Have you ever been afraid of trying recipes that use yeast because of previous baking failures?
You know for a certain period of time, I have avoided making breads that use yeast as the rising agent because I have failed a couple of times in the past. I attempted to make croissants, failed. I attempted to make ensaymada twice, failed. (Ensaymada is a Filipino sweet pastry, characterized by toppings of butter, sugar and sometimes, cheese).
Now when I found this recipe, I conquered all my fears and gave it a go. I am just amazed and happy because the results were nothing less than satisfactory. It was surprisingly easy to follow the directions and nothing complex is involved. And the product? Oh, you would not believe that something so good can be done with such a simple preparation.
The first time I did this, I followed the recipe exactly as it is, which is for a Cinnamon roll. Being very pleased with the result, I used the recipe again but I did some alterations with the flavorings so you are now looking at an easy ensaymada face to face.
How to Make Easy Ensaymada
- You combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl and you set it aside.
- Melt the butter in the microwave, then add in the milk and water to the melted butter. You want the butter mixture to be 115-120F, hotter than that, you will kill the yeast.
- We add that butter-water-milk mixture into the dry ingredients in the bowl. Start mixing it then add the egg.
- Add more flour very sparingly just until the dough comes together in the middle of the bowl to form a sphere.
- Knead the dough. Turn it over on to a floured surface and knead until it is smooth and elastic. The recipe indicated 4 minutes kneading time, I finished mine in 20 minutes the first time I did this. I was scared that I might have messed up. But the dough turned out fine and have risen well. And I had fun! I felt like I am inside a pastry kitchen and it felt so good! How do you know when to stop kneading? I read this so I had an idea what I was looking for.
- The dough will be slightly tacky but it should no longer be sticky.
- When you poke the dough with a finger, it will spring back up immediately. If the indention remains, knead a little more.
- The surface of the dough is noticeably smoother and shinier
- The dough does not easily tear when you stretch a golf sized ball using your fingers. Instead you form a translucent film before the dough tears while stretching.
Next, after kneading, we let the dough rest for ten minutes, covered in a bowl. Then we start rolling. We roll the dough into a 14 x 8 inches rectangle.
Then we spread softened butter over the rectangle, then we sprinkle sugar. We roll the triangle into a tight log ( roll the long side ). We cut the log into 11 almost equal pieces.
Letting the Rolls Rise
I let mine rise for 6 hours in room temperature. I left them in the counter at ten pm and I baked it the next morning at 4 am.
Another method I tried ( which the recipe suggested) is to pre- heat the oven to 200F, turn the oven off and place the rolls inside for 60 minutes. Our goal is to let the rolls rise twice their size. ( see picture below). Either way works for me. I would do the oven method if pressed for time, or if you are preparing during the night, you can just leave it the counter and call it a day, then bake it the next morning. ( The recipe actually state that you can leave it to rise over night for 12 hours).
Bake the Ensaymada Rolls
When the dough has risen, we bake it at 375 for 25-30 minutes. It is important to cover the rolls loosely with a foil after the first ten minutes of baking so the top doesn’t get too brown and hard.
Once the ensaymada rolls are cool, Spread the glaze over the top and serve. I store them in a covered container at room temperature. They don’t even last five days because they are gone in two days!
There is something so thrilling about seeing this beauty right out of the oven. There is something so fulfilling knowing that I knead it manually by my hands and now I am staring at this beautiful pastry. I can make bread after all!
If ensaymada is not your thing, You can always follow the original recipe for the Cinnamon Rolls. Both are yummy and satisfying!
Easy Ensaymada Rolls from scratch
or the rolls:
- 2 and 1/4 cup all purpose flour + 1/2 cup reserved
- 3 tbsp granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 and 1/4 tsp active dry yeast I used Fleischmann's
- 1 egg
- 40 g butter
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/4 cup milk
for the filling:
- 60 g butter softened
- 3 tbsp sugar for sprinkling
for the butter and milk glaze:
- 60 g butter softened
- 5 tbsp powdered sugar
- 1/4 cup milk
- Combine 2 and 1/4 cup flour, 3 tbsp sugar, 1 tsp salt and 2 and 1/4 tsp yeast in a large mixing bowl. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, melt 40 g of butter in the microwave then add in the milk and water. This mixture should have a temperature of 115-120 F. If the mixture is still below 115 F, Re-heat the bowl in the microwave until the correct temperature is reached.
- Add the butter-milk-water solution to the dry ingredients in the large bowl and begin mixing. I used a big plastic spoon for mixing.Add the egg and add flour from the reserved 1/2 cup but add very sparingly. All you need is for the dough to come together into a sphere in the center of the bowl. It should pull away from the sides of the bowl. I did not need all of the 1/2 cup , but you might need it all depending on the consistency of your dough.
- After your dough has gathered into a ball, it has a sticky texture and is a loosely shaped ball. On a surface or baking mat lightly dusted with flour, knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic.
- After kneading is complete, let the dough rest for ten minutes in a bowl. After the dough has rested, roll the dough into a 14 by 8 inch rectangle. Spread the softened butter over the rectangle and sprinkle granulated sugar over the butter. Roll the longer side of the rectangle tightly to form a log. Cut the log into 11 portions and place them on a lightly greased 9 inch baking pan. Let the rolls rise at room temperature for up to 12 hours or pre-heat oven to 200F, turn oven off and let rolls rise inside for 60-90 minutes. Do not refrigerate risen rolls, keep then at room temperature if not baking right away.
- Preheat oven to 375 F. Bake rolls for 25-30 minutes, until rolls turn slightly brown on top. Cover rolls loosely with aluminum foil after the first ten minutes of baking. This is to prevent over browning and for the top from getting too hard. Let rolls cool and spread the glaze.
- To make the glaze: combine softened butter, milk and powdered sugar in a bowl. Stir mixture until smooth and spreadable. You can add more powdered sugar if you want a thicker consistency. You can add more or less milk if you want a thinner glaze.