|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 13g||17%|
|Saturated Fat 5g||26%|
|Total Carbohydrate 40g||14%|
|Dietary Fiber 1g||4%|
|Total Sugars 11g|
|Vitamin C 0mg||0%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|
Ensaïmada, the traditional sweet bread of the Spanish island of Mallorca, is a delicious pastry. The origin of this cherished bread is debated but is most assuredly from Arabs who occupied the region from the 8th through the 13th centuries. It is shaped in the form of a coil and sprinkled with a heavy coat of confectioners' sugar. Ensaïmadas are enjoyed as a breakfast treat dunked in hot coffee, or as an afternoon snack or dessert.
They are not difficult to make, but they do require a bit of patience since the dough must rise several times. Originally, ensaïmadas were just sweet breads sprinkled with sugar; in the past century, however, bakers began filling them with cream, cabello de ángel (pumpkin jam), or almond nougat.
This ensaïmada recipe was adapted from a recipe posted on El Aderezo, a cooking blog associated with the El Norte de Castilla newspaper in Spain. It follows the traditional preparation. Plan to start the recipe the day before, as it is best to allow the ensaïmadas to rise overnight.
Gather the ingredients.
Mix the yeast with lukewarm milk in a glass measuring cup until dissolved.
Place half of the flour into a large mixing bowl.
Gradually pour in the milk-yeast mixture while stirring.
Mix until the ingredients form a dough.
Cover bowl with plastic wrap and place in a warm spot. Allow rising until the dough has doubled in size, approximately 1 hour.
While the dough is rising, remove the eggs from the refrigerator to come to room temperature.
Once the dough has risen, add the eggs to the dough, one at a time. Use a large spoon or your hands to incorporate the eggs into the dough.
Then, add the sugar and stir until the dough absorbs the sugar.
Mix in the remaining flour, kneading the sticky dough with your hands for 4 to 5 minutes, until the dough forms a ball.
Cover tightly with plastic wrap and allow to rise 30 to 45 minutes.
Lightly flour a board or surface.
Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough very thin. It should stretch to create a 24-inch square.
Using your hands, rub the vegetable shortening on the top of the dough.
Roll up the dough as if you were making a jelly roll.
Cut into rounds about 1 inch thick. (It should make approximately 18 rounds.)
Transfer rounds to a plate.
Lightly flour the cutting board again.
Roll each piece of dough into a long coil or rope, using your hands.
Then, roll up each of the coils like a snail shell, making the traditional shape of the ensaïmadas.
Cover cookie sheets or a baking stone with parchment paper.
Place ensaïmadas on the parchment paper, leaving lots of space between them because they will expand. Allow rising until they have doubled in size, preferably overnight in the refrigerator. The overnight rising time allows further fermentation to occur, adding flavor and size. In fact, the ensaïmadas may triple in size.
Preheat your oven to 350 F/180 C. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes on the center rack, until browned on top.
Allow to cool for 10 to 15 minutes, then sprinkle with confectioners' sugar. Enjoy!
- If there are any left over for the next day, cut one in half and put scrambled eggs, cheese, and Canadian bacon in it. What a treat!