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Hello everyone, and happy holidays!  I had all intentions of posting this before Christmas, but you know, Christmas week just got a little too crazy and it didn’t work out as I planned, but that’s okay, it happens.

One thing I didn’t do this year is shop at the malls. I avoided them like the plague, and I let my fingers do my shopping online instead. I also made cookies, breads, and marmalade as gifts too, which I enjoyed way more than going shopping.

Did you all have a good holiday? I hope everyone ate too much like I did. I mean, isn’t that what it’s all about. I think we can all agree that love and togetherness, means tons and tons of food until you can’t breathe and you’re not fully loved unless you have to unbutton your pants. Am I right???

I should be posting something healthy here, but being that I still consider this week a holiday week (holidays doesn’t end in my book until January 2nd), I think it’s only apropos that I tell you about this wonderful sweet bread. Some may call it Mallorca bread, some may say Ensaimada, but however you want to call it, I just think its fluffy and buttery goodness that you can enjoy either for breakfast, snack or dessert even. This is a typical bread made for festivities and celebration, mostly in Spain and in the Philippines.  I grew up on this stuff, but we never made it at home, it usually come prepackaged in a cellophane, and let me tell you, it didn’t matter what toy or clothes we got for Christmas, as soon as the box of Ensaimada were opened, everyone ran to the dining room. Opening one of this cellophane goodness was like opening gifts all over again. For New Year’s Eve, my mom would serve these with hot cocoa, and it goes so well together.

So here it goes, more carbs to enjoy this week! It may seem like it’s hard to make, but I promise you, it really isn’t and the results are so rewarding that you may start making this every weekend. Just go for a run before or after or both. Heck, it’s worth the calories!

MALLORCA BREAD WITH SAFFRON

INGREDIENTS:
(click here for Full Grocery List)

3 plus 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup warm milk
A pinch of saffron
1 package dried yeast
2 eggs plus 1 egg yolk
½ teaspoon salt
2 sticks of butter (softened at room temperature)
Confectioner’s sugar for dusting

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Sift the flour in a large bowl then make a well in the middle.
  2. Add the sugar on top of the flour (on the sides, not in the well).
  3. Add the saffron in the warm milk and let it sit for about 2-3 minutes until the milk changes to a golden color.
  4. Add the saffron milk to the middle of the well, and then add the yeast. Mix with a fork and let it sit for about 5 minutes until it starts to bubble.
  5. Add the eggs including the yolk to the well and mix with a fork until it’s blended. If you have a mixer, knead the dough with a hook until it forms into a ball. Note: if you don’t have a fancy schmancy mixer, you can use a large wooden spoon and use those muscles. Trust me, it can be done and sometimes I prefer it this way.
  6. Cover the dough with a slightly damp kitchen towel and let it sit for about an hour.
  7. On a well-floured surface, roll out the dough to a big rectangle (about 20 x 20 inch size).
  8. Spread the butter on top of the dough in a very even layer, then fold the dough into thirds and then lightly roll it again into a slightly smaller rectangle. Be careful not to let the butter ooze out.
  9. Roll and twist the dough to make one big roll or you can cut them into pieces and make smaller rolls.
  10. Line a baking sheet with a silpat mat or parchment paper and place the dough on the baking sheet. Cover with a towel and let it rise again for another 1-2 hours depending on the temperature in your home (it should double in size).
  11. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 20-25 minutes or until the top is golden brown.
  12. As soon as you take it out of the oven, you can choose to brush a little more butter on top then sprinkle generously with powdered sugar.

P.S. If you want to go a little wild, you can shred some cheese on top. I usually use Manchego cheese and trust me, the sweet and salty is sooooo perfect!

 

GROCERY LIST

all-purpose flour
granulated sugar
milk
saffron
1 package dried yeast
eggs
butter
Confectioner’s sugar