These Ube rolls are soft milk bread filled with creamy purple yam filling. They are a perfect indulgent breakfast or snack to add sweetness to your day. Their soft, melt in your mouth texture and the creamy, buttery ube filling will leave you wanting more.
I love baking bread in our house because freshly baked breads make me look forward to waking up in the morning to have bread for breakfast. Well, I look forward to many good things each day but a batch of soft, fresh bread is another wonderful addition.
These ube rolls are a beautiful sight in the counter. Like the Brioche braid that I made a couple of weeks back, they are so addictive but by the time I have the last piece, I ask myself if it is really a good idea to keep baking carbs and make them so easy to reach for in this house. But then, just thinking about the smell of bread baking in the oven or just even the sight of dough rising in the bowl makes me want to bake bread day after day, after day.
Ube makes these rolls so special because you are adding a creamy element to the bread. On its own, it is such a wonderful treat already. The earthy, starchy profile made creamy and decadent by the addition of coconut milk, condensed milk and butter is such a perfect combination for an addictive dessert.
But when you incorporate it into bread, there’s whole new story.
The thin layer of ube in between the sheets of rolled bread adds moisture, richness and flavor to every bite, and this rolls are amazingly soft out of the oven. They are like delicate packets of clouds that pull apart very easily with spots of purple peeking through their thin skin as you expose their sides.
The bread was adapted from this milk bread recipe which is a simple recipe for a soft bread that uses the stand mixer to do the kneading. I just use half the dough and half the ube at a time. You can use the remaining portion of ube and dough for another time within the week to bake more ube rolls, or you can freeze the dough for future use and just eat the remaining ube as a dessert on its own.
The flavor gets better as they sit too. It gets more ube-y and bread-y the next day. If your ube rolls last for more than two days, just re-heat them in the microwave for 15 seconds or so , and they are still amazingly soft and tasty. I store them in a covered container in the counter for a day, after that you might want to refrigerate them to preserve the ube.
Making the ube jam is a pretty straightforward process. You just melt butter with coconut milk and condensed milk over medium heat, then add the grated ube. Initially, the mixture is nowhere near the consistency of a jam or paste. It will be soupy and runny but as it cooks, the liquids get soaked up and you will yield a thick and sticky paste which is an indication that your ube is done.
I used frozen grated ube sold at Asian supermarket. They are labelled as grated purple yam and usually come in 454 grams packages. Thaw them before cooking. It is also important to note that that while cooking the purple yam with the milk mixture, you must stir it continuously especially when it gets thicker to avoid the jam from forming burnt crusts.
Then as a finishing touch, brush the baked rolls with the simple sugar glaze to add notes of sweetness and gloss on the surface.
Your rolls are ready to enjoy!
Ube Bread Rolls
These Ube rolls are soft milk bread filled with creamy purple yam filling.
FOR THE BREAD
- 2/3 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon milk
- 1 egg
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 4 cups all purpose flour
- 1 tbsp . active dry yeast
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoon salt
FOR THE UBE (PURPLE YAM) FILLING
- 1 lb frozen grated ube (purple yam), found in Asian groceries
- 1 can coconut milk (400 ml)
- 1 can condensed milk (300 ml)
- 1 stick (or 1/2 cup) unsalted butter
- 3 tsp sugar
- 2 tsp water
MAKE THE UBE FILLING
In a medium sauce pan, melt butter over medium heat. Add the coconut milk and condensed milk and stir until heated. Add the grated ube (purple yam) and stir everything together. This process takes 40-50 minutes until the ube is cooked. The mixture will be thick and sticky. It is important to stir the mixture often during cooking to prevent it from forming a crust. Transfer the ube jam/ paste to a container and set aside.
MAKE THE BREAD
Combine heavy cream and milk in a microwavable bowl and heat in the microwave for 40 seconds at a time until the mixture reaches 115 F. In a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, add the ingredients in the following order: Milk mixture, egg, sugar, flour,yeast and salt. Turn the mixer on low and stir the ingredients until the powders are moistened, Turn the mixer to medium speed and stir the mixture for 15 minutes. The dough should gather in the center of the bowl, and should be slapping the sides of the bowl while making some slapping sounds. This is the sign that your dough is ready.
Gather the dough into a ball, place it in a bowl that is sprinkled with a little flour. Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel and set aside for about an hour to an hour and a half, until size is doubled. After proofing, return the dough to the bowl of stand mixer and knead again for 5 minutes using the dough hook. On a floured surface, divide the dough into two equal portions. Set aside one half portion for later use. Roll the other half into a large rectangle with about 1/4 inch thickness. Gently spread a thin layer of ube filling on top. With the long side of the rectangle facing you, roll the dough into a tight log. Cut into 16-18 pieces that are 2 to 2 1/2 inches thick and place in a single layer on a buttered 9 x 13 inch pan. Cover the rolls with kitchen towel and let rise for another hour.
Preheat oven to 350 F. Bake the rolls for 15 minutes. The top should be lightly golden and a temperature should read 200 F. To make the glaze , stir 2 teaspoons of hot water and 3 teaspoons of sugar. Brush over the surface of the ube rolls. Store leftovers in a covered container and refrigerate. Warm in the microwave for 10-12 seconds to re-heat. The remaining ube can be used for the remaining half of dough. Or you can eat the ube as it is and just freeze the other half of the bread dough.