Bread Baking Buddies February 2010: Ensaïmada

This month the Bread Baking Buddies travelled to Spain to bake Ensaïmadas which are sweet buns. Kitchen of the month was “Bake My Day”.  The name comes from the Mallorquí word “saïm” which means pork lard. The recipe looked really easy and I had everything on hand except for the pork lard. But Karen, the hostess of the month, wrote that she had made some of her Ensaïmadas with butter and cinnamon sugar, so I thought I would just go for that option. I guess, they aren’t typical Ensaïmadas then, though, because of the lack of pork lard. Oh well, they were yummy anyway. They reminded me of cinnamon rolls – they were crunchier, though.

Here’s the recipe (adapted from Küchengötter):

Ingredients for 10 Ensaïmadas:

  • 500g/ 17,6 oz all-purpose flour
  • 75g/ 2,6 oz sugar
  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
  • 40g fresh yeast (I took 0,5 oz instant yeast because my fresh yeast had gone bad)
  • 200/ 0,6 cups lukewarm milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 150g/ 5,3 oz soft pork lard  (I used softened butter and only half the amount)
  • powdered sugar for dusting (I didn’t dust the buns)


  1. Add the flour together with sugar and salt into a large bowl and mix well. Make a hollow in the center, add the 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.
  2. Add the remaining milk, eggs and olive oil and knead well until the dough comes together nicely. Let the covered bowl rest again in a warm place for at least 30 minutes or until the dough has doubled.
  3. Punch it down softly, then flip the dough onto a well-floured surface and sprinkle with flour. Cut into about 10 equally sized portions (I cut into 17 portions because I wanted to have smaller Ensaïmadas) 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.
  4. 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 (or softened butter; I also added about 1 teaspoon of cinnamon sugar). 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.
  5. 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 Ensaïmadas on two baking sheets, making sure to leave enough space between them. Lightly brush with lard and cover up again.
  6. Let rise overnight (I let them rise in the refrigerator overnight).
  7. 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.


11 responses to “Bread Baking Buddies February 2010: Ensaïmada

  1. I am totally in love with your inside crumb shot…rolls of pillowy bread lined with cinnamon sugar ~

  2. WoW! Lovely rolls there, especially the layers showing in the last picture! Thanks for baking with us.

  3. Wonderful rolls, fun to know what their name came from..didn’t know that. Guess my weren’t the real thing too without the lard, but good anyway! Thanks for baking with us!

  4. These look so tasty! I’m impressed with all of your challenges – you certainly keep busy 🙂

  5. OOOOOOO, I’m swooning over all those lovely layers you got!! These are beautiful!
    Thanks so much for baking with us!!

  6. I agree, your spirals are wonderful! I didn’t get nearly that many on mine… Great job!

  7. I love that inside shot. Next time I’m going to try the cinnamon/sugar version too, it looks soft and crunchy and sweet and yummie!! Just what a girl needs on a cold wintery day like this…. 🙂

  8. Well done.
    The stack of buns on the first picture would make a nice centerpiece for a brekfast table. 🙂

  9. Beautiful rolls! I love that you did cinnamon and sugar – delicious!
    Thanks so much for baking with us this month. 🙂

  10. Wow, these look delicious! I wonder how they’d taste with lard and cinnamon-sugar?

  11. I’ve never heard of those, despite a year of study abroad in Spain. Maybe I was too busy eating jamon serrano and palmeras (palmiers). 😉

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