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Mallorcan Spiral Pastry Recipe - Ensaimada Mallorquina


Ensaimadas Mallorquinas - Mallorcan Spira Pastry

Ensaimadas Mallorquinas - Mallorcan Spiral Pastry

Lisa Sierra (c) 2011 Licensed to About.com Inc.
"Ensaimadas," the traditional sweet bread of the island of Mallorca is a treat! The origin of this cherished bread is debated, but is mostly assuredly from the Middle East. It is shaped in the form of a coil and sprinkled with a heavy coat of powdered sugar. Ensaimadas are enjoyed as a breakfast dunked in hot coffee, or as an afternoon snack, or dessert. They aren't difficult to make, but require a bit of patience, since the dough must rise several times. Originally, ensaimadas were just sweet bread, sprinkled with sugar, but in the past century began to be filled with cream, "cabello de angel" or almond nougat.

Prep Time: 2 hours

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Rising Time Overnight: 6 hours

Total Time: 8 hours, 15 minutes

Yield: 18 ensaimadas


  • 25 oz (750 gr) white bread flour
  • 3 1/4 tsp dry active yeast
  • 10 fluid oz (300 ml) milk
  • 4 large eggs
  • 6 oz (180 gr) granulated sugar
  • 7 oz (200 gr) vegetable shortening
  • powdered sugar for decoration


Mix the yeast with lukewarm milk in a glass measuring cup until dissolved. Place half of the flour into a large mixing bowl. Gradually pour in the milk-yeast mixture while stirring. Mix until the ingredients form a dough. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and place in a warm spot. Allow to rise until the dough has doubled in size, approximately 1 hour. While the dough is rising, remove the eggs from the refrigerator to warm to room temperature.

Once the dough has risen, add the eggs to the dough, one at a time. Use a large spoon or your hands to incorporate the eggs into the dough. Then, add the sugar and stir until the dough absorbs the sugar. Mix in the remaining flour, kneading the sticky dough with your hands for 4-5 minutes - until the dough forms a ball. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and allow to rise 30-45 minutes.

Lightly flour a board. Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough very thin. It will stretch out to cover a board approximately 24 inches square. Using your hands, rub the vegetable shortening on the top of the dough. Then, roll up the dough as if you are making a jellyroll. Then, cut into rounds about 1 inch thick. (It should make approximately 18 rounds.) Transfer rounds to a platter.

Lightly flour the cutting board again. Roll each piece of dough into a long coil or rope, using your hands. Then, roll up each of the coils like a snail shell, making the traditional shape of the ensaimadas. (Please see photo.)

Lay down parchment paper and place on cookie sheets or use a baking stone, leaving lots of space between the ensaimadas because they will expand. Allow to rise until they have doubled in size, preferably overnight. The overnight rising time allows further fermentation to occur, adding flavor and size. In fact, the ensaimadas may triple in size.

Heat your oven to 350F (180C) degrees. Bake for 12-15 minutes on the center rack. Remove from oven when browned on top. Allow to cool for 10-15 minutes, then sprinkle with powdered sugar and enjoy!

Recipe Source: This traditional ensaimada recipe was adapted from a recipe posted on El Aderezo, a cooking blog associated with El Norte de Castilla newspaper in Spain.

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