Malunggay Cheese Pandesal is a more creative innovation of the most famous Filipino breakfast bread.
Pandesal is amazing. It is a bread that already tastes great on its own. And it tastes even better with different kinds of palaman. From sweet to savory - all of them suit the taste of the bread well.
In addition to that, the plain pandesal has evolved over time. They made a healthier version - the malunggay pandesal. Then made more versions like the ube-flavored ones. Yum!
It is already remarkable how Pinoys were able to come up with malunggay pandesal. So this time, I decided to make it more delectable and well-loved by everyone. What else would it be? Adding cheese, of course! It is indeed many people’s favorite addition to the bread.
Ingredients and Substitute
Water, sugar, and active dry yeast are the first three ingredients that we’ll be needing. They will be responsible for the bread to rise. This will help us achieve very soft and fluffy pandesal.
I chose to use all-purpose flour for this recipe since it is common for baking. There are also other alternatives like wheat flour if you want to make it suitable for a gluten-free diet.
Sugar will make the bread taste a little sweet. Other than that, it also adds up to the overall quality of the final product. Not to mention how it plays a huge role in terms of activating the yeast for the dough. There are many alternatives to sugar such as agave syrup, honey, and the like.
Don’t forget about the salt. Even a little pinch can make a whole difference in baked goods. It is very important as it strengthens the dough. At the same time, it plays a role in the fermentation of the yeast.
Vegetable oil will keep the moisture in the dough. You can use substitutes like butter or other kinds of oil such as canola. While the egg will give it the right structure and work as a leavening agent.
Chopped malunggay leaves are the protagonist for this recipe. It will make our pandesal very unique and healthy. You can easily get them from any moringa tree that grows within your vicinity. Or check the local markets if you prefer buying them.
To give our bread texture and additional taste, we’ll be using bread crumbs and optional grated parmesan cheese. We will cover the little rolls in them before baking.
Baking your very own Malunggay Cheese Pandesal
Get a container to mix 1 tbsp of sugar and warm water. Stir and wait for the sugar to completely dissolve before adding the active dry yeast. Let it stay for 5-10mins. It will be done when you see the formation of foams.
In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, and salt. Make a well in the middle to pour the yeast mixture.
Add in an egg and vegetable oil. Mix everything well. Add the chopped malunggay and continue using the folding method until well combined.
Gather the dough on a lightly floured surface. Manually knead it for 7 minutes. You may use a stand mixer and knead the dough for 5 minutes or until smooth.
Get a greased bowl and transfer the dough. Cover with a tea towel to let rise for 1-1.5 hrs or until the size doubles.
After that, place the dough on a flat surface. Divide it into about 16-18 smaller pieces.
Shape them into balls then flatten them with your hand. Place the cheese cube in the middle then seal. Shape them into balls again.
Roll each pandesal piece in grated parmesan cheese (optional) or bread crumbs. Arrange them separately on a tray and cover with a tea towel. Let them rise for another 30 minutes.
Bake the bread rolls at 170C for around 12-14 minutes.
Health benefits of Malunggay
Healthiness is what makes this variation pandesal best among the rest. If you are someone who gives more importance to the health benefits of food, then this is perfect for you.
Malunggay leaves have long been considered a wonder in terms of Filipino health. We love adding them to lots of our dishes because of this reason. First of all, the vitamins and minerals they contain are already something that amazes us. Then it also contributes a lot of other benefits like lowering blood sugar levels, preventing infections, and protecting our organs like the kidneys and liver.
How to keep it fresh
Pandesal can last for a month if stored properly. Place each bread roll in separate airtight bags and leave inside the freezer. If you don’t want to keep them frozen, just put them in an airtight container and reheat in the oven.
Malunggay Cheese Pandesal Recipe
- 1 cup warm water
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 7 g active dry yeast 2 ¼ tsp
- 3 ½ cup all-purpose flour
- ⅓ cup sugar
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- 1 egg
- 1 cup malunggay leaves chopped
- ½ cup grated parmesan cheese optional
- ½ cup bread crumbs
- 200 g cheddar cheese cut into cubes, for filling
- Combine warm water and 1 tbsp sugar. Stir until dissolve, add the active dry yeast. Let it sit for 5-10mins until it becomes foamy.
- In a bowl, whisk flour, sugar and salt. Make a well in the centre and pour the yeast mixture.
- Add the vegetable oil and egg. Mix well then add the chopped malunggay. Continue to stir until well combined. Gather the dough in a lightly floured surface, knead the dough manually for 7 minutes or using stand mixer for 5 minutes until smooth.
- Transfer in a greased bowl, cover with tea towel and let it rise for 1-1.5 hrs until it double the size. Once the dough is ready, transfer again in a flat surface. Cut and divide the dough into 16-18 pieces.
- Shape into a ball then flat the dough with your hand, put the cheese cube on the centre, seal the dough and shape it again into a ball. Toss each piece in grated parmesan cheese or breadcrumbs. Arrange on a tray and cover with tea towel. Let it stand for another 30 minutes.
- Bake in a pre-heated oven at 170C for 12-14 minutes. Serve warm and enjoy!