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Ensaymadas (Filipino Sweet Buns)

Ensaymada

I miss Filipino bakeshops!! Have you ever been to one?? It’s like a bakery that is obsessed with butter and sugar. Almost everything is topped or stuffed with a little sweet butter or sugar. Ok, maybe not really, but it’s the ones with the butter and sugar I remember the most. Ensaymadas and Pianomo Rolls were my favorites since I was a little girl. Since there are zero Filipino bakeshops here in Chilé, the only place I’ll find them is in my very own kitchen.

Today, I’m very excited to share this ensaymada recipe. Sweet bread, topped with creamed butter and sugar. And even better when served along side a cup of hot chocolate or coffee. Enjoy!!

And don’t forget to share your thoughts in the comment sections below.

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Ensaymadas (Filipino Sweet Buns)

Makes 8 to 12 buns

Ingredients:

  • 2 tsp. instant yeast
  • ⅔ cup water (lukewarm)
  • 3 ½ cups of all purpose flour
  • ⅓ cup of sugar
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • ¼ cup evaporated milk
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, melted (divided, 1/4 cup mixed in the dough and 1/4 cup for brushing)

 Topping:

  • ½ cup of creamed unsalted butter
  • ¼ – ½ cup of sugar
  • *Optional – shredded cheddar cheese

Here’s what you do:

In a small bowl or directly in the measuring cup, dissolve instant yeast in ⅓ cup of lukewarm water. Set aside.

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While waiting for the yeast to blossom, whisk together flour, sugar, and salt in a large mixing bowl or stand mixer. Next, add dissolved yeast mixture, eggs, evaporated milk, ¼ cup of melted butter, and remaining ⅓ cup of water. Using a dough hook or a spatula if mixing by hand, mix on low speed for about 2 minutes, then at medium speed for an additional 5 to 7 minutes until a soft sticky dough has formed. Remember, the dough should be soft and sticky, do not over knead this dough. Transfer dough into a greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel. Allow dough to rest for 15 minutes.

Ensaymada

In the meantime, line a baking sheet with parchment paper or prepare ensaymada molds.

Ensaymada4

Next, divide dough into 8 to 12 pieces. To achieve uniform sizes, you could use a scale, dividing each piece equally weighing at 60 grams each OR without a scale; an ice cream scooper will do the job too. Dust the ice cream scooper with flour, scoop out dough and release straight onto the lined baking pan or molds. This part does not have to be pretty, just scoop and release. Loosely cover the dough with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel and allow dough to rest for 15 minutes.

Ensaymada

Now time to shape the ensaymadas. In a small bowl, melt ¼ cup of butter and set aside. On a floured surface or mat, roll out or using the palms of your hands, flatten each piece of dough into a rectangle. Dust your hands with flour to help prevent dough from sticking to your fingers. Brush a little melted butter over the top of the dough. Roll dough into a long log, pinch ends together to seal. Then turn dough seam side down or seam side facing inwards, in the direction where you’ll start twirling. Gently start rolling or twirling the dough inwards into a swirl or a roll. Place it back onto the lined pan. Loosely cover buns with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel and let it rise until it doubles in size, about 1½ hour.

Ensaymada

Preheat oven to 325ºF. Bake rolls for 15 to 17 minutes, until lightly golden. Allow rolls to cool for 30 minutes to an hour before topping with creamed butter and sugar.

Now time to top, brush or spread the creamed butter using a butter knife over the top of the buns. Then, sprinkle sugar over butter or dip the buttered top straight into a bowl of sugar, shake off excess and it’s ready to eat!! Best served at room temperature with a hot cup of coffee. Enjoy.

**If you aren’t able to find creamed butter in the stores, no problem, let’s cream the butter ourselves. Put ½ cup (1 stick) of softened butter in a small mixing bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat or whip butter for 3 to 5 minutes, until the butter is creamed or has a whipped like texture and lightened in color.

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Valentine’s Day Cooking Activity for Kids – Garlic Bread

Garlic Bread

My boys love to help in the kitchen. Of course they overstay their welcome and dust a little extra flour on the floor, but they’re happy. And if they’re happy, mommy’s happy. After seeing numerous pictures of heart shaped pizzas on Pinterest, I thought it would be a fun activity for Valentine’s Day. Except, if you ever watch my oldest eat a pizza, he’ll take everything off and only eat the bread and as he calls it ‘the red sauce’. And I literally mean everything, including the cheese. So, instead we made just the bread, heart shaped Garlic Bread.

Before getting started I wanted to share a few tips that has helped me to stress free cooking with the kids. It’s important to be prepared prior to calling the little ones in the kitchen.  Set up and pre-measure ingredients, and if possible, give the kids separate stations with separate utensils. It might also help to assign jobs prior to starting. It’ll give them an overview on what to expect and who will do what. Now, that’s not saying there won’t be any questions, you’ll still get the 100 questions during each step. And lastly, my fellow mom, they will make a mess and it’s okay. It’s going to be okay because you will add a clean up step. Have them help you clean up.

This is a very quick and easy dough recipe that I’ve used for many pizza crusts and bread sticks. From start to finish, these heart shaped garlic breads will be ready in less than one hour. Happy Valentine’s Day Friends!

Quick and Easy Garlic Bread

Yield: 10 to 12 servings

Ingredients:

2 cups of All Purpose Flour

1 tbsp. of Instant Dry Yeast

1/4 tsp. of Salt

1 tbsp. of Sugar

2/3 cup of Luke Warm Water

Topping:

3 tbsp butter, melted

1 tsp of garlic powder

Grated Parmesan Cheese

Here’s what you do:

In a large bowl, whisk together 1 cup of flour, yeast, sugar, and salt. Add water and mix until well combined.

Garlic Bread Prep

Next, gradually add the second cup of flour until it forms a smooth and firm dough. Shape dough into a ball and cover with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel. Allow the dough to rest for 15 minutes.

In the meantime, dust flour on the board, mat, or counter where the dough will be rolled.Garlic Bread Prep2 Then preheat oven to 350 degree F. Grease and sprinkle cornmeal on a sheet pan. (Cornmeal is optional) After 15 minutes, the dough will have risen, however, not quite doubled in size. Put dough on the surface dusted with flour to prevent sticking. Roll out dough into a flat rectangle about 1/4 inch thick. Ivan Prep DoughUsing a heart shaped cookie cutter, cut out heart shapes. Re-roll scraps of dough and cut out more hearts until all of the dough is used. Place hearts on the greased sheet pan.Heart shaped Dough

Now for the butter topping. In a small microwaveable bowl, melt butter in the microwave. Mix in garlic powder.  Heart doughUsing a pastry brush, lightly brush the tops of the dough with butter. Then generously sprinkle parmesan cheese over the tops as well. Place in a preheated 350 degree oven for 10 to 15 minutes, just until lightly golden on top. Once done, brush the tops with the remaining butter. Serve with your favorite marinara or alfredo sauce for dipping.

And don’t forget to share your thoughts in the comment section below. Enjoy!