UBE Cheese Pandesal. Freshly baked purple-colored, ube-flavored pandesal with cheese filling or just plain ube cheese pandesal with no filling. It’s all the craze since last year (2019), but there fresh batches of them, and consumers are buying them all so that supply is never enough to meet the high demand.
I’ve tasted a few of these ube cheese pandesals but found most of them to be too commercialized to be enjoyable. Good thing Chef Jackie Ang Po, one of the most talented pastry chefs in the country today, shared her recipe of Ube Cheese Pandesal. I’ve had the recipe for a while but I could not squeeze baking into my schedule because I personally take care of my husband Raff, who suffered a second stroke June of 2019, and that is a full-time job, I tell you. But yesterday, I finally got down to baking that batch—all 24 pieces of delightful pandesals. I stuffed them not just with cheese but also with halayang ube which I bought from one of the online food vendors in our subdivision.
I followed Chef Jackie’s recipe to the smallest details, such as the baking time, and it turned out really well. The only problem was that my cheese slices were too thin. Should make them thicker and more substantial next time.
THE YEAST MIXTURE:
1 cup lukewarm water
1 tsp. instant yeast
2 tsps. sugar
FOR THE DOUGH:
500 grams bread flour
1 tsp. salt
100 grams sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 Tbsps. Ferna Ube Flavocol
2 egg yolks
450 grams Arla Natural Cheese (Mozzarella, Gouda, Emmental, Havarti)
extra bread flour
- Mix together ingredients for the yeast mixture. Let sit for 30 minutes.
- After 30 minutes, the mixture should be bubbly. This proves that there is yeast activity. Add the bread flour, salt, sugar, vegetable oil, Flavocol and egg yolks. Mix then knead by hand until the mixture comes together as a smooth and elastic dough. Place dough ball in a mixing bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise until double in size.
- Punch down, divide dough into two, and roll each into a baston. Make sure you scatter extra flour on the work surface and on the rolling pin so the dough does not stick to the table or to the rolling pin. You can also roll out each dough into a thin rectangle, then fold and roll up tightly into a baston. Cut each baston into 12 parts, each piece approximately 40 grams, with the whole finished dough totaling about 900 grams.
- For plain ube pandesal, roll each pandesal in breadcrumbs and arrange 12 pcs. pandesal dough on one baking sheet, cut side down and up. Let rise until double.
- For ube pandesal with cheese filling, roll out each 40-gram dough into a flat circle, place a 20-gram slice of cheese in the center, then gather up the ends like you will with siopao dough, pinch ends to seal dough, and roll lightly in your palm into an oblong shape. Should you wish to make it more decadent and add halayang ube, pipe it on top of the cheese slice before positioning it. Roll entire pandesal in breadcrumbs and arrange 12 pcs. pandesal dough on one baking sheet. Let rise until double.
- Bake in a preheated 350˚F (or 177˚C) oven for 15 minutes for this size. Do not overbake, as the violet color of the bread will turn black if you do.