When I visited Mallorca last summer I pretty much ate my weight in flakey ensaimadas. Today David shares an easy Mallorcan ensaimada recipe so that you can enjoy this Spanish treat at home!
Ensaïmada (or ensaymada) is the traditional sweet pastry from Mallorca. Any visitor to the sunny Balearic island knows it well, and it makes for one delicious breakfast or afternoon snack!
Traditionally, it was a sweet bread eaten at Easter, but these days you'll find it sold all throughout the year. The pastry comes in a coil shape, with a very generous sprinkle of powdered sugar on top. While the classic version is served plain alongside a coffee or hot chocolate, you can also find ensaimadas filled with pastry cream, pumpkin jam, or even nougat! In my books, though, nothing beats the classic.
The name gives you a good hint as to the ingredients and the history of the dish. Saim is a Mallorquin word meaning pork fat; from the Arabic word shahim. And (you guessed it) pork lard features prominently in the original recipe!
Ensamaida is similar to other traditional Spanish desserts that feature pork products heavily. In the times of the Spanish Inquisition, eating pork helped to prove your Catholic beliefs.
But to help with hungry vegetarians (and to bring up the healthiness) I use butter in my ensaimada recipe! You can also substitute vegetable shortening, or the classic pork lard if you're really keen to keep it traditional.
The proving time is crucial to letting the dough rise and become fluffy, so make sure to leave yourself enough time to let the pastry rest. You could even start the recipe the night before you plan on baking! The dough is fine to be left overnight to rise, and you can leave it in the fridge for a few hours if you're worried about it over-proofing.
Easy Mallorca Ensaimada Recipe
Mallorca Ensaimada Recipe
- 2 teaspoons dried active yeast
- 200 ml ¾ cup + 2 tablespoons lukewarm milk
- 110 g ½ cup granulated sugar
- 2 eggs
- 450 g 3 cups bread flour (plus extra for dusting)
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 200 g 7 ounces salted butter, cubed
- Powdered sugar to dust
- Whisk the yeast, milk, and one teaspoon of the sugar together in a bowl and leave until frothy (about five minutes).
- Put half of the flour into a separate mixing bowl and make a well in the center. Slowly pour in the milk-yeast mixture and stir with a fork to form a shaggy dough. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a damp cloth and leave in a warm spot for about an hour, or until the dough has doubled in size.
- When the dough has doubled, punch down to deflate. Add the eggs to the dough and use a fork or your hands to combine. Do the same thing with the sugar, and then the remaining flour. Knead for around 5 minutes and form a ball. Cover again and leave to prove for 30-45 minutes in a warm place.
- When ready, lightly flour a large board or another workspace. Use a rolling pin to roll out the dough to about an 18-inch square. Working quickly, use a knife to spread the butter evenly over the dough.
- Roll the dough up from the bottom of the square to the top, and slice into rounds that are about 1-inch thick. Transfer to a plate.
- Lightly re-flour your workbench. Using your hands, roll out each individual round of dough into a long rope shape. Then shape each rope into the traditional snail-shell coil of the ensaimada.
- Line baking trays with parchment paper, and put the ensaimadas on top (leave plenty of space as the pastry will expand). Leave to rise until dough has doubled again in size (at least 3-8 hours, you can leave overnight).
- When ready to bake, preheat your oven to 350F (180C). Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown on top. Leave to cool for at least 20 mins, and then dust with powdered sugar.
What's your favorite Spanish pastry? I'm always looking for new ways to get my daily sugar fix, so let me know in the comments below!
I tried this recipe and did Exactly as it said, A. The dough didn't rise enough, and was too dry, so they were a disaster. What went wrong, ? no idea.
when I lived in Spain I used buy buy Seis (six) abnd freeze 4. they were still delicious after thawing.
Jeneva Canlas Takasawa
I miss Philippine Ensaimada, a favorite snack in the Philippines. This recipe is a treat!!!
Ensaïmada lover - A Catalan lost in Philippines
Philippine "Ensaymada", have NOTHING in common, taste wise, with the Spanish (Mallorcan/Catalan, since they are all made in Barcelona and shipped to Mallorca every early morning) ensaimada. I wish. I live in the Philippines. Really, nothing. Just the name and the shape. The best ensaimadas from Spain, in my opinion (every one has one opinion) are the ones filled with "cabello de angel" (Angel hair = Spaghetti squash). Yummy. I really want to try the recipe from this website. If I remember, and if I actually attempt to make it, I'll give some feedback in the future. First I need to buy myself an oven (even a portable electric one - for large pizza sizes, should be fine).
Would these freeze successfully, if so would you freeze them cooked or uncooked? Thanks
I've never tried it - but could see it being possible in both forms. I'd look for instructions for freezing something like cinnamon rolls to compare.
Jeneva Canlas Takasawa
Responding to Jill: You can freeze the dough but the baked product won’t turn out the same. You can freeze the baked product, too. I haven’t tried freezing pastries just plain bread, e.g., store- bought rolls, sandwich breads.
Jeneva Canlas Takasawa
You can freeze the dough but the baked product won’t turn out the same. You can freeze the baked product, too. I haven’t tried freezing pastries just plain bread, e.g., store- bought rolls, sandwich breads.
Hi, thanks so much for this. Many years ago when visiting Spain I had a few of these and it was heavenly! If I were to use pork lard, what amount do you recommend? Thank you. Love this blog and the food tour company (I went on one tour)!
The lard ones are good! Just use the same amount as the butter.