Ensaymada or ensaimada is a favorite and popular Filipino fluffy bread coated with margarine and butter. Usually the shape is round and resembles a bloated pancake. But some are shaped like large muffins. They are many varieties of ensaymada nowadays especially the commercial ones sold in big bakeshops. Some are loaded with grated cheese and coated with butter, some has filling inside and some have different flavors like ube. But the original ensaymada with it’s plain sugar and margarine coating will always be the favorite.
A Taste of Filipino Delight
Ensaymada, also known as ensaimada, is a beloved treat in Filipino cuisine. This fluffy, sweet bread is often topped with a delectable combination of margarine and butter, making it an irresistible snack or dessert. In this recipe blog post, we’ll walk you through the steps of creating your very own ensaymada masterpiece. Let’s dive into the world of Filipino baking and discover the secrets to crafting this delectable pastry.
Crafting the Perfect Ensaymada Dough
To start your ensaymada adventure, you’ll need to prepare the dough. This process may seem a bit complex, but the results will be worth it.
Creating the Sponge Yeast
Begin by dissolving sugar in warm water. Add the yeast to the sugar-water mixture and let it stand until the yeast softens. Gradually add 1 cup of flour to the mixture, stirring until it’s well blended. Cover the bowl with a damp cloth and set it aside in a warm place for about 30 minutes. This step creates what’s known as the “sponge yeast.”
Preparing the Dough
While the sponge yeast is developing, it’s time to work on the dough. Cream the butter and sugar together thoroughly. Add salt and egg yolks to the butter-sugar mixture, beating well after each addition. Stir in the milk. Gradually add 4 cups of all-purpose flour, blending thoroughly. Combine this flour mixture with the sponge yeast and mix until you have a well-formed dough.
Kneading and Rising
Knead the dough until it reaches a fine texture. Place the dough in a slightly greased bowl, cover it with a damp cloth, and let it rise in a warm place for about 2 hours.
Shaping Your Ensaymada
Now that your dough has risen and is ready, it’s time to shape your ensaymada.
Dividing and Rolling
Punch down the risen dough. Divide the dough into your desired size of rolls. Sprinkle a bit of flour on your work surface to prevent sticking, then roll out the dough thinly into a rectangle.
Topping with Flavors
Spread the dough’s surface with melted butter, creating a luscious base for your ensaymada. Sprinkle grated cheese evenly over the buttered dough.
Rolling and Coiling
Roll up the dough, starting from the lower left-hand corner, to create a long, thin log. Shape the log into a coil or spiral, tucking the end underneath.
Baking and Final Touches
With your ensaymada rolls neatly arranged, it’s time to bake them to perfection. Place your prepared ensaymada rolls in greased ensaimada molds. Allow them to rise for another 2 hours to achieve that perfect, fluffy texture. Preheat your oven to 400°F. Bake the ensaymada rolls for 10 to 15 minutes, or until they turn a beautiful golden brown.
A Finishing Touch of Flavor
Once your ensaymada rolls have baked to perfection, it’s time for the final touches that truly make them stand out. As soon as you take the ensaymada out of the oven, brush them with butter to add a delightful richness. Sprinkle grated cheese and a touch of sugar over the warm ensaymada to create that irresistible sweet and savory combination.
Enjoying Your Homemade Ensaymada
Now that your homemade ensaymada is ready, it’s time to savor the delicious fruits of your labor. Whether you’re enjoying it as a snack or dessert, paired with a warm cup of coffee or tea, the Filipino ensaymada is a treat that’s sure to delight your taste buds.
Variations and Personalization
While the classic ensaymada is a delight in itself, you can always get creative with this recipe. Experiment with different fillings, such as ube (purple yam), to give your ensaymada a unique twist. You can also explore various toppings like cinnamon sugar or even a drizzle of condensed milk for a sweet surprise.
Creating ensaymada at home is a rewarding culinary adventure that allows you to savor the flavors of Filipino cuisine. With a bit of patience and practice, you’ll be crafting these fluffy, buttery treats like a pro. So, gather your ingredients, follow these steps, and enjoy the delightful taste of homemade ensaymada – a true Filipino favorite.
How to Make Ensaymada
- 1 cup all-purpose flour (for the sponge yeast)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
- 3/4 cup warm water
- 4 tsp. active dry yeast
- 1/8 cup butter softened
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 Tbsp. salt
- 5 egg yolks
- 1 cup fresh milk or evaporated milk
- 4 cups all-purpose flour (for the dough)
- melted butter for brushing
- grated cheese
How to Make Ensaymada:
- Dissolve the sugar in the warm water. Add the yeast and let stand until softened
- Add 1 cup flour gradually until well blended. Cover bowl with a damp cloth and set aside in warm place for 30 minutes. (This is the sponge yeast).
- Meanwhile, cream butter and sugar thoroughly; add salt and egg yolks, beating well after each addition. Then add milk and stir.
- Add 4 cups all-purpose flour gradually, blending well. Add this mixture to the sponge yeast. Mix well until dough is formed.
- Knead the dough until texture becomes fine.
- Put dough in slightly greased bowl and cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place for 2 hours.
- Punch down. Divide dough into desired size of rolls. Sprinkle with flour to avoid sticking to the surface. Roll out thinly into a rectangle.
- Spread dough surface with melted butter and sprinkle with grated cheese.
- Roll as in jelly roll, starting from the lower left hand corner creating a long, thin log then shape it into a coil (spiral) with the end tucked under.
- Place in greased ensaimada molds. Let rise for 2 hours.
- Bake in preheated oven at 400 °F for from 10 to 15 minutes.
- After taking out from oven, brush with butter and sprinkle with grated cheese and sugar.
- Yield: 2 dozens.
Cooking Tips of Ensaymada Recipe:
- Precision in Rising: Ensuring that the dough rises adequately is crucial. Make sure to let it rest in a warm place, covering it with a damp cloth, for the specified times in the recipe. This allows the dough to achieve the desired fluffiness and texture.
- Consistency in Rolling: When rolling out the dough, aim for a uniform thickness. This consistency will help ensure that your ensaymada bakes evenly, resulting in a delightful combination of softness and crispness.
- Balancing Toppings: While ensaymada is known for its generous toppings of margarine, butter, cheese, and sugar, it's essential to strike a balance. Experiment with the quantities to achieve the right level of sweetness and richness that suits your taste buds.