Ube Cheese Halaya

Servings: 16


  • 10 g active dry yeast 1 Tbsp
  • 160 g warm water ⅔ cup
  • 115 g sugar ½ cup + 1 Tbsp
  • 113 g melted butter ½ cup or 1 stick
  • 180 g warm whole milk ¾ cup
  • 15 g salt ¾ tsp
  • 450 g ube halaya (jam) ½ cup for dough + 1½ cups for filling
  • 1 tbsp ube extract
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 320 g All purpose flour 2 ¼ cup
  • 355 g Bread flour plus more for dusting
  • 240 g white mild cheddar cheese or gouda cut into 15 g cubes
  • 90 g plain breadcrumbs about 1 cup


  • In the bowl of a stand mixer combine water, yeast and sugar and let sit for 5 minutes or until frothy.
  • Add milk, butter, sugar, salt, halaya, ube extract and beaten eggs and mix for 1-2 minutes with the dough hook attachment until blended.
  • Combine flours and add to the ube mixture in 2 halves. Mix for 1-2 minutes at low speed until well blended then turn up to medium speed and mix for about 10 minutes, scraping the bowl a few times. Dough will be sticky.
  • Move the dough into a lightly greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rise for one hour.
  • Turn the dough onto a floured counter and decompress the dough by fold in on itself several times. Roll out the dough into a log and scale into sixteen 90g pieces. Roll each piece into a tight round and cover with tea towel or lightly oiled plastic wrap for 5 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Pour the breadcrumbs into a small bowl. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Flatten a ball of dough into a round shape on a floured countertop. Use a cookie scooper or spoon to place about 20g of halaya in the middle of the dough round, place a cube of cheese on top and bring up the edges of the round over the cheese cube as if drawing up purse strings (or making bao). Pinch the top a few times then roll (seam side down) briefly to seal the seam. Roll in breadcrumbs to evenly coat the surface then place seam side down on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough balls.
  • Place the pandesal about ½" apart on one cookie sheet. Cover with lightly greased plastic wrap or place in a large plastic storage bag and let proof for ½ hour.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the bottoms are just turning golden and tops are firm to the touch. Cool in pan for 5 minutes then turn out onto a cooling rack to cool for a few more minutes before serving.
  • Pandesal can be reheated in a 300°F oven for 10 minutes.


Cheese:Filipino Eden cheese is also used which is similar to a mild cheddar
Depending on the brand of all purpose flour you might need less water (I made this recipe with King Arthur). 
We experimented with cheese amounts and types: some liked half the amount used in this recipe, some preferred Gouda over cheddar.  

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