Some ensaïmada recipes today swap out the original lard for butter to keep things flavorful and layered, yet vegetarian friendly. Resembling the large swirled original, our Ensaïmadas look like sugar-snow-covered wonders.

Makes 2 loaves
  • ⅔ cup (160 grams) warm water (105°F/41°C to 110°F/43°C)
  • 1 cup (200 grams) plus 1 teaspoon (4 grams) granulated sugar, divided
  • 4½ teaspoons (14 grams) active dry yeast
  • 4¾ cups (603 grams) bread flour, divided
  • 1 teaspoon (3 grams) kosher salt
  • 3 large eggs (150 grams), room temperature
  • ½ cup (114 grams) plus 1 tablespoon (14 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature and divided
  • 2 tablespoons (30 grams) olive oil, divided
  • ¼ cup (57 grams) unsalted butter, melted
  • Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
  1. In a small bowl, combine ⅔ cup (160 grams) warm water, 1 teaspoon (4 grams) sugar, and yeast. Let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat 2 cups (254 grams) flour, salt, and remaining 1 cup (200 grams) sugar at low speed until combined. Add yeast mixture, and beat until combined, about 1 minute. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until combined after each addition. Add 1 tablespoon (14 grams) room temperature butter and remaining 2¾ cups (349 grams) flour, and beat until a shaggy dough forms.
  3. Switch to the dough hook attachment. Beat at low speed until dough is elastic and smooth, 8 to 10 minutes. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface. Sprinkle 2 teaspoons (10 grams) oil onto dough, and knead for 5 minutes. Shape into a ball.
  4. Spray a medium bowl with cooking spray. Place dough in bowl, turning to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place (75°F/24°C) until doubled in size, about 2 hours.
  5. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment.
  6. Punch down dough; cover and let stand for 10 minutes. Divide dough in half. Drizzle 2 teaspoons (10 grams) oil onto work surface. Roll half of dough into a 15-inch square. (Keep remaining dough covered to prevent it from drying out.) Spread ¼ cup (57 grams) room temperature butter over dough. Gently pull and stretch dough from all sides until dough is sheer but not tearing (about a 22-inch square). Roll up dough, jelly roll style. Loosely coil dough into a spiral, leaving space inside coil to rise, and place on a prepared pan. Repeat with remaining 2 teaspoons (10 grams) oil, remaining dough, and remaining ¼ cup (57 grams) room temperature butter, and place on remaining prepared pan. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place (75°F/24°C), until doubled in size, 2 to 2½ hours.
  7. Preheat oven to 325°F (170°C).
  8. Bake, one pan at a time, until golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Immediately brush with melted butter, and let cool completely on pan. Dust with confectioners’ sugar just before serving.


Previous articleLemon Curd Brownies
Next articlePan de Jamón


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Rate this recipe:  

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.