Ensaymada is a sweet dough pastry that is ultra-soft and topped with heaps of butter, sugar, and cheese.
The famous pastry is adapted from the Spanish recipe, “Ensaimades,” but has, later on, evolved into a crowd favorite that suits the Filipino palate. Ensaymada is just one of the many recipes Filipinos adopted during the time of Spanish colonization in the country.
This afternoon delight is commonly sold at any local bakeshops all over the country, but it is particularly famous in the province of Bulacan. Bulaceños often say that you haven’t really eaten Ensaymada if you haven’t tasted Malolos Ensaymada, so visitors from the province often buy it in boxes as pasalubong for their families back home.
This type of bread is also considered as the ultimate meryenda or afternoon snack, especially when partnered with a cup of steaming hot coffee. This recipe creates a perfect air-soft, sweet, and cheesy bread that will make you want for more!
Traditionally, this bread gets most of its flavor from the buttercream, cheese, and sugar sprinkled on top. However, there are also some other versions of the recipe where they put slices of itlog na maalat. Supposedly, the saltiness of the egg cuts through the sweetness of the bread, making it a perfect combination of flavors.
Ensaymada is a sinfully good snack that may not be a great choice to those watching their caloric and sugar intake. It’s perfect for a cheat day though, but make sure to not eat too much!
Tips How to Make Ensaymada
- Activating the yeast is the most crucial part in this recipe. The milk should be warm enough but not too hot. Adding sugar will help the yeast to proof easily. Do not stir the dry yeast, instead use a skewer or teaspoon and poke to submerge those yeast that are not yet wet. Then be patient and wait until it becomes foamy.
- You can also use instant dry yeast and you can skip the proofing process. Instead, mix the yeast with the flour and add the milk to other liquid ingredients.
- The dough will be sticky, you can add more flour if you think it is still watery. But do not overdo it.
- If it's winter or you are in a cold place, use your oven for rising the dough. Turn on the oven at 100° C for 2-3 minutes and place the dough inside the oven when rising.
- ½ cup warm milk use for activating the yeast
- 7 g dry yeast 1 packet
- 1 tbsp sugar to activate the yeast
- ¾ cup milk
- ½ cup vegetable shortening softened
- ½ cup sugar
- 3 medium eggs
- 3 ½ cups plain flour
- ¼ cup butter softened
- ½ cup butter softened
- ½ cup powdered sugar
- 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
- Proof or activate the yeast by combining milk and 1 tbsp sugar. Mix until the sugar is dissolve then add the dry yeast. Let it stand for 5-10 minutes until the foam forms on top. Do not stir, instead use a skewer or teaspoon and gently submerge the yeast to make it wet.
- In a bowl, combine milk, sugar and vegetable shortening. Gradually add the flour, dividing it into 3 parts. Then pour the yeast mixture, add the eggs and the remaining flour. Mix it until well incorporated. The dough is supposed to be sticky, you can add more flour if you think it's too liquid or too sticky. But be careful not to overdo adding the flour it.
- Cover it with tea towel and let it rise for 2-3 hours or until it becomes double in size.
- Preheat the oven at 300°F or 150°C. Grease the mold with melted butter or vegetable oil.
- Transfer the sticky dough into a clean lightly floured flat surface. Cut it into 4 parts then roll it into a log. Cut it again until you make 16 pieces of dough.
- Using a rolling pin, flatten each dough into a rectangular shape then brush the softened butter. Roll it vertically, creating a long, thin log then shape it into a spiral with the end tucked under.
- Place each dough in a greased mold or on a baking tray with parchment paper. Cover it again with tea towel and let it stand for 30 minutes. The dough will increase again it's size.
- Bake in a preheated oven at 300°F or 150°C for 20-25 minutes. Once done, remove it from the oven and let it cool down for 10 minutes.
- Prepare the buttercream by mixing the softened butter and powdered sugar.
- Using the back of the spoon, spread the buttercream on top of the bread and cover it with grated cheese. Serve and enjoy!