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Ensaïmada Mallorquina

The most delicious pastry from the Balearic Islands. Bon profit!

19 Jun 2023



Difficulty:

Not too hard

Servings:

8 ensaïmadas

Prep time:

1 hour

Waiting time:

Baking time:

2 hours

15 minutes

Total time:

3 hours, 15 minutes

When you're in Palma de Mallorca, you eat the best ensaïmadas at Ca'n Juan de s'Aigo. When you're at home, you make them yourself!


These snakey-snaily pastries are super soft and have the sexiest, most beautiful layers. While in pastries such as cinnamon rolls you'd use butter to keep the layers separate, ensaïmadas are traditionally made with lard, which gives them a really unique (and delicious) flavour. It took some effort to find lard where I live, but I assume this recipe would work perfectly fine with butter or even vegetable shortening (I have not tried this - let me know if you have). If you're in the Amsterdam area, you can buy lard at the beautiful @Slagerij De Leeuw butcher shop in the city centre.


Ca'n Juan de s'Aigo in Palma de Mallorca has been making their ensaïmada mallorquina for centuries and have perfected the craft. They come in all sizes from single-portion to giant, pizza box-filling coils. I chose to make the smaller variety, but you could probably use this recipe to make one or two giant ensaïmadas with some creativity. I'll definitely be giving that a try in the future!

Ingredients

Dough 

  • 42 g fresh baker’s yeast 

  • 340 ml water, lukewarm 

  • 1 kg strong flour (like manitoba) 

  • 150 g sugar 

  • 24 g salt 

  • 4 eggs, room temperature 

  • 30 g lard 


Filling 

  • 500 g lard 

  • 240 g powder sugar 

  • 2 oranges’ zest 

  • 1 vanilla pod 

  • 100 g powder sugar 


* You could also use butter, but the flavour and texture might not be "authentic"

Instructions

Making the dough and first two rises 

  1. Mix the yeast into the water until dissolved. Make a mound of the flour, sugar and salt and turn it into a volcano! Make sure the walls are thin and relatively tall. Pour the lard, eggs and water-yeast mixture into the crater and mix as if you’re making pasta - gradually scraping flour from the walls and incorporating it into the paste until the dough is thick enough for you to knead it by hand. Knead the dough until it stops sticking too much (you might want to add a single extra dusting).

  2. Place the ball into a large bowl greased with oil and allow the dough to rest covered for half an hour.

  3. Punch down the dough to remove the air and divide into eight chunks. Lightly flour your work surface, shape each part into a neat ball, place onto a greased baking sheet and gently brush on a little oil with your fingers. Rest covered for another 30 minutes.


Preparing the filling, shaping the dough and baking

  1. Meanwhile, mix the lard, powder sugar and orange zest in a bowl.

  2. Spread and stretch the dough balls into rectangles with your hands and roll the dough out as thinly as possible with a rolling pin. Slather on the lard mixture with your hands and remove excess.

  3. Roll the dough towards you into a long dough snake, gently pick up the snake and stretch it a little. Coil the snake into a spiral on a parchment paper lined baking tray, gently flattening slightly with your fingers as you go (to ensure the spiral sticks into a cohesive shape. Allow to rise covered for an hour.

  4. Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 180°C. Bake the ensaïmadas for 12 - 15 minutes or until golden brown. Place the ensaïmadas onto a rack to cool.

  5. Cut open the vanilla pod and scrape out the seeds. Mix with the powder sugar and dust the buns while still warm.

Notes

Best the day made, but can be stored (in an airtight container) for a three days. 


Adapted from: el Gourmet.

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