There used to be a bakery about 3 blocks away from my childhood home where we would go and buy freshly baked bread from. Our favorite was obviously the pandesal, followed closely by the so-called Spanish Bread. Not so popular with my brothers but immensely liked by me was the Pan de Ube (Purple Yam Bread). It was basically a “bun” sandwich which was filled with ube paste. Now, whether the ube filing is the real thing or not was never an issue (before, that is).
Lately though, I have been “feeling” that the ube filling is not real at all, but just some sweet, purple-colored paste pretending to be ube. Thus began my journey to make my own ube bread. I started a couple of years back using straight method dough for bread but lately my go-to recipe is the no-knead recipe by Jeff Hertzbery and Zoe Francois!
As for the ube filling (halaya), store bought is fine (as long as you know they use genuine products) or make your own!
(First of all, ube is not taro, or sweet potato!)
1 kilo ube, steamed or boiled, then mashed
1 cup butter
1 cup condensed milk
1 cup thin coconut milk
1/2 cup thick coconut cream
1/4 cup sugar (or to taste)
1 teaspoon vanilla
Melt the butter; Add the condensed milk, coconut milk and coconut cream. Stir to mix. Add the sugar and vanilla; mix. Add the mashed ube and cook, over low heat, until thick, about 20 to 30 minutes, stirring constantly. Take care not to burn the mixture!
(Note – purple food color may be added to enhance the color of the halaya, since the purple pigment of the ube varies greatly. When the inherent color of the ube is insufficient, the end product is likely to be gray in color and will look unappetizing.)
Let the mixture cool before storing in the fridge.
To make the bread, roll out a piece of dough and spread some ube halaya. Roll it up into a long strip and fold into a knot. Bake at 375*F for about 15 minutes (longer for bigger pieces),