Ensaimadas… “Sweet Bread Of Mallorca”
November 25, 2015
"Phoebe, what would you love for your birthday celebration feast?" the list goes: home-made pizza with loads of toppings, a baked american cheese cake, "and Dad, do you remember those pastries we used to walk to the bakers to buy when we were on holiday in Spain? ...... Those please." so here they are, sweet and totally moorish ensaimadas.....today we made 8, giant sized dusted in icing sugar.....well, it is a birthday celebration after all..........
- Prep: 20 mins
- Cook: 15 mins
- Yields: 18 Medium
Mix the yeast with lukewarm milk in a glass measuring cup until frothy & dissolved. Place half the flour into a large mixing bowl, gradually pour in the milk and yeast mixture, stirring well. Mix until the ingredients form a dough. Cover the bowl with cling film and place in a warm place. Allow to rise until the dough has doubled in size, approximately 1 hour.
Once the dough has risen, add the whisked eggs, one at a time. Use a large spoon or your hands to incorporate the eggs into the dough. Add the sugar and stir until the dough absorbs the eggs completely. Mix in the remaining flour, kneading the sticky dough with your hands for 4-5 minutes, until it forms a ball. Cover tightly with cling film and allow to rise 30-45 minutes.
Lightly flour a board and using a rolling pin, roll out the dough very thinly. It will stretch out to cover a board approximately 24 inches square. Using your hands, rub the vegetable shortening on to the dough and roll it up as if you are making a roly-poly. Cut into rounds about 1 inch thick (it should make approximately 18 rounds) and transfer them to a platter.
Lightly flour the board again. Roll each piece of dough into a long sausage shape using your hands, then roll up each one like a snail shell, making the traditional shape of the ensaimadas.
Lay down parchment paper and place on cookie sheets or use a baking stone, leaving lots of space between the ensaimadas because they will expand.
Allow to rise until they have doubled in size, preferably overnight. The overnight rising time allows further fermentation to occur, adding flavour and size. In fact, the ensaimadas may triple in size.
Heat your oven to 350F (180C). Bake for 12-15 minutes on the centre self. Remove from the oven when golden brown on top. Allow to cool for 10-15 minutes, then sprinkle with icing sugar and enjoy!