Ensaymada is quite a staple merienda of many Filipinos. Whether it is during recess in school, break times at work, or even as a special treat during special occasions, there’s no doubt that not everyone can easily resist the smell and the appearance of that coiled bread slathered with butter or even topped with grated cheese or shiny grains of sugar.
Surely, you want to eat one right now as you imagine it, right?
In this article, you’ll have the ability to make your own special easy ensaymada at home so you no longer need to go out and buy one just to satisfy your cravings.
Included here are tips and variations you could try to make your ensaymada-making adventure less hassle so don’t miss this out!
What is Ensaymada?
In case you haven’t figured out yet, ensaymada is a type of soft and sweet pastry here in the Philippines made out of dough, and usually with butter and sugar, topped with cheese.
Although this ensaymada is pretty much Filipino, it originally came from the influence of Spain in our country, particularly in the island of Mallorca, where ensaimada is made. The major difference between the two breads is the Filipino version uses butter for the brioche, while the Mallorcan version uses pork lard in making the bread, which actually translates to saim.
Ensaymada nowadays here in the Philippines is very common as it is readily available in most local bakery stores. It can vary from the simple ones made in the streets, to extravagant ones which are made in restaurants, and luxury bake shops.
It is also said to be most famous in Bulacan and in areas of Pampanga. But today, worry not of finding the best ensaymada because making it at home has never been this easy!
Pandesal is another famous Filipino bread you can try, we also have a recipe for it.
How to make Ensaymada?
You will be amazed how simple making ensaymada at home can be. It seems a bit overwhelming at first, but you’ll get used to it in no time at all.
Don’t worry because you do not need to shape the bread in an extravagant way, it’s not necessary at all so just relax. You can simply bake it shaped like a simple log, or using a baking sheet–and you’ll still end up with a very soft and sweet bread that’s so irresistible.
First step is to ready up the dry ingredients–the flour, yeast, some sugar, and some salt. Once you got that down, put ‘em in a large bowl and mix it up until it’s like a paste.
Add the butter (or shortening), egg yolks, and gradually add the milk into the bowl and continue to mix. Don’t worry about having a sticky dough because that’s exactly what’s supposed to happen.
After the dough has been mixed well, you can cover it with a kitchen towel and place it in a warm spot. Let it rest and allow it to rise for about 2 to 3 hours, or until you achieve the desired size.
Next step is to cut the dough into 16 pieces. To do this, you have to roll the dough into a log shape and then cut it in half. Repeat the process of making the dough into a log shape again and cutting it in half until you get the 16 pieces.
Roll the pieces into a rectangle and brush each of them with softened butter.
Afterwards, roll the pieces into log-shapes and coil it to form a spiral, tucking it under on one end. Place it over a baking sheet or a baking pan lined with wax paper
If you don’t have wax paper, grease it with softened butter. Let the coiled dough rest for about 30 minutes at room temperature, or until you achieve the desired size. While waiting, preheat the oven at 150 C.
You have the option to prepare the frosting by mixing softened butter and powdered sugar while waiting for the ensaymada to be baked for 20 to 25 minutes, or until it is golden brown.
Once this is done, allow it to cool for a bit and brush the frosting over the top and sprinkle some grated cheese.
And we’re done! Easy ensaymada, made at home. Try pairing this with hot chocolate! See: Tsokolate Eh Vs Tsokolate Ah
Notes On Ingredients
You can also use dry active yeast as a substitution for the dry instant yeast. But take note that active yeast takes a longer time to rise, so it is recommended to make the dough ahead of time if you’re going to use this.
Variations You could try
While making ensaymada with butter, sugar and grated cheese is the standard. There are also some twists which can make your ensaymada even more special.
Some variations you might want to try is to use chocolate, macapuno, or even ube. You could also stuff it with ham or sausages.
For a quick reference about this recipe, see the recipe table below:
Easy Ensaymada Recipe
- 1 cup warm milk, (I used evaporated milk)
- 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp sugar
- 1/2 cup shortening (or butter), softened
- 3 1/2 cups flour, (all-purpose or bread flour)
- 3 pcs egg yolks
- 1 1/2 tbsp dry instant yeast
- 1/4 tbsp salt
For the Frosting and Toppings:
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- grated processed cheddar cheese, (Eden/ Cheezee/ Ques-O)
- In a large bowl, combine and mix all the dry ingredients: flour, sugar, yeast, and salt.
- Add-in the shortening and egg yolks.
- Gradually add-in the milk while mixing the ingredients.
- If you have an electric mixer, mix for 3-5 minutes at medium speed. You could also mix manually. Take note that you will be having a sticky dough at this point.
- Rest for 2-3 hours.
- Afterwards, cut the dough into 16 pieces.
- Using a rolling pin, roll each piece and then brush with softened butter.
- Form a small log and then shape into a spiral over a baking sheet/ baking pan lined with baking wax paper. (if you don’t have wax paper, you can brush the baking sheet/ pan with softened butter).
- Allow to rest for another 30 minutes. Preheat the oven at 150 C.
- While waiting, prepare the frosting by mixing ½ cup softened butter and ½ cup powdered sugar.
- Bake the ensaymada for 20 to 25 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
- Brush with the frosting and top with grated cheese.
- Serve and enjoy!
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