Golden Ensaymada

It is my first time to try baking bread and it is hard. Patience is the character that is tested in bread making. Much as Mama keeps on saying and passing by me in the kitchen, “hindi na ko katulog sa ensaymada,” so is my patience for waiting for the dough to rise is being tested.
After preparing the dough I have to wait for 2 hours, until I am able to work on the dough again. And those two hours is not wasted as I get to; have a 30 minutes afternoon nap, baked brownies and write this post.
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water, 100 to 110° F *
6 tablespoons sugar
4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup butter, at room temperature, plus more melted butter for brushing the rolls
6 egg yolks
1/2 cup evaporated milk
canola oil for greasing proofing bowl, baking sheet, and brioche molds
1. Dissolve the yeast in the warm water. To proof yeast, add one tablespoon sugar and let stand for 10 minutes. The mixture should foam up and double in volume. This means the yeast is active. If the yeast does not foam and double, discard and repeat.
2. Sift flour and salt together twice. Add about 1/2 cup of flour to the yeast mixture and set aside.         
3. Place butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat the mixture on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl. 
4. Turn the speed to medium-low, add yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition.      
5. Add flour-salt mixture alternately with milk, mixing until well incorporated.        
6. Finally add yeast mixture, beating well.     
7. Replace the paddle with a kneading hook and knead the dough until smooth and elastic. Alternatively, knead the dough by hand on a clean surface dusted with flour until smooth and elastic.

8. Let the dough rest in a bowl greased lightly with canola oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rise until double in size, about one to two hours. Meanwhile, brush 12 brioche molds lightly with oil.

9. Once risen, punch down the dough and divide into twelve equal portions.
10. Roll out each piece to a thin sheet, brush with melted butter, and roll it like you would a jelly roll.
11. Coil this into a spiral-shaped bun. Either place the coiled dough flat on greased baking sheets or in greased fluted brioche molds.
12. Set the dough aside to rise a second time, until double in size, about an hour. When the dough is almost done, preheat the oven to 350° F (180° C).
13. Bake until the crust turns golden brown, checking from the 15-minute mark. Brush with melted butter and dust generously with sugar. **

Storage: The rolls will keep for about a day or two at room temperature. Refrigerate to make them last for up to 5 days and simply reheat before eating, if desired. Remember that bread is best eaten fresh.
1.       * Water that is too hot kills the yeast so make sure that the water temperature is around 100 to 110 degrees F.
2.       ** You can also top ensaymadas with margarine, a sprinkling of sugar, and some grated cheese, if desired.

Finally, after 3 hours of waiting, we have our freshly baked Golden Ensaymada. It is so fluffy and buttery that Browie cannot wait for it to cool. And he even sold a piece for Php40.00, how’s that for a future businessman? He asked how much a piece of Ensaymada cost, its Php30.00, he then told me he is selling it for Php40.00. Happy and satisfied, it is worth all the patience it needed to bake.

Adapted this recipe from Tummy Train's blog