Hawaiian Ube Bread
Recently, my aunt and uncle who live in Hawaii returned to Cali with this wonderfully sweet, soft, purple Hawaiian Ube Bread! What?! Hawaiian purple bread? My son thoroughly enjoyed it and still asks about it a year later.Full of anthocyanins, it just might be the bread version of a superfood!
When we took our trip to Maui we made it a point to seek out the bakery responsible for this delicious loaf. Now, you can find Taro Bread all over the island. The Taro Bread is purple, but that’s about it. You can’t really even tell by tasting it that there’s much difference between it and regular bread. Our friends over at Kirbie Cravings have a nice little rant about Ube vs Taro (hint: taro root is not ube). Anyways, this bread is different from Taro Bread or a taro bun you might find. And much better. This is sweet, fluffy, soft and really great for just about anything. But you can eat it just by itself and be happy.
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Now, we made it to the Home Maid Bakery eventually, but this is Hawaii. They didn’t have any. When we asked if they would have any tomorrow, or any time soon, we just got a strange look. Finally they asked around and told us that the person who makes that bread is on vacation. The one person. And when he would return was not really known.
So needless to say we were Hawaiian Ube Breadless. I finally got around to making my own attempt at a Hawaiian Ube Bread recipe. Mine is not quite as purple as theirs, but just as delicious.
A couple of things to point out
- Yes, I know it’s slightly underbaked in the picture, but I adjusted the time in the recipe
- Ube Halaya, you can definitely find at Filipino Groceries, and probably at most other asian groceries, or of course you can get it at Amazon –
And now, it turns out there are emerging studies that show that purple bread is actually good for you! Well at least it’s better than white bread. Now be sure, I am not a scientist, or a chemist, but if the studies are true, then that makes this bread even more exciting!
According to a story published on CNN.com, a food scientist named Zhou Weibiao has discovered that when he added anthocyanins, which he extracted from black rice to bread, it caused a chemical reaction with the starch enzymes in the bread, slowing digestion by 20%
The problem with white bread is that it digests too quickly and it spikes blood sugar levels.
Anthocyanin occurs naturally in foods such as grapes, blueberries, and yes, ube! The same article states that
Studies have shown that anthocyanins can help prevent cardiovascular and neurological diseases and cancer, and play a role in controlling obesity and diabetes, as they can inhibit digestive enzymes and reduce glucose levels.
So again, I’m not a food scientist, but since anthocyanins exist in high levels in ube then I would assume that this carries over to my purple bread recipe!
Make some and enjoy with a nice bubble tea, or ice cream!
Hawaiian Ube Bread
- Stand mixer
- 3 1/3 Cups Bread Flour
- 1 Cup Ube Halaya Ube Jam
- 1 Egg Large
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1 1/2 tsp Yeast Instant Active
- 2/3 Cup Milk Warm
- 1/2 Cup Coconut Oil Warmed
- In a large oiled mixing bowl, dissolve yeast in warm milk. Allow to proof until creamy, about 10 minutes. Note - if you are using rapid rise yeast, you don't really have to do this, but I like to see that these critters are alive and kicking beforehand
- Mix salt, oil, egg, and ube into the yeast/milk mixture. Make sure the oil is warm, but not hot to kill the yeast, or cook the egg. Coconut oil solidifies at room temp.
- Mix in flour one cup at a time.
- Using your stand mixer with bread hook attachment, knead dough on medium for approximately 15 minutes. I like to do 5 minutes in the mixer, and 10 minutes by hand. Only because I like the feel of hand kneading. The dough will feel slightly sticky, and slightly dense.
- Place in a well oiled bowl and turn to coat
- Cover bowl with a cling wrap and allow to rise in a warm place for 60 minutes. I like to place it in the oven with the light turned on. That thing puts off more heat than you think. Quick note here, the first time I did this the dough really didn't rise at all, but I ventured forth
- Punch dough down and place in a well oiled 9 x 5 loaf pan. Allow to rise again for 60 minutes.
- Bake in preheated oven at 350F for 60 minutes
I may try it again using powdered ube, and also fresh ube and see how it turns out. The Ube Halaya has quite a bit of sugar in it, so I’ll have to keep that in mind for future recipes.
Please let me know if you made this recipe and how it turned out!
And if you’re looking for something more substantial, try our empanada recipe!