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Our family friend recently gave birth to a beautiful baby girl, and her pregnancy was easy for the most part. However, it’s common knowledge that expectant women are very picky when it comes to the food that they eat and my friend was no exception. One of the things she asked me to make was Ube (purple yam blend) Pandesal to help with the terrible cravings. Her palate, sense of taste, and smell was very sensitive. I wanted to give her something that was sweet and flavorful without the possibility of causing her distaste.
When I made the ube pandesal, I decided to use Apollonia in the dough to see if its chocolate flavor would enhance the nutty-vanilla flavor of the Ube. The result of my experiments? The blend not only created a unique flavor, the violet color of the ube turned pale pink in the bread. It was the first time that my friend was introduced to the blend and she loved it. It makes for a delicious sweet bread that you can eat at any time: whether as breakfast in the morning, or as a snack later in the day. Alors, here is the recipe my friend lovingly dubbed the “Pink pandesal”.
Makes about 20 pieces
375 grams all-purpose unbleached flour
100 grams ube yam (thawed)
140 grams coconut milk
1 medium egg (at room temperature)
1 tsp salt
40 grams shortening or lard
60 grams sugar
In a medium bowl, mix together the flour and salt.
Make a well in the center of the flour and add sugar & the yeast.
In a small bowl, mix together coconut milk and egg. Pour these into the well you made in the flour. Allow the yeast mixture to sit for 5 minutes or until the mixture forms bubbles at the top, then add the ube and Apollonia spice.
Slowly incorporate the wet ingredients into the dry.
As the dough begins to form, slowly add fat until it is fully incorporated.
Once the dough stops sticking to the sides of the bowl, turn dough out onto a floured surface. Knead your dough for 10 minutes using the slap and fold method. Use the window pane test to determine if dough is ready.
Grease the sides of a bowl. Place the dough in and cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Rest for 1 1/2 hours, until it has doubled in size.
Punch dough down, divide into two equal parts, remove to a work surface, and roll each piece into a long rectangle.
Roll each piece of dough lengthwise into a log that's about 1 1/2 inches in diameter.
Cut each log into about 10 equal pieces using a bench scraper.
Dredge the pieces in breadcrumbs.
Line sheet trays with parchment paper, place the pieces evenly on the sheets, cut side facing up, and proof at room temperature for 40 minutes, until doubled in size.
Preheat your oven to 400° F.
They take about 10 minutes using a convection oven, but may take longer in a regular oven.