Ensaymada or Ensaimada (Spanish) is a pastry product originated in Majorca, Spain. It is a popular food item in the Philippines and Latin American counties that were a former Spanish territory. Traditionally ensaimada is made out of flour, water, sugar, eggs and pork lard called “saim” where it got its name from. In Philippines ensaymada had evolved from using pork lard to butter or shortening, edam cheese and sugar is added for its toppings which make it resemble the French Brioche.
This is a very common type of bread in the Philippines where you can find it in most of the bakeries, but there are other shops that specializes on this type of baked good where you can see the real difference in taste and texture like the Megamelt and again Goldilocks. Some say their secret recipe of making it super soft is using mashed potato in the ingredient which makes sense so I will do something similar but instead of using potatoes I will use sweet potatoes and leverage on its already sweet taste. I guess this is the most time consuming pastry that I ever made, it nearly took me a day for the preparation but I guess it’s worth the wait. The result is a very soft buttery and creamy pastry.
In a sauce pan heat milk, cream, water and shortening until very warm but not hot.
Mix together 1/2 cup flour, yeast, salt in a mixing bowl.
Place heated milk and shortening in another mixing bowl then gradually mix in the flour mixture in step 2 using a spatula. Once all added using an electric mixer beat the mixture at medium speed for 2 minutes.
Stop the mixer then add the mashed sweet potatoes, egg and 1/2 cup of flour. Beat at high speed for 2 minutes.
Now gradually add the remaining flour, once batter is stiff remove bowl from mixer base then cover with cling wrap. Refrigerate for 2 hours.
Remove from fridge then add egg yolks, mix in low speed until evenly mixed. Remove again from base then cover with cling wrap then refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
Remove dough from the mixing bowl and place it in a smaller aluminium bowl enough to hold the dough. Place the smaller bowl in a bigger bowl filled with ice (this makes the dough cold always which is needed to make handling easier, the warmer it is the more sticky the dough will be).
Pinch a small ball (roughly twice the size of a ping pong ball) out of the dough then roll it into a floured board. The shape should resemble a thick long rope, now start coiling the rope dough then place it into a greased pan.
Once done coiling the entire dough brush top with melted butter then let it rise on a warm place until it doubles its size this might take 1 hr. to 2 hrs. depending on how warm it is. What I usually do to speed up the process is use the oven by turning the heat on for a couple of minutes, turn the heat of then place my dough inside.
Now bake at 180C for 15 minutes, remove from pan then place and cool in a wire rack. Brush with melted butter, sprinkle sugar on top then with edam cheese.