When it comes to exploring different cuisines, Filipino cuisine is often overlooked. However, the Philippines has a rich culinary heritage with a variety of delicious dishes. One such dish is the Filipino Ensaïmada, a sweet and buttery pastry that is perfect for breakfast or as a snack.
Origins of Ensaïmada
The Ensaïmada has its origins in Spain, specifically in the region of Mallorca. The name “Ensaïmada” comes from the Catalan word “saïm,” which means pork lard. Traditionally, the pastry is made with pork lard, which gives it a unique flavor and texture. However, modern versions often use butter instead.
To make Filipino Ensaïmada, you will need the following ingredients:
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 packet active dry yeast
- 1 cup warm milk
- ½ cup butter, softened
- 3 eggs
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Grated cheese (such as Edam or cheddar)
- Sugar for dusting
- In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast in warm milk and let it sit for 5 minutes until frothy.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, and salt. Make a well in the center and add the yeast mixture, softened butter, and eggs.
- Mix the ingredients together until a soft dough forms. Knead the dough on a floured surface for about 10 minutes until it becomes smooth and elastic.
- Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover it with a clean kitchen towel, and let it rise in a warm place for about 1 to 2 hours or until doubled in size.
- Punch down the dough to release the air and divide it into small portions. Roll each portion into a rope-like shape and then coil it into a spiral shape.
- Place the coiled dough onto a greased baking sheet and let it rise again for about 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Bake the ensaïmada for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown.
- Remove the ensaïmada from the oven and let it cool for a few minutes. Brush the tops with melted butter and sprinkle grated cheese and sugar on top.
- Serve the Filipino Ensaïmada warm and enjoy!
While the classic Filipino Ensaïmada is delicious on its own, there are also variations that you can try:
- Ube Ensaïmada: Add ube (purple yam) to the dough for a vibrant purple color and a hint of sweetness.
- Salted Egg Ensaïmada: Top the ensaïmada with salted egg slices for a savory twist.
- Coconut Ensaïmada: Sprinkle desiccated coconut on top of the ensaïmada for added texture and flavor.
Exploring different cuisines allows us to discover new flavors and appreciate the diversity of cultures around the world. The Filipino Ensaïmada is a perfect example of a delicious pastry that showcases the unique culinary heritage of the Philippines. Whether you enjoy it plain or with various toppings, the Ensaïmada is sure to satisfy your taste buds and leave you wanting more.