This Ube Marble Bread yields a deliciously soft and fluffy milk bread, with the addition of ube purple yam in the dough. Play around with the dough to create a beautiful marble or swirl design.
What is ube?
Ube (pronounced OOH-bey) is a vibrantly purple yam that is commonly found in the Philippines.
I've got a few recipes using this delicious fragrant yam:
Why you'll love this recipe
This recipe is loosely based off my Matcha Shokupan, which yields a soft and fluffy crumb.
The addition of ube purple yam adds a beautiful natural purple hue, and keeps the dough soft and tender.
There's no need to use tangzhong (dough roux) in this bread since the ube purple yam will keep the dough soft.
There's no artificial colour or extracts added to the dough.
Ingredients you'll need
- whole milk: warm
- granulated sugar: or any sweetener you like
- active dry yeast
- all-purpose flour or bread flour
- ube purple yam puree: I used frozen grated ube which has a little more moisture than fresh steamed ube, so you may have to adjust the amount of milk in the dough
- purple sweet potato powder: optional, helps to enhance the purple colour in the dough
- sea salt: or kosher salt
- unsalted butter: or neutral vegetable oil; if using salted butter, omit the sea salt
How to make it
To make this Ube Marble Bread, I made two doughs at the same time to yield 2 loaves of bread:
- plain dough (from my Matcha Shokupan recipe, omitting the matcha) and
- ube purple yam dough
Then, I split each dough in half to make two loaves.
For ube purple yam dough:
In a small bowl, combine the warmed milk, sugar and active dry yeast. Give it a stir and set aside to let the yeast become bubbly.
In a stand mixer bowl fitted with a dough hook, add in flour, ube purple yam puree, purple yam/ube powder, and egg.
Add the yeast mixture into the flour and knead until it comes together.
Add in the butter and continue to knead until the dough is smooth and shiny.
Transfer to a lightly greased bowl, cover and let it rest in a warm location until doubled in bulk.
Assemble & bake:
Once the the dough has risen, deflate it and divide into half.
Take the risen plain dough and divide that into half as well.
Cut each dough into pieces and roll into balls (see below, first photo).
Place the dough balls in to a loaf pan randomly, with plain dough alternating with the purple ube yam dough (see below, second photo).
Repeat with the second half in another loaf pan.
Cover with plastic wrap or a damp cloth and let it rise in a warm location.
Preheat oven to 350F.
Bake at 350F for 35 minutes, or until a thermometer inserted registers 190F.
Remove from oven and transfer to a wire rack.
Let the bread completely cool before slicing.
Alternative swirl bread style
Instead of randomly placing the dough balls into the bread pan, you can also do a swirl bread instead.
Divide each dough (ube and plain) in half so you have 4 pieces (2 for each loaf of bread).
Roll out each dough (ube dough and plain dough).
Place a plain dough on the bottom and layer on the ube dough on top (see above, third photo from the top).
Roll the two doughs up together (like a cinnamon roll) and place into the bread pan seam side down (see above, last photo).
How to store & reheat
Store the Ube Marble Bread in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.
Transfer to store in the fridge for up to 1 week.
Alternatively, slice and store the bread in an freezer-safe container for up to 1 month.
To reheat, microwave the bread for 30 seconds, or until warmed through.
You can also toast the slices of bread from frozen.
Expert tips & FAQs
Depending on how much moisture is in your ube purple yam, you may need to adjust the amount of milk and flour accordingly.
The dough should be slightly tacky.
After kneading in the butter, the dough should be smooth.
Can I use ube extract?
Yes, you can definitely use ube extract in addition to the ube puree.
This will give the bread a more intense purple colouring.
Can I omit the ube puree and use ube extract instead?
Use my Matcha Shokupan recipe and sub in the ube extract for the matcha powder.
Where can I find ube?
Ube can be difficult to find in North America as it's native to the Philippines.
I found ube in my Asian grocery store, packaged in the freezer section.
Can I use yam instead?
Yes, you can use yam, but will need to account for the additional moisture content in it.
Can I only use ube powder?
You will need to use quite a bit of ube powder to get a vibrant colour.
That said, you'll also need to adjust the amount of liquid in the dough to account for the powder.
Other recipes you may like
Be sure to check out these recipes:
Let me know if you try out this recipe -- tag me on Instagram @siftandsimmer or leave me a comment/rating below!
Ube Marble Bread
For accuracy and precision in baking recipes, use weight (metric) measurements when available.
- 1 batch Matcha Shokupan (minus matcha = plain dough)
- 85 ml whole milk warm
- 15 g granulated sugar
- 6 g active dry yeast
- 250 g all-purpose flour or bread flour
- 100 g ube purple yam puree
- 1 tablespoon purple yam or purple sweet potato powder
- 1 large egg
- 15 g unsalted butter
- Make 1 batch of Matcha Shokupan (minus the matcha for the plain dough).
For ube purple yam dough:
- In a small bowl, combine the warmed milk, sugar and active dry yeast. Give it a stir and set aside to let the yeast become bubbly.
- In a stand mixer bowl fitted with a dough hook, add in flour, ube purple yam puree, purple yam/ube powder, and egg.
- Add the yeast mixture into the flour and knead until it comes together.
- Add in the butter and continue to knead until the dough is smooth and shiny.
- Transfer to a lightly greased bowl, cover and let it rest in a warm location until doubled in bulk.
Assemble & bake:
- Once the the dough has risen, deflate it and divide into half.
- Take the risen plain dough and divide that into half as well.
- Cut each dough into pieces and roll into balls.
- Place the dough balls in to a loaf pan randomly, with plain dough alternating with the purple ube yam dough.
- Repeat with the second half in another loaf pan.
- Cover with plastic wrap or a damp cloth and let it rise in a warm location.
- Preheat oven to 350°F/177°C.
- Bake at 350°F/177°C for 35 minutes, or until a thermometer inserted registers 190F.
- Remove from oven and transfer to a wire rack.
- Let the bread completely cool before slicing.
The nutritional information provided should be considered as approximate and is not guaranteed. Please use your best judgment to ensure food is safely prepared and/or a good fit for your diet.