I wasn’t a big fan of breads back when I was a kid but I have always had a soft spot for some yummy Filipino Cheese Bread. I used to always go to the market with my mom to do some weekly grocery shopping and we would always stop at a bakery off the main street to buy some bread. One of the many goodies that were on display was Filipino cheese bread.
This post is a part the Filipino Bread series. This series aims to promote well-loved Filipino bread to everyone. Check out the other posts included in this series: #FilipinoBreadSeries .
As I remember, that bakery’s Filipino cheese bread was really yummy, especially after it had just come out of the oven. However, there were times when they sold cheese breads that weren’t as freshly baked as I had wanted them to be and a lot of times the cheese topping kept falling off the bread.
I decided to use my recipe for pandesal as the base for this milky cheese bread and as I had some company coming, it was the best time to test out the recipe that I developed for this cheesy bread. I set some goals for this recipe. I wanted the bread to be:
- with lots of toppings
I crossed the first two off the list because the pandesal recipe that I used pretty much guaranteed that the final bread would turn out soft and milky. I was now stuck with the problem of how to make the topping cheesy and prevent it from slipping off the bread.
I figured the main reason the topping kept falling off was probably the high temperature and humidity in the Philippines (or in Singapore, where I am now hehehe). Due to the heat, the cheese becomes slippery, which makes grating it difficult. The cheese also sticks to the icing sugar and dissolves it. And getting it to stick to the bread? Forget it. Clearly, I had to do something about it.
I stored the cheese in the fridge for a couple of hours to harden it so that it’s easier to grate and mix with the sugar. You may still want to run it through a blender for a second or two though, to get rid of the clumps before popping it back again in the fridge (to prevent it from melting) while you’re working with the rest of the ingredients.
Remove the cheese from the fridge just as you get ready to shape your dough then smother the dough balls with it. Like really smother them with cheese. Roll the dough balls in cheese and sprinkle even more cheese on top.
I served these to my friends and the verdict? It was a success! A real crowdpleaser!
Soft, milky, and cheesy in one bread? Sign me up for it!
For the Dough:
480 grams (4 cups) all purpose flour
35 grams (1/4 cup) powdered milk
2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
1 teaspoon salt
240 ml (1/2 cup) milk
1 egg, large
57 grams (1/4 cup) butter, softened
For the Cheese Topping:
226 grams (2 cups) cheddar cheese, grated finely
60 grams (1/2 cup) all purpose flour
170 grams (1 1/2 cups) icing sugar
140 grams (1 cup) powdered milk
57 grams (1/4 cup) butter, melted and cooled
- Combine the milk and the eggs in a bowl.
- Mix in the flour, sugar, milk powder, salt, and yeast. After kneading for a few minutes (just enough for the dough to come together) add the butter in batches.
- Knead until the dough is soft and elastic (until windowpane stage). Form into a ball and transfer to an oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let it rest for 1-2 hours or until the dough has doubled in size.
- Transfer the dough onto a well floured surface. Punch down the dough to slightly deflate.
- To prepare the topping: In a bowl, mix the cheese, flour, icing sugar, and powdered milk thoroughly. Gradually add the melted butter while mixing, until no lumps form. Set aside
- Divide the dough into 24 equal pieces. Shape each piece into a ball and roll it in the topping. Place each ball onto a baking sheet.
- Cover the dough balls and rest for 1 hour or until the they double in size.
- Preheat the oven to 350F/180C. Bake the bread for 10 -12 minutes or until light golden brown.
- I cut the butter into pats, since it makes it faster to soften to room temperature and easier to add to the dough.
- I found it easier to use chilled cheese for the toppings, especially if the weather is hot. Additionally, I chill the topping while waiting for the dough to rise.
- To avoid lumps in the topping, I very briefly ran it through a blender before putting it in the fridge. This makes it easier for the topping to cling to the bread instead of dropping off in clumps.
What to some more recipes like this?