or parchment paper
- 1/2 cup lukewarm milk or evaporated milk
- 2 1/4 teaspoon dry active yeastor instant yeast
- 7 tablespoons sugar
- 3 1/2 cups bread flour
- 2 large eggs
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup ube halaya
- 2 teaspoons ube extract
- 1 block cream cheese or cheddar cheese
- 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
- Dissolve the yeast and add 1 tablespoon of sugar in lukewarm milk. Let it sit for 10 minutes to activate.
- In a stand mixer bowl, combine half of the flour, salt, and remaining sugar and mix well using a dough hook. Add butter, eggs, and yeast mixture. Using a dough hook, beat to combine. Gradually add the rest of the flour 1/2 cup at a time. Add more flour if needed to get the right consistency for about 10 minutes. You can also knead the dough with your hands for about 15 minutes.
- Transfer the dough to a floured surface and continue kneading with your hands until the dough is soft, smooth and elastic. Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover with a damp towel and let it rise for 2 hours or until doubled in size.
- Punch the dough to release air. Divide it in 2 equal parts. Form the 2 dough into a log shapes and divide in 6-7 pieces in each dough. Flatten each pieces and insert a slice of cream cheese or any cheese of your choice. Tuck the ends and seal. Roll in breadcrumbs and place in a baking tray with silicon or parchment paper on the bottom. Cover with a damp towel. Let the rolls rise for another hour or until size are doubled.
- Bake in 350F or 177C in a preheated oven for about 20-23 minutes. Serve and enjoy!
- One of the secrets to this ultra-soft bread is ube halaya. You can make your own using my recipe above or store-brought. You can simply boil and mashed 3/4 cup of ube root crop and you are good to go.
- You can use all-purpose flour for this recipe. It is easy to find and at a lower cost. However, bread flour will achieve more chewy and airy bread in my opinion. Don’t worry because both flours will work.
- Make this ahead by refrigerating your dough. I prepare my dough at night and rest it in the refrigerator overnight. I’ll bake it the next morning.