Monday, January 25, 2010


I found this recipe a while ago, more acurately sometime last summer. I took me several weeks until I decided to give it a try because, I have to admit: I didn't have much experience with yeast and doughs. Then I tried it and this has been my favorite yeast dough ever since. And during this time I gained more experience on the matter.

I have to mention two important things:

  1. I used Five Roses - Canadian flour, which I think made all the difference in the appearance of these brioches. The closest that comes to this type is Bread Flour, if unbleached, even better.

  2. I preferred to use unsalted butter instead of lard. It was a great choice I believe, it made the inside of the dough very light and flaky.

And here is the recipe for 10 big or 12 medium sized Ensaimadas (in Italics, copied from the link mentioned above):


  • 500g bread flour (plus additional as needed )

  • 75 g sugar

  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt

  • 40 g fresh yeast (= 1 cube) or 1 package active instant yeast (1/4 oz)

  • 200-250 ml lukewarm milk

  • 2 eggs (M)

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil

  • 150 g soft pork lard - in my case unsalted butter

  • powdered sugar for dusting

Add the flour together with sugar and salt into a large 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 bubbly.

Add 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, but later I used up all the 250 ml and let it knead at medium speed for 6 - 8 minutes. Let the covered bowl rest again in a warm place for at least 30 minutes or until the dough has doubled.

Punch it down softly, then flip the dough onto a well-floured surface and sprinkle with flour. Cut into about 10 - 12 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.

Shaping the Ensaimadas: Flatten one doughball, then roll out with a rolling pin (use flour as needed) until you get a pretty thin dough oval/circle and brush it generously with the softened pork lard or butter.

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.

This is how my first one looked, trying hard to imitate the one on the original recipe:

Accidentally the next ones looked something like this:

If you look closer, you'll note the difference on how the dough's edge goes. First is upwards, the second downwards. :)

Place about five Ensaimadas on one baking sheet, making sure to leave enough space between them. Lightly brush with lard/ butter and cover up again.

This was interesting as I read: the 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 also baked after approximately 30 minutes.

Preheat 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.

Hope you will try this recipe and will be as happy with the outcome as I am.

I will also post the other goodies I baked using this same recipe. So keep in touch, see you soon!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Banoffie pie

This was the first Banoffie pie I ever made, but I can surely say, I want to make it sometime again. Whenever I looked up this pie recipe, the procedure of cooking the of unopened condensed milk tins until they form the caramel inside took my enthusiasm away and quickly went for another type of pie.

This recipe gives you a much easier description. And the pie is so good! Tasting the flavor combination of bananas, toffie, whipped cream and the walnut in the pastry was really worth the effort of making this pie.

Walnut pastry:

  • 1 1/4 cups (155 g) plain flour
  • 2 Tbsp icing sugar
  • 3 oz (85 g) ground walnuts
  • 2 3/4 oz (80 g) chilled unsalted butter, chopped


  • 13 oz (400 g) canned condensed milk
  • 1 oz (30 g) unsalted butter
  • 1 Tbsp golden syrup
  • 4 bananas, sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups (375 ml) heavy cream, whipped
  • 1 3/4 oz (50 g) dark chocolate, melted

To make the pastry, sift the flour and icing sugar into a large bowl. Add walnuts and rub the butter into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs. Mix in 2-3 Tbsp chilled water to form a dough, add more water if needed, then gather into a ball on a floured surface. Wrap and chill for 15 min. Roll out to fit a 9 inch flat tin, chill for 20 min.

Preheat oven to 350 F degrees. Line the pastry base with crumpled baking paper and spread baking beads or rice over paper. Bake for 15 minutes, then remove the paper and beads. Bake for another 10 minutes or until lightly golden. set aside and cool completely.

To make the filling, place the condensed milk, butter and golden syrup in a small pan. Stir over medium heat for 5 minutes, until it boils and thickens and turns its color into a light caramel. Cool slightly, then arrange half the bananas over the pastry and pour the caramel over the top. Smooth the surface and chill for 30 minutes.

Drop spoonfuls of whipped cream over the caramel and arrange the remaining banana slices over the top. (To prevent from browning, previously you can dip the slices into 2 Tbsp lemon juice). Drizzle with melted chocolate.

Recipe from The Essential Dessert Cookbook, p.138

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Cocoa crepes

Yesterday I made some crepe mix and baked only part of it. I made the rest today and thought of giving it a new coat by adding 1 tbsp cocoa to the mix.

For the filling I used the usual farmers cheese, adding sugar, shredded coconut, some golden raisins, mini chocolate chips and mini marshmelows. Tasted great!

Blackberry cobbler

For this cobbler I used some leftover fruit: 1 peach, 1/2 box blueberries, 2 boxes blackberries.

I found THIS recipe some time ago and I was craving for it since the first moment I saw it. I'm so glad I tried the recipe, because it tasted heavenly!

Definitely will do it again, sooooon!!!!

Adding sugar, lemon juice and zest to the fruit...
Laying the cobbles until the fruit is covered, sprinkled with sugar...

Fresh from the oven...

Served strictly with vanilla ice cream... Heavenly!!!