An ensaimada is a Majorcan pastry, similar to a doughy cinnamon bun without the cinnamon. The yeasted dough is rolled out, spread with lard, rolled up and then coiled like a snail’s shell before baking. This is adapted from a recipe on www.deliciousdays.com.
3-2/3 c. all-purpose flour (plus more as needed)
1/3 c. sugar
1/2 t. fine sea salt
2 T. dry yeast (or 40 g. fresh)
1 scant c. (about 7/8 c.) lukewarm milk
(you may need the whole cup)
2 T. olive oil
1/2 c. soft pork lard or butter
icing sugar, for dusting
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar and salt. Make a hollow in the middle of the dry ingredients and crumble the yeast and a pinch of sugar into the hollow. Pour in just enough milk to cover the yeast. Stir just the yeast and milk once or twice, not disturbing the dry ingredients, then cover the bowl with a kitchen towel and let it rest for about 15 minutes, or until the surface of the milk looks bubbly. Add the remaining milk, eggs and olive oil and stir the dry ingredients into the wet ones until a dough forms. Gather the dough together, turn it out on a lightly floured countertop and knead it for a few minutes until it’s smooth. (The dough will be a little tacky, but don’t worry about it.)
Put the dough back in the bowl, cover it and let it rest in a warm place for 30 to 60 minutes, or until doubled in size. Punch it down softly, then flip the dough onto a lightly floured surface and sprinkle it with a little flour. Cut the dough into 10 equal- sized portions and form the portions into balls. Let the balls rest on a baking sheet, covered with a tea towel, for another 30 minutes.
Flatten each ball of dough and roll it into a thin circle; brush the circles with the softened pork lard. Roll each circle up loosely, then coil them loosely so that they resemble snail shells. Place about five ensaimadas on each of two baking sheets, making sure to leave enough space between them, since they will expand when they rise again. Lightly brush them with lard, cover them with tea towels, and allow them to rise for another 1 to 4 hours, until they are nice and poufy. If you want the ensaimadas for breakfast the next day, refrigerate them overnight before letting them rise again. The cold will slow the rising and they will be ready to bake in the morning.
When ready to bake the ensaimadas, preheat the oven to 400°F and bake them for 14 to 16 minutes, or until golden. Dust the ensaimadas with icing sugar and eat them while still warm. Makes 10 ensaimadas.