This Double Ube Spanish Bread turns a panaderia classic extra special! Ube flavors both the bread and the filling, and we got a bit of cheese in there too!
These past few years I feel like I’ve really embraced my love for ube. I didn’t use to think about making ube variations of things as much as I do now, but ever since my Ube Cheese Pandesal and Ube Egg Pie successes, It didn’t make sense for me to stop looking for other things to make. It helps that I also found my “holy grail” ube halaya in the form of Bahay Pastulan‘s Ube Halaya. It’s really ironic because this brand is kind of like the “Southern” counterpart of the famous Good Shepherd from Baguio/the North, and yet I prefer this. Somehow to me this tastes better…
Anyway! Here we are with another ube recipe: Ube Spanish Bread. Scratch that, this is a DOUBLE Ube Spanish Bread! Ube on the outside, and on the inside too!
This recipe from Pagkaing Pinoy blog features a fantastic Ube Spanish Bread base recipe that stays super soft for days! I have eaten my fair share of Spanish breads in my life from bakeries with different price points, and in truth not all of them make Spanish breads that stay fluffy after a day. Even the expensive bakeries don’t get it right all the time. This one though was a pleasant surprise. The bread stays fluffy for the days. Nothing beats freshly baked breads obviously, but this one after a day or so is still pretty close to freshly baked especially after being reheated in the microwave or toaster.
I have tried reheating this in both microwave and toaster and found that it works on both. If I remember correctly, I do 10 seconds on the microwave and like 1 minute on the toaster. Adjust time according to your preference. This recipe makes a lot of bread so there will most certainly be leftovers– unless you have a household big enough to wolf down 24 in one sitting.
An amazing Double Ube Spanish Bread
Aside from having amazing texture and crumb, the bread itself also has a nice ube flavor. It’s not a strong in-your-face kind of ube, but because we use a mix of halaya AND extract in the dough it’s very present. And to think I actually ran out of ube extract when I made this. Your Ube Spanish Bread may come out a little darker than mine if you use at least 1½ teaspoons.
As for the filling, this recipe makes enough to generously fill the breads so you don’t have to worry about shortage. I increased the amount of cheese from the original recipe a little bit. The flavor of the filling is a lovely sweet, buttery, salty, and ube-y. (Inventing words here lol.) Imagine the usual Spanish Bread filling that’s not super sweet and packed with ube flavor. By the way, I would recommend portioning the filling into 24 while you wait for the dough to rise just to make the shaping process easier and quicker.
For a more interesting Ube Spanish Bread, you might want to try coating with graham cracker crumbs instead of just breadcrumbs. The graham crackers will add a bit of sweetness, but also some pleasant honey undertones. If you like your Spanish Bread on the sweet side as some people do, going this route will be rewarding.
- I recommend mixing the dough ingredients in the bowl with a wooden spoon first. This is an extra step but you can ensure that you get all the dry ingredients at the bottom of the bowl as well. Basically, you just want to mix the dough ingredients until all the dry ingredients are more or less wet and are part of the shaggy main mass of dough. Once you no longer see any dry bits of ingredients at the bottom you can attach the bowl to your stand mixer and let it do the rest of the work.
- Knead the dough until elastic but still tacky and damp. The dough needs to be kneaded for about 6 to 10 minutes, until you get dough that is elastic enough to be stretched to a thin-ish membrane without breaking. If the dough breaks easily if you tug it gently, it’s not ready. Also aim for dough that feels damp to the touch and a little tacky. We don’t want super sticky dough here, just dough that feels “hydrated” rather than dry. This will translate to a super soft bread so please DO NOT ADD MORE FLOUR. While transferring the dough to the bowl where it will proof, lightly oil your hands so the dough does not stick to your hands as you transfer it. This dough is incredibly easy to work with.
- Make sure to mix the filling ingredients until it’s well-combined. At the beginning it will be difficult to get everything to mix together properly, but keep at it and it will turn into a purplish rough paste. For the cheese, I highly recommend using cheddar cheese or similar for a hit of saltiness. I always love the contrast of ube halaya and salty cheese!
- If your dough bounces back as you’re forming your Ube Spanish Bread, leave dough to rest about 10 minutes. This little rest time will help relax the gluten and prevent significant bounce-back of the dough.
- Spread the filling on the entire surface of your triangle of dough for even distribution after baking. This recipe makes a generous amount of filling so it’s virtually impossible to have a shortage. Also, the filling is thick enough that it doesn’t leak out of the dough as you form the bread and cause a lot of grief lol.
- If your Ube Spanish Breads are not uniformly formed, it’s totally okay. These Pinoy breads are rustic by nature. It’s okay if they don’t look “perfect” as long as they taste good and have a good amount of filling inside!
- You have the option to use graham cracker crumbs in place of breadcrumbs to coat. Graham cracker crumbs will add some sweetness as well as some honey tones to the bread. Give it a try!
- These breads stay super soft for days! Though these are best freshly baked, I find they are close to that even after a day or so at room temp. After 2 days max at room temp (it’s hot here!), I keep them in the fridge to prolong freshness. I do not like to eat cold bread so I reheat my Ube Spanish Bread. You can do so either in the microwave (about 10 seconds for me) or the toaster (about a minute), depending on your preference. It takes less time in the microwave but I prefer the “toastiness” of bread heated in the toaster.
Double Ube Spanish Bread
For the bread
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons instant dry yeast
- ½ cup white sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup warm water
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- 1 egg
- ½ cup ube halaya
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1½ to 2 teaspoons ube flavoring
- 1 cup breadcrumbs or crushed graham crumbs for rolling
For the filling
- ½ cup butter
- ½ cup breadcrumbs
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- ½ heaping cup ube halaya
- ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
Make the dough
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, use a wooden spoon or spatula to mix together the flour, instant yeast, sugar, and salt. Make a well in the center and add in the water, vegetable oil, egg, ube halaya, vanilla extract, and ube flavoring. Mix well a shaggy dough is formed.
- Attach the bowl to your stand mixer and attach the dough hook. Knead the dough for about 6 minutes or so, until dough is elastic and smooth, but still tacky. You want the dough to be tacky but not overly sticky. Just in case it is, add more flour 2 Tablespoons at a time until it becomes just tacky and not super sticky. Resist the urge to add too much additional flour to keep the dough soft after baking. I didn’t need to add any more flour. (You may manually knead this dough for 8 to 10 minutes until smooth, but it will be very very sticky initially so use a machine if you have it.)
- Using oiled hands, transfer the dough into a separate lightly greased bowl. Roll dough inside the bowl to coat all over. Cover with plastic wrap or a damp towel and allow to proof for about 1 hour or so, or until doubled in size.
Meanwhile, make the filling
- In a medium bowl, mix together the filling ingredients until a homogenous, thick paste is created. Portion the filling into 24 mounds on a piece of parchment or plate.
- Place the breadcrumbs/graham cracker crumbs in a wide plate. Line two 9- x 13-inch baking trays with parchment paper.
Shape the bread
- Once the dough is ready, gently punch down to release air bubbles. Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured work surface. Knead briefly to further release air bubbles and shape it into a square or a round, something that will make it easy to divide. Cut the dough into 24 equal parts. (To make it more precise, you may use a scale.)
- Shape each piece of dough into a rough inverted triangle shape with your hands, then use a rolling pin to roll it out into a flat pizza-like shape, about 1/8 inches thick. Use an offset spatula to spread filling onto the flattened dough. It’s up to you if you want to leave a 1/8 inch border or spread the filling all the way to the edges. I prefer to spread the filling on the entire surface.
- From the wide end, roll the dough down toward the thinner “pointed” end. Gently pinch seam to seal. Roll the formed bread in breadcrumbs/graham cracker crumbs, shaking off the excess. Place onto prepared baking tray, spacing at least 1 inch apart. One baking tray will fit 12 pieces of bread. Repeat until all the dough and filling have been used up.
- Cover formed breads with towel or plastic wrap and leave to rise for another 30 minutes, or until double in size. Meanwhile, preheat oven at 350°F (180°C).
- Bake breads, one sheet at a time for 15 minutes. To give the breads a nice golden brown/toasted exterior, bake with upper and lower heating elements on for 10 minutes. (I find that my breads brown too much of I bake it the entire 15 minutes with up and down heating on. This part will depend on your preference on how toasted you like your Spanish bread.)
- Remove bread form the oven and give it about 10 minutes to cool. These are best enjoyed freshly baked and warm with a glass of Lavender Cardamom Latte (recipe below), however they will remain soft for several days after. I keep them at room temperature up to 2 days then move leftovers to the fridge afterwards. Reheat in microwave or toaster as desired.
Now for the drink, it’s not a requirement to enjoy the Ube Spanish Bread, but it sure pairs well with it. I used homemade Lavender Syrup, the recipe of which I got from Caffeinated with Chi on Instagram. Actually the recipe of the drink is from her as well. Her Lavender Cardamom Latte is just spiced enough to make it delicious rather than overwhelming. The pleasant fragrance of lavender permeates the latte just so. Nothing about this is too much or offensive. It’s just a really nice change-up from the usual latte, and I think the spices worked really with ube.
You can use store-bought lavender syrup for this recipe OF COURSE! I just really like making my own syrups if I can help it. Annoyingly enough, I tried a new milk brand when I made this and couldn’t get it to foam properly for the video. One sip of this made it all okay though lol.
Lavender Cardamom Latte
- ½ cup steamed milk
- 1 Tablespoon lavender syrup
- ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 shots espresso (or ¼ cup strong brewed coffee)
- Froth steamed milk with the lavender syrup and spices, until well-mixed and frothy. The hot milk will help the spices incorporate better.
- Transfer frothed milk into serving glass over ice. Top with espresso. Stir and enjoy!
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