""I was raised among books making invisible friends in pages that seemed cast from dust and whose smell I carry on my hands to this day.""
Recipe source: inspired by Eliza's recipe
Active time: about 45 minutes, rising: several hours, baking: about 15 minutes
Ingredients (yields about 10 Ensaimadas):
500g all-purpose flour (plus additional as needed )
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
40g fresh yeast (= 1 cube)
200-250ml lukewarm milk
2 eggs (M)
2 tbsp olive oil
150g soft pork lard
powdered sugar for dusting
Add the flour together with sugar and salt into a large bowl (I used my KitchenAid 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.
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 therefor added a tad more flour and let it knead at medium speed for 3 minutes (just for the record: my dough still felt sticky). Let the covered bowl rest again in a warm place for at least 30 minutes or until the dough has doubled.
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 Ensaimadas: 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. 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 Ensaimadas 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 shorther rising times (1 and 4 hours). But do as you like.
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.
- like Nicole I did hold back on the milk, using just the 200 ml and got a nice soft dough, not sticky just a bit tacky. I think that I might have gotten away with using slightly more milk because I would have liked to roll them even thinner. I let mine proof for an hour/hour and a half with great results. The amount of yeast used is quite a lot for the flour so they'll rise nicely anyway.
- I used cinnamon/sugar butter in some of the rolls, goose fat in others. Couldn't resist to make a larger one filled with red grapefruit curd.
- They are real fluffy and light, think of the croissant-family with soft layers instead of the crisp flakiness that a croissant has. Love that layering inside. My kids inhaled them!