“Good bread is the most fundamentally satisfying of all foods; and good bread with fresh butter, the greatest of feasts.”

James Beard (1903-1985)

Saturday, February 19, 2011

BBB - Third Anniversary Baking: Ensaïmadas

Happy Anniversary, Bread Baking Babes!! This fabulous group of bakers have entertained and encouraged so many of us during these last three years, sharing their lives, their baking experiences and opening up their kitchens to let us, buddies, bake along with them and share in some of the joy.

This month's challenge was to pick a bread from the last three years and re-bake it. Where to begin? The fabulous spelt bread from last month, that wonderful Indian bread we baked some time ago? Should I dare bake another gluten-free bread, in the hopes that it would turn out lovely and fluffy this time? Nah.....the moment I saw what the challenge was I knew what I'd be baking again: the beloved ensaïmadas from my early teenage years, when I spent a year living in the birthplace of the ensaimada; the island of Mallorca.

Last time I baked these flaky, sweet twirly pastries with butter since the lard was a bit off and I hated the thought of ruining the experiment. Butter worked fine and gave a flaky, tender, buttery pastry. This time, however, I was set on using lard. After all, the name "ensaïmadas" means "covered in lard" and not butter!

I'm so glad I did. Even though the pastry was equally tasteful, and perhaps a tad flakier, it felt more authentic. All I was missing was the hot chocolate to go with it, but I shared them with my dear friend Ann over a cup of coffee. And what's better than sharing good pastries with good company? Pretty darn nothing, I reckon!

For the recipe, click here to be taken back to the original recipe. If you want to bake with lard, just replace the amount of butter in the recipe with lard and you're good to go.

So, once again, Happy Anniversary to you, Bread Baking Babes! It's been a fantastic time, and I look forward to many more baking challenges!