Another well-loved breakfast or afternoon snack by many Filipinos! Unlike other cheese bread you know, Filipino cheese bread is sweet and milky.
Back home, there is this bakery well-known all over the town of San Fernando, Pampanga for their cheese bread, the L.A. Bakeshop. They started downtown in 1985, not so far from the Cathedral and public market but the last time I was there, I heard they have already branched out to several other places.
I have to agree with a lot of people saying that theirs is simply the best cheese bread there is. Especially if you are able to get freshly baked ones! Which is likely because they have to make fresh batches all day to meet the demand for their cheese bread. They are just heaven! Warm, soft and sooooo cheesy! I could easily eat ten of them without a problem (or more if I don't try to stop myself).
I was really craving for some of these Filipino cheese bread since I came back from the Philippines last January. Then, just recently, one of our readers here at Foxy Folksy was actually requesting for it. I took it as a sign that it is time for me to give this delicious bread a try.
So this is my attempt to copy L.A. Bakeshop's famous cheese bread. I tried looking up for recipes online but there is really nothing much to see. I did find a few but not exactly what I was looking for, so I had to improvise a bit. It helped that I had some experience with making other bread like Pandesal and Ensaymada, then it was not so difficult to guess the rest. 🙂
Please note that the dough will be sticky to work with. This is what makes it soft and moist. I added potato flakes to this recipe because someone told me about it and that is supposed to make the bread softer. So I put it to the test and my findings...well, the cheese breads were really soft after baking, softer than without the potato flakes but after some hours there was really not so much difference.
By the way, here it is Abbie as you requested. I hope you like it!
And...I made a video for this recipe and it should be up soon! Do watch out for it here! (video available below)
Filipino Cheese Bread - so soft and cheesy!
FOR THE DOUGH
- 1 tablespoon active dry yeast - See NOTE 1
- ¼ cup warm water
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- ½ cup butter or shortening
- 1 cup milk
- ¾ cup sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 3 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ cup potato flakes (optional) - See NOTE 2
- 1 egg
FOR THE STREUSEL TOPPING
- 2 cups Kraft cheese (grated cheese)
- ½ cup flour
- 1 ¼ cups powdered sugar
- ¼ cup butter - softened at room temperature
- 1 cup powdered milk (skimmed milk)
- In a small bowl, proof yeast by mixing together the yeast, warm water, and 1 Tablespoon of sugar. This takes about 3-5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl, whisk together milk, butter or shortening, sugar and salt until well combined. You may use a bloom whisk or electric mixer.
- Add the potato flakes and 2 cups flour and mix until paste-like consistency is achieved.
- Add the rest of the flour, egg, and the bloomed yeast and mix using a spatula to form a dough. You might need to add more flour if the mixture is too liquid or too sticky but not too much.The dough is supposed to be sticky. Scrape the sides of the bowl while tipping the sticky dough over to a floured working surface. Knead for 7-10 minutes or until dough is smooth and elastic. Do the windowpane test.
- Form the dough into a ball and place in a greased bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it rest and rise in a warm place for 40 minutes to an hour or until it doubled in size. I usually warm my oven at 50°C for 5 mins and turn it off then put the bowl of dough on the middle rack then close the door. This shortens the waiting time to 20-30 mins.
- Prepare the cheese streusel. In a big bowl, using a spatula, cut the butter into the flour until small chunks are formed. Add the powdered sugar and powdered milk and mix until it gets crumbly. Add the grated cheese and mix until well distributed.
- Take the dough from the oven and remove the cover. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Pinch a small piece from the dough about the size of a golf ball and roll it between your palms to form a ball.
- Cover each dough ball generously with cheese streusel pressing it gently around so the topping would stick. Arrange the covered dough balls on the lined baking sheet. Leave some gaps in between as they will rise a bit again. Do not let them rise so much.
- Bake them in a preheated oven at 300°F /150°C for 12 minutes or until they turn slightly golden. Turn off the oven but leave the cheese bread in the oven for another 5 minutes.
- Best eaten while still warm.