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!


  1. these look very good. i wonder if they'd be good with a filling. like nutella or pastry cream or something to bring them over the top. i don't know if i would go for them plain, what with the three different proofing times involved :). you have such patience!

  2. Thanks Dana!
    When I posted them over on the Hungarian site, many tried with different fillings: like nutella, vanilla cream, cinnamon. I've also tried with nutella, it was great!

  3. I can't believe how beautiful these are. I have this one bookmarked for something nice. Thank you Judith.

  4. oh my these look so yummy...will have to try making these..thank you for sharing..

  5. they look just perfect .i think i can fill it with some chocolate.what you think ,can?have a nice day

  6. Thank you all for the compliments! I encourage you to try making these, because it's worth the effort!

    Sarah, of course you can fill them. I ,made these many times, filled some of them with nutella, others with cinnamon + sugar + butter. My Hubby loves those even more :)

    Let me know about the result! Thanks!

  7. Ma bucur ca te-am descoperit. Ai un blog minunat! Felicitari si o zi minunata iti doresc!

  8. oh, beautiful pastries! certainly I will make them, as soon as possible! Congratulations for your blog is really nice! if you want, pass from me:

  9. Neli iti multumesc pt. vizita si complimente! Mai vino si altadata!

    Martina, thank you! I'm going right now!

  10. Hi Judith,
    Thank you so much for sweet comment on my blog, and that lead me to your. You have really delicious recipes here. I am sure will be back for more.

    I love ensaimada, especially the one with squash jam inside it. Yours look exceptionally beautiful. Thanks for sharing.


  11. Hello my name is...MARIMI ..
    Is the first visit to your blog, I love nature, growing my own garden and kitchen barbecues, I invite you to share blogs. Happy New Year


  12. Beutiful ensaimada. I've been looking for the recipe for quite simetimes. Thanks Jade. Btw, if you have the recipe the one from Majorca (with squash jam filling), please share and let me know. I am dreaming of making that specialty.

  13. I found your blog by turning to the web.
    I want to congratulate you for the quality of your blog, recipes, photos and all the interesting content you offer.
    I addition to your followers are contracting, so you do not lose sight of.
    If you like going from my blog, you're welcome.
    My blog is in Italian, but there is a translator.
    The magic pumpkin.

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    here more often. Wish I could add to the conversation and bring a bit more to the table,but am just taking in as

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