Bread Baking Babes celebrates 2 years of bread with Ensaïmadas

two roads

It feels strange that Bread Baking Babes turn 2, and just like that first time, it is Karen from Bake My Day who has decided what we bake this month. Without her and Tanna, Bread Baking Babes wouldn’t even exist, they are the driving forces behind us all. Not that they have to do much because the passion for baking that my fellow Babes show me time after time is impressive as is the knowledge they have, there is always someone who can answer any question that pops up in your head and I cannot but thank all these inspirational women for helping me becoming a far better bread baker than I once were. I do blame them though for the increase of bread baking books that have invaded my kitchen but the strange thing is that I need them all, couldn’t live without now!

Ensaimadas

But bread is not the most important thing that the BBB has given me, no the most imortant thing BBB has given me is the friendship that tie us together, we are all different and we live in different countries but we all speak the same language somehow and that is rare to find but that is what blogging (and bread) does to us all I think! So Thank You Tanna and Karen for starting the BBBs and Thank You to all my fellow Babes for these two incredible bready years! Here’s the complete list of Babes!

Ensaimadas

Ensaïmadas from Mallorca, a not too sweet bread that lingers on the border to pastry but it isn’t that sweet. And it is not difficult to make, I can tell you that because when I made it earlier this week together with Karen, I was so awkward and our house was so cold that I was convinced that the poor maltreated dough would rebel and it would all be a disaster but they turned out exactly the way they were supposed despite me forgetting one batch in the oven a tad too long.. One of the mysteries of life I have to say. They were soft and layered as you can see from the photos and that was certainly not because of me! Karen used a recipe from the well known food blog delicious days and Nicole has graciously allowed us to use her recipe which you find here if you want to read about where she found it and her thoughts about it. My comments in italics.

If you would like to join the gang of faithful Bread Baking Buddies and bake the Ensaïmadas with us, please check Karen’s blog for details!

Ensaimadas

Ensaïmadas
Recipe source: inspired by Eliza’s recipe
Active time: about 45 minutes, rising: several hours, baking: about 15 minutes
yields about 10 Ensaimadas

500g/1,1 lb all-purpose flour (plus additional as needed )
75g/ sugar
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
40g/ fresh yeast (= 1 cube)
200-250ml/ lukewarm milk
2 eggs (M)
2 tblsp olive oil
150g/ soft pork lard (some babes used butter instead)
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. (I didn’t do this, I dissolved the yeast in a little tepid milk and then mixed it with the eggs and the oil)
– 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 (200 or 220 ml, while the original recipe suggests 250 ml) and my dough still turned out pretty sticky, I therefore added a tad more flour and let it knead at medium speed for 3 minutes (just for the record: my dough still felt sticky).(I knead by hand so I had to slap the sticky dough to obedience, always with a flour dusted work surface) Let the covered bowl rest again in a warm place for at least 30 minutes or until the dough has doubled. (I put it in my tepid oven, it didn’t double but I took it out anyway after almost 1 hour)
– Punch 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.
– Shaping the Ensaïmadas: 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. (I used approximately half of the 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 Ensaïmadas on one baking sheet, making sure to leave enough space between them. Lightly brush with lard and cover up again.
– 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 shorter rising times (1 and 4 hours). But do as you like. (I left them to rise about 2 hours and they rose beautifully and turned out perfect despite my maltreatment)
– 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.

Ensaimadas

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