March 1, 2005
I have always loved bread...the smell of just out of the oven fresh-baked bread. This is my first attempt to bake ensaymada...have been baking pan de sal so I tried adjusting the recipe, added 3 instead of just one egg & got the right consistency by decreasing the milk or water...well, I guess I did it...fresh ensaymada from the oven. Freezing this is also possible...just freeze plain [ without the extra cheese & sugar topping yet ] individually wrapped in cling wraps.
My husband's not so fond of sweet bread though, he prefers pan de sal straight from the oven, which is of course, the perfect time to have them...fresh from the oven is always good. I'm sure you'll agree. I'll post the recipe later.
[As promised] I have added the recipe for my ensaymada version in this post. I use the bread machine for mixing the dough. I must say it's one of those indispensable appliances around. Kneading the dough may be done manually of course, but for a beginner like me, the bread machine is a very useful tool. It would take several trials ( and errors ) before I can perfect the texture of the dough without it. I always use the dough setting and take out the dough to shape it. Most of the breads I make require shaping anyway, so it works for me. This ensaymada recipe is derived from the same basic pan de sal bread adjusted to make this richer and sweeter dough which is typical of the ensaymada. So, anyway, here it is:
1/2 stick or 1/4 cup butter, softened to room temperature
3 whole large eggs
3/4 cup fresh milk
4 cups bread flour
1/4 cup sugar ( + 2 tbsps. if you prefer it sweeter )
1 tsp. salt
1 envelope active dry yeast ( about 2 1/2 tsps. )
1/4 cup grated cheese ( optional - only if extra cheese in the dough is preferred )
1/2 grated cheese ( mild cheddar )
extra butter and sugar
The first step is to put together the butter, eggs and milk in the bread machine pan. All must be at room temperature. Combine flour, sugar and salt in separate bowl and add to ingredients in the pan. Make a small well in the center of the flour mixture and pour in the yeast. It's important for the yeast not to touch the liquid ingredients at this stage. Set the bread machine to DOUGH setting. This will take about 1 1/2 hours. The dough will rise and double in size. Take out the dough and punch it down. Cut the dough in small pieces and form into about 8" long rope pieces then coil. Ensaymada or brioche molds ( greased and floured ) may be used or just place the coiled dough pieces 2" apart directly on the baking sheets, greased or lined with parchment paper. Let rise again in a warm place for 30-40 minutes. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes or until the tops are toasted or slightly brown. Remove from the molds and set aside to cool on wire racks. To serve, spread the tops of the ensaymada with some softened butter or margarine, sprinkle with some sugar and top with cheese. Makes about 20 small ensaymadas.