I had a friend named Cora Guiscardo with whom I often hung out after school. Cora, her two sisters and I would treat ourselves to tender, flaky ensaïmadas that we'd rip to pieces and dunk into our cups of hot creamy chocolate for our afternoon merienda. We'd sit on the balcony of their parent's apartment, close to the Palma harbor, and enjoy the beautiful view, wondering what else was out there beyond the horizon.
Well, there's plenty out there and sometimes I wonder if I've seen it all. So I have no hesitation to bake myself back into my early teens and memories of the company of three dear friends on a sunny balcony in beautiful Spain. Let's go!
|Give them plenty of time to rise|
1/3 cup of sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 cup milk, warm
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
5 tablespoons of soft butter (the traditional version uses lard)
1 tablespoon of powdered sugar
Mix 3 cups of flour, sugar and salt in a bowl and add 3/4 cup of warm milk. Sprinkle the yeast on top, stir once or twice and cover. Let sit for five minutes, then stir in the rest of the milk, the eggs and one tablespoon of olive oil. Knead into a soft and supple dough, adding flour if needed. Place in a greased bowl, cover and rest for about 30 minutes or until doubled in size.
|Not for the faint of heart....|
Coil the now rolled dough onto a baking sheet prepared with parchment. Leave some space in between the individual circles so that the dough can fill this up when it proofs. Cover and rise in a warm kitchen up to 4 hours. Heat the oven to 350F and bake the ensaïmadas golden brown in about 15 minutes. Cool on a rack and sprinkle with powdered sugar: eat and grin!