Mallorca’s cuisine is impossible to imagine without Ensaimada – the sweet puff pastry spiral buns, that are sold everywhere on the island. Ensaimada has long been considered a sweet symbol of the Balearic island, and every tourist, flying away from vacation, is simply obliged to buy it to his friends and acquaintances as a souvenir. You can see people with piles of octagonal boxes in their hands at Mallorca Airport Son San Joan. Confectioners traditionally pack a local dessert in such containers. If you tried spiral buns on the Balearic island, and fell in love with them once and for all, you can prepare an ensaimada at home, using the information described below.
A few words about ensaymada
Delicate buns ensaimadas in Spanish literature are first mentioned, starting from the XVII century. Translated from Arabic, the word “saim” means “pork fat.” And not in vain, because lard is an essential ingredient in this ensaimada, although in some pastry shops it is replaced with butter. Fat helps to stretch the dough of the future dessert and makes its flavor more saturated. More information about the main edible souvenir of Mallorca and other goodies of the island can be found here.
How to cook Ensaimada at home?
The technology for preparing a Majorcan dessert is not complicated, as it might seem to you at the beginning. You just need to have in stock a few hours of free time and have a little sleight of hand. I got the ensimada the first time, although in the future I still trained to twist it so, that the layers were thinner and the shell itself looked smoother. But this did not affect the taste of the product. Dessert melted in my mouth and seemed to say: “Cook me again and again!”
What do we need to make the sweet symbol of Mallorca? This, as I said, is lard (or butter), as well as sugar, yeast, egg and flour.
Ensaimada can be prepared with or without filling. I made two options for a bun. And I want to say, that I liked both. If you are on a diet, you can very well prepare esaimada without filling (in Mallorca it is called Lisa). It seems to me, that it has a more delicate taste, not interrupted by jam. If you are sweet tooth, I advise you to wrap apple or pumpkin jam in the dough. The bun will be more rich and plump.
A detailed video recipe provided by Recipes International Canal (with english subtitles) can be viewed here:
I am sharing with you the easiest and most cost-effective way to prepare an Ensaimada, which results in 6 delicious buns:
- Dissolve yeast in warm water.
2. Beat the egg with sugar, add to the yeast, mix well.
3. Pour flour into the liquid mass. Flour may need more or less. Make sureб that the dough is not liquid, but a little sticky to the hands. Instead of 400 g, I needed 460, and the extra grams were not superfluous.
4. Knead the dough. Knead intensively for 12-15 minutes.
5. Form a ball from the dough, put it in a bowl and, having covered the dishes on top with food wrap or a towel, put in a warm place for 1 hour.
6. After 60 minutes, take out the increased dough from the bowl, knead and divide it into 6 parts. I got pieces of 125-128 g.
And now the most importal stage of the preparation of ensaimada begins:
7. Roll each piece of dough into a layer, grease with soft butter or pork fat and gently stretch to the sides. The layer should become translucent, but not torn.
8. Twist the prepared layer very thinly into a tube. You should get a long roll. In general, the number of spirals in a bun depends on the length of the roll. The longer the roll, the more beautiful the ensaimada form. But buns with one curl also look attractive.
9. If you need a filling, take jam. I had pear-plum jam (about 100 g per 3 pcs.). Lay out the filling strip along the long side of the rectangular layer and gently pinch it, pressing it well against the layer with the extreme side of the dough. Then, carefully roll the dough into a roll. By the way, do not forget to grease the formation of fat before. From my own experience I’ll say that it is more difficult to roll an ensayda with a filling, but sleight of hand will be your assistant in this matter.
10. Try to stretch the finished harnesses even further to the sides and leave them in a warm place for 1 hour.
11. After an hour, put long, thin rolls on baking sheetsб covered with pastry paper or greased with vegetable oil, and roll them into spirals, leaving a small distance between the spirals, because the dough during proofing and baking will be increase.
12. And now the most important thing. This ensaimada must stand at proof for at least 10 hours in a warm place. Then it turns out more delicious. Ideal if you make buns on Friday evening, and bake on Saturday morning. But if you do not have that much time (other things, etc.), wait another 30 minutes, heat the oven to 200 degrees and bake buns for 15-20 minutes. It took me 16 minutes (oven with upper and lower heating).
13. Ready rosy spiral are easily removed from paper. Put them on a plate and sprinkle with plenty of icing sugar. While the ensaimadas are cooling, make coffee or tea … and proceed to the most delicious sweet breakfast, lunch or dinner in your life.
I wish you all a bon appetit. Explore the cuisine of Spain with my site and be happy!