Ensaymada (Sweet Bread) (Recipe 2)


  • 6 1/2 cups all-purpose flour – (reserve the last ½ cup for dusting while kneading)
  • 180 ml (3/4 cup) sugar
  • 2 envelopes {= 4 ½ tsp} instant yeast 
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 240 ml (1 cup) milk (You may want to experiment using buttermilk instead of milk)
  • 120 ml (1/2 cup) water
  • 120 ml (1/2 cup) very soft butter or margarine
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 egg yolks (reserve 1 egg white for Egg Glaze – optional); 
  • 120 ml (1/2 cup) melted butter for brushing prior to rising

  • Softened (not melted) butter or margarine
  • sugar
  • grated white cheese or any other cheese (optional)

  1. In a large bowl, combine 2 cups flour, sugar, undissolved yeast, and salt. 
  2. Heat milk, water, and butter until very warm 50oC to 55oC (120F to 130F). Gradually add to flour mixture. Beat 2 minutes at medium speed of electric mixer, scraping bowl occasionally. Add egg, egg yolks, and 1/2 cup flour. Beat 2 minutes at high speed. Stir in enough remaining flour to make a soft dough (leave about ½ cup for dusting while kneading). 
  3. Knead on lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic, about 8 to 10 minutes. Cover; let rest 10 minutes. (If preparing one night ahead, you can refrigerate at this point. Grease a big bowl with shortening, put the dough in it and turn it over so that the dough is covered with grease all over. Cover with plastic wrap then refrigerate.)
  4. Divide dough into 24 equal pieces (cut in half first then cut each half into another half to make 4 big pieces. Then cut each into half again, then cut into 3 to make 6 pieces for each of the 4 big pieces). 
  5. Using both hands, roll each piece to make ropes about 30 cm (1 foot) long or more, with the diameter about the same as your middle finger. Make a loose coil with each rope tuck the end under and lay flat on the greased baking sheet (or use parchment paper). Brush each piece right away with a generous amount of softened margarine or melted butter. Allow to rise until doubled in volume. 
  6. Brush with Egg Glaze (optional). Bake at 190oC (375F) for 12-15 minutes or until done and top is golden dark brown if with glaze or golden light brown if without. 
  7. Remove from baking sheets; cool on wire racks until lukewarm. Coat with sugar by dipping or by sprinkling.   
Egg Glaze:
  1. Combine 1 egg white and 1 tablespoon water; beat lightly until well blended. This will create a very dark golden brown top.