This heavenly flaky pastry is traditional to Mallorca, where it's usually made with lard. We've opted for butter to make it vegetarian-friendly, but feel free to go down the traditional road (be sure to use good lard for best results). Pair with a strong coffee or comforting hot chocolate for dipping.
- 200 ml lukewarm milk
- 2 tsp dried yeast
- 500 gm plain flour (3 cups)
- 180 gm raw caster sugar
- 2 eggs and 1 egg yolk, at room temperature
- 200 gm softened butter
- 70 gm icing sugar, sieved
- Scraped seeds of 2 vanilla beans
- 1Stir milk and yeast in a bowl to dissolve, then stand until foamy (4-5 minutes).
- 2Combine flour, sugar, eggs and yolk, yeast mixture and a pinch of salt in an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook, then knead until a soft elastic dough forms (2-3 minutes). Cover with plastic wrap and stand until doubled in size (45 minutes).
- 3Preheat oven to 180C. Roll out dough on a well-floured surface to a 50cm square, dusting lightly with extra flour as you go. Spread butter over dough, then roll into a cylinder. Re-roll to a rough 15cm x 65cm rectangle, then, from the longest side, roll again into a narrow cylinder. Loosely coil cylinder on a large baking tray lined with baking paper, cover with a large upturned bowl and set aside to rise until the sides of the dough touch each another (1½-2 hours). Bake until golden and cooked through (20-25 minutes).
- 4For vanilla sugar, place icing sugar and vanilla seeds in a bowl and rub to combine.
- 5Dust wtih vanilla sugar and serve warm or at room temperature. Ensaïmada is best eaten the day it's made, but can be stored in an airtight container and warmed a day or two later.
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