The good ol’ pandesal has come a long way from its humble beginnings. Nowadays, we see different flavors and colors. And, at the rate it’s going, I wouldn’t be surprised if more twists and variations will come out.
From sweet to savory, the possibilities are limited only by one’s creativity. But, whatever twist or flavor is added, as long as it’s pandesal, it would be a big hit for me!
Ube pandesal has been a hit since someone had the idea of combining the two. It started as plain, then creative minds added fillings : cheese then ube halaya and those with combined cheese and ube halaya.
If you come to think of it, the sweetness of ube pandesal matches really well with the saltiness of cheese. In my recipe, I used cream cheese because that’s our favorite and that little bit of tanginess from cream cheese balances the sweetness of the bun.
You can either use the cheese filling below or any cheese that you prefer. Just make sure to add an additional ¼ cup of sugar to the dough if you’re using plain cheese cubes.
I have more than a few pandesal recipes too if you want to give it a go. The healthy 100% Whole Wheat Kale Pandesal , Special Pandesal and the classic bakery-style Easy Homemade Pandesal which I usually rotate making, depending on what my family feels like having. And now, this ube cheese pandesal adds to that repertoire of pandesal choices. Enjoy!
Ube Cheese Pandesal
- ½ cup plus 2 Tablespoons warm water*
- 1 Tablespoon white sugar
- 1 ½ Tablespoons active dry yeast
- 6 cups all purpose flour divided****
- 1 cup warm milk
- ¼ cup canola oil
- 2 large eggs lightly beaten
- 3/4 cup white sugar
- 1 ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 Tablespoon Ube flavor McCormick
- 1 cup plain bread crumbs mix ½ teaspoon Ube flavoring, if desired
For the Cheese filling:
- 1 250 g pack cream cheese softened (I used Philadelphia)
- 1 cup icing sugar
- Pinch of salt
*OR you can use plain cream cheese (250g pack) instead. Cut the cream cheese into 5 equal pcs horizontally then divide each rectangle into 6 equal cubes. Add ¼ cup MORE sugar to the pandesal dough to balance the saltiness of the cheese.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer****,place warm water, yeast and 1 tablespoon sugar. Mix well and let stand for 5 minutes to proof the yeast.
- Using the paddle attachment, add the warm milk, oil, beaten eggs, ube flavoring, sugar, 3 CUPS OF FLOUR and salt. Mix well to combine the ingredients, about 30 seconds. Switch to the dough hook then add remaining flour (reserve ½ cup) at once and knead. If the dough is still sticky, add flour 1 Tablespoon at a time until the dough is no longer sticky. Knead for 5 minutes or until smooth. Dough will be soft and a little tacky but won’t stick to your hands when touched.
- Form the dough into a ball and coat with oil. Cover with a clean plastic wrap and let rise in a warm spot for an hour or until it doubles in size.
- Combine the ingredients for the cheese filling into a bowl. Mash any lumps and stir until it turns into a smooth paste. Cover and refrigerate.
- Punch the dough to release air bubbles and transfer to your work surface. Divide in half. Flatten each piece into a 1 / 2 inch thick rectangle and roll EACH dough tightly like a jelly roll, tucking it against itself in every turn. Pinch the edges to seal.
- Divide each log into 15 pieces. Take a piece of dough and form into a ball by gathering all the edges together. Pinch to seal and place on the counter, seam side down. Do the same with the rest and cover with plastic wrap or a tea towel.
- Remove the cheese filling from the fridge. Flatten each ball into a small circle and place a heaping teaspoon of cheese filling in the middle. Gather the edges and pinch very well to seal. Shape into a ball and roll in breadcrumbs. If using plain cheese cubes, just press the cheese gently on the ball of dough using your thumb and gather the edges to seal.
- Place on the baking sheets spacing at least an inch apart to leave room for rising. Cover with plastic wrap. And let rise for 30 minutes or until almost double in size.
- Preheat the oven to 315F and bake for 20mins**.