(Chicago) – Filipino cuisine should be banking on ingredients that are uniquely Pinoy. Ube is one of them. Although it appears in some Chinese dishes, Filipinos made ube a favorite component of many of its toothsome desserts and pastries. There’s ube cake with macapuno, ube jam used often in halo-halo, ube ice cream, ube empanada, ube loaf, ube ensaimada and many more. Even in pandesal, ube does wonder in elevating the texture, flavor and moisture of the bread. And the color is just appetizingly pretty.  Love this tiny piece of bread!

Here’s my adaption of Amy Besa’s ube pandesal from her book, Memories of Philippine Kitchen. Enjoy!  🙂



  • 3 cups bread flour
  • ½ cup ube (purple yam) flour
  • 2 envelopes active dry yeast
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 4 tablespoons ( ½ stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ½ cup fine dry bread crumbs




In a bowl of an electric mixer, combine half of the bread flour and all of ube flour. Add the yeast, salt and sugar.  Pour in 1 ½ cups warm water. Mix using a hand beater to form in a smooth batter. Blend the butter.

Put the bowl in the electric mixer with dough hook.  With the hook in motion, add the remaining bread flour, ½ cup at a time, until the dough has worked into a rough mass that easily pulls away from the sides of the bowl.


Transfer the dough to a large buttered bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Place in a warm, draft-free spot and let rise until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.


Punch down to deflate, cover with plastic wrap and let it rise a second time until doubled in bulk, about 30 minutes.


Punch down once more and cut dough in half. Working with one half of the dough at a time, form about 16 equal rolls.


Shape each roll in your palm.


Roll the balls in the bread crumbs to coat.



Place on a baking sheet. Cover loosely with damp kitchen towel and let rise for 30 minutes.


Preheat the oven to 400F.  Sprinkle the rolls with more bread crumbs and transfer to oven.  Bake until lightly browned and hard on the bottom, 20 to 25 minutes.


Cool on wire racks


All done. Slice in the middle and put your favorite spread.  Be it corned beef, adobo flakes, peanut butter or coco jam, it will all taste fabulous. Enjoy.