Ensaïmadas; The Bread Baking Babes do Mallorca

The Bread Baking Babes are rather an international lot; in more ways than one.

Yes, we are rather spread out over 2 continents (used to be 3), but we can’t seem to stop ourselves from going ever further afield in search of interesting breads.BBB logo februari 2010

In the past year alone we have been to France, Italy, Russia, China, Ethiopia, India, Peru, Sweden….

And this month Karen, of Bake My Day, has us traveling to Spain; Mallorca, actually, for Ensaïmadas.

These lovely buns are made in many Spanish-speaking countries – and I can see why.  They’re easy and delicious… Even if one does not have access to pork fat.

I used Spanish olive oil, instead.

Next time I’m using duck fat and we’ll have French Ensaïmadas.

Once again we are treated to a sticky dough.

But this time I took the ‘sprinkle liberally with flour’ bit to heart and had no problem rolling them out.

Ensaimadas, before baking

My changes in italics; Karen’s in parentheses


Recipe source: inspired by Eliza’s recipe

Active time: about 45 minutes, rising: several hours, baking: about 15 minutes


Ingredients (yields about 10 Ensaimadas):

500g all-purpose flour (plus additional as needed )  I used another 1/8th cup

75g sugar

1/2 tsp fine sea salt

40g fresh yeast (= 1 cube)   3 tsp active dry yeast

200-250ml lukewarm milk    I used about 180ml

2 eggs (M)

2 tbsp olive oil

150g soft pork lard     olive oil – didn’t measure

powdered sugar for dusting    with mon mari being diabetic I skipped this

the flour together with sugar and salt into a large bowl (I used my
KitchenAid bowl) and mix well. Make a hollow in the center, add the
crumbled yeast as well as a decent pinch of sugar and pour over just
enough of the lukewarm milk until the yeast is covered. Stir the yeast
milk once or twice, then cover the bowl with a kitchen towel and let
rest for about 15 minutes or until the surface of the yeast milk looks

the other ingredients (the remaining milk, eggs,olive oil ) and knead
well, either by hand or with your kitchen machine until the dough comes
together nicely. I used less milk in the beginning (200 or 220 ml,
while the original recipe suggests 250 ml) and my dough still turned
out pretty sticky, I therefor added a tad more flour and let it knead
at medium speed for 3 minutes (just for the record: my dough still felt
sticky). Let the covered bowl rest again in a warm place for at least
30 minutes or until the dough has doubled.

it down softly, then flip the dough onto a well-floured surface and
sprinkle with flour. Cut into about 10 equally sized portions and form
into neat little balls, before letting them rest – sprinkled with
flour, covered with a kitchen towel – once more for at least 30 minutes.

the Ensaimadas: Flatten one doughball, then roll out with a rolling pin
(use flour as needed) until you get a pretty thin dough circle and
brush it generously with the softened pork lard. Roll up cautiously,
then let rest for a couple of minutes and continue with the other dough
balls. (Meanwhile line the baking sheets with either parchment paper or
silicone mats.)
Coil up each dough piece until it resembles the
house of a snail (tuck the outer end under), ideally very loosely,
because any spaces will fill up as the dough rises further. Place about
five Ensaimadas on one baking sheet, making sure to leave enough space
between them. Lightly brush with lard and cover up again.

final rise is supposed to last overnight, yet I baked mine in three
different batches (with rising times of 1 hour, 4 hours, 13 hours) and
we preferred their look and taste with shorther rising times (1 and 4
hours). But do as you like.   I let mine raise 3 hours

the oven to 200°C (~390° Fahrenheit) and bake for 14 to 16 minutes or
until golden brown. Take out and let them cool down on a wire rack for
a couple of minutes, then generously dust with powdered sugar and enjoy
while still warm. Greasy fingers included.


Be sure to visit our Karen at our host kitchen, Bake My Day, if you want to be a Bread Baking Buddy and read more about Ensaïmadas.

They were wonderful fresh out of the oven (We can never wait for the cooling thing).

They were great the next morning for breakfast.

They were great sliced in half, toasted and slathered with butter.


And they were so cute!

And don’t miss checking out the other Babe’s:

The Bread Baking Babes

Bake My Day – Karen
Canela and Comino – Gretchen
Cookie Baker Lynn – Lynn
Grain Doe – Gorel
I Like To Cook – Sara
Living in the Kitchen with Puppies – Natashya
Living on bread and water – Monique
Lucullian Delights – Ilva
My Kitchen In Half Cups – Tanna
Notitie Van Lien – Lien
The Sour Dough – Breadchick Mary

12 thoughts on “Ensaïmadas; The Bread Baking Babes do Mallorca”

  1. Don’t forget the Middle East!
    Your rolls are simply lovely, so delicate and graceful. I love that you slathered them in butter. 🙂

  2. Natashya, butter makes everything better!
    Baking Soda, they were yummy – every last one of them!
    Lynn, whoever made that rule about bread cooling must not have been a baker – or an eater.
    Thanks, Pam
    Lien, I use olive oil in everything… but duck fat would have been good….
    Monique, one more I even put peanut butter on top of the butter….
    Elizabeth, really… I need to tell you? A third with each!!!! Then you can do a taste test. – I recommend a red to help wash them all down.

  3. Thanks for setting me straight, Katie. We’ll go to the wine store today to get a suitable Spanish red. (Although, I’m guessing that an Argentinian wine might be okay too?)
    And as for dividing the dough into three, it’s MUCH easier to divide it into an even number: 4. That way, I can try Gretchen’s idea of using the candied squash.

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