Thursday, 18 February 2010

The Bread Baking Babes make Ensaïmadas!

Baking Soda is our hostess and kitchen of the month for the Bread Baking Babes. She has challenged us to make Ensaimadas, a sweet little bun with Spanish origins. Read all about the history of this delightful bread on her blog here.
These are delicious and soft, rather like the poor man's brioche I thought, and make for some wonderful sammies.
If/When you would like to become a Bread Baking Buddy and earn your own Buddy Badge to show in your post please bake along with us and make this bread and post before or on Thursday 25th February. Send your name and the name of your blog with a link to the post to Baking Soda at (bakemyday AT gmail DOT com) and she'll send you the Buddy Badge asap and show a round up on her site on Thursday 25! You can read all about being a Buddy in this post.
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 )
75g sugar
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 (I used butter)
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 therefore 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 shorter 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. Greasy fingers included!

The Bread Baking Babes
These Ensaimadas have been Yeastspotted!

And, who says you can't be in two places at once? Check out my guest post in Aparna's Kitchen Café today.