Few days ago, I shared my favorite childhood Purple Yam Jam desert which I had kept in my fridge and I had been eating like crazy. I made sure to reserve some so that I can use it for this braided bread and other breads that I will be making soon.
If you are not familiar with Purple Yam Jam, it is a smooth and creamy jam made from purple yam. Yes, the vegetable purple yam. It might sound weird to you, using vegetable to make jam , but it works and it is really deliciously good. Trust me on this. Purple Yam Jam is a traditional desert in the Philippines, commonly present on occasions like Christmas , New Year or birthday.
This bread recipe is very simple and versatile, and a real for keeps recipe. The texture of this bread is more on the heavy and dense side, which is the perfect texture for this Purple Yam Braided bread. This bread taste as good as it looks, it’s very addictive! So if you are looking for a bread recipe that taste good and looks good, you just found it. Let’s get started!
- 1 batch Purple Yam Jam
- 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2/3 cups lukewarm water (110F)
- 2/3 cups lukewarm milk (110F)
- ¼ cups granulated white sugar
- ¼ cup unsalted butter – melted and cooled
- 2 tsp fast active dry yeast ( I used Fleischmann’s brand)
- 1 ½ tsp salt
- 1 egg for brushing (Add 1/2 tsp water to make egg wash) – optional
- 1/4 tsp poppy seed – optional
Note: This recipe can be done without a stand mixer. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl and using your hand, manually mix and knead the dough in a flat surface.
- Prepare Purple Yam Jam. This can be prepared ahead of time and stored in the fridge.
- In a stand mixer (using dough hook) or large mixing bowl, add flour, sugar , salt & active yeast. Mix until fully combined.
- Add milk and water. The liquid temperature should be between 110F – 115F. If you do not have a thermometer, microwave the liquid for 10-15 seconds. If you are using water from the fridge, microwave 15 – 20 seconds. Temperature is important to activate the yeast.
- Mix and knead the dough until combined (1-2 minutes).
- Gradually add melted butter, and continue kneading for another 25 minutes until the dough is not sticky anymore.
- Form into a ball and transfer to a large oiled bowl, cover with a warm, damp towel and let rise for 1 1/2 hour. (It’s best to let the dough rise in a warmer area of your kitchen).
- To help the dough rise better, I put it inside the oven which I pre-heated to 110F Once it reached the 110F, I stopped/canceled it. DO NOT forget to stop it, you only want the oven to warm up for the dough to rise, you do not want to dough to be baked. Some oven has a proofing setting, mine doesn’t, so this is my trick.
- Remove from the bowl and start kneading again just to release the air accumulated in the dough.
- Assemble and cut into desired size and shape.
- Divide the dough into 24 equal portions, around 37 – 40 grams each. I used a kitchen weighing scale, you can eye-ball it if you do not have scale.
- Using your finger, flatten the dough and fill center with Purple Yam Jam.
- Roll and shape each portion into a small log, around 5-inch long.
- Slighty cut into 3, leaving the center uncut to hold the 3 sections.
- Braid the dough.
- Leave for 1 hour in a warm place before baking.
- To help the dough rise better, I put it inside the oven which I pre-heated to 130F. Once it reached the 130F, I stopped/canceled it. DO NOT forget to stop it, you only want the oven to warm up for the dough to rise, you do not want to dough to be baked. Some oven has a proofing setting, mine doesn’t, so this is my trick.
- Brush with egg wash – optional.
- Sprinkle with poppy seed – optional
- Preheat the oven to 350F and bake for 20 – 25 minutes or until the top turns golden brown.
Makes 24 mini braided bread
Reminder: The larger the bun size, the longer the baking time and smaller bun size require less baking time. Adjust baking time as necessary).
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