Ube Pan De Sal


For an early meeting with our book editor, Marisa Bulzone, Romy came up with a whimsical version of the adobo sandwich by layering crispy adobo flakes, homemade mayonnaise, and sliced tomatoes on his ube pan de sal. It immediately became Marisa’s favorite recipe in the book.

Romy’s creation is a riff on a classic sandwich that was popular back in our college days at the University of the Philippines. Down in one small, claustrophobic eatery called the Basement, the specialty was the pork adobo in pan de sal, which made for a hip merienda.

Romy can’t resist using purple yam flour in all baked things, such as ube crostini and pizza crust with ube, for the unusual color and nice texture it imparts.


  • 3 cups bread flour, plus additional as needed
  • ½ cup ube (purple yam) flour
  • 2 envelopes active dry yeast
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus additional for the bowl
  • ½ cup fine dry bread crumbs


  1. In the bowl of a standing electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine half of the bread flour and all of the ube flour. Add the yeast, salt, and sugar. Pour in 1½ cups warm water (it should be between 90° F and 100° F) and mix to form a smooth batter. Blend in the butter.
  2. Change the mixer attachment to the dough hook. With the hook in motion, add the remaining bread flour, ½ cup at a time, until the dough has worked into a rough mass that easily pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
  3. Transfer the dough to a large buttered bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Place in a warm, draft-free spot and let rise until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
  4. Punch down to deflate, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise a second time until doubled in bulk, about 30 minutes.
  5. Punch down once more and cut the dough in half. Working with one half at a time, form about 18 equal rolls (they should weigh 2 ounces each). Roll the balls in bread crumbs to coat and place on a baking sheet. Cover loosely with a damp kitchen towel and let rise for 30 minutes.
  6. During the final rise, preheat the oven to 400° F. Sprinkle the rolls with more bread crumbs and transfer to the oven. Bake until lightly browned and hard on the bottom, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool on wire racks.