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Posts Tagged ‘Casa Blanca’

My mother’s Ensaymada

I absolutely love cooking for my family.

Childhood food is the stuff of dreams. At our home in Baguio, Casa Blanca, one of the great treats was my mother’s ensaymada. Baguio is no longer the way I remember it, and our house is gone, gone, gone, but I do have the memory of the sun going down behind Mt. Santo Tomas, and the glorious colors of a cloud forest sunset. I also can conjure this magic in my own kitchen and eat these overlooking the unbelievable green of grass and maple trees, with puffy cumulus clouds sailing across the sky and sea gulls dancing through.

There is no substitute for the use of real butter and local eggs, both of which are readily available here.

These beautiful breads are true food for the soul. There is tactile pleasure in the kneading, delicious aromas while baking. The finished product is legendary in this commercially baked world.

Read through the recipe a couple of times to give yourself a visual. Then take your time, this process is forgiving. Let me know how they turned out. You are about to make food history in your own life.

Ingredients:
2 pkgs dry yeast
6 T warm water (not over 100 degrees)
2 tsp sugar
1 lb all purpose flour
4 tsp sugar
2 1/2 tsp salt
6 large eggs at room temperature
12 oz. butter, chilled

Procedure:
Break eggs into two -cup measure. Blend well with a fork. There should be 1 1/3 cups. Mix yeast with warm water, add sugar, and let yeast liquify completely.

Measure flour into mixing bowl. Make a well in the center, and pour in eggs. Sprinkle with additional sugar and salt, and scrape in the yeast mixture.

Cut and stir the flour and liquids together with a rubber spatula, then turn into a kneading surface, scraping bowl clean. Dough will be very soft and sticky. Work with the scraper or stiff spatula for a moment to blend ingredients completely. Scrape to the side of kneading surface and let dough rest while you prepare butter.

Soften butter by beating it with the rolling pin.

Smear it out with a scraper, spatula or heel of your hand until it is soft and malleable but still cold. Place at one corner of the kneading surface until you are ready to use it.

Using rubber spatula or scraper, start flipping the near side of the dough over to the far side, right side onto left, etc, rapidly and vigorously a dozen times or so until dough begins to have body and elasticity.

When it has enough body, life dough and slap it down roughly on the kneading surface repeatedly, using the scraper to help. Sprinkle more flour by tablespoons (up to 3 or 4 in all, if necessary), if dough remains to soft and sticky.

It should be a soft dough that will stick to your fingers if you hold a pinch of it for more than 2 or 3 seconds. Knead it until is has enough elasticity to draw back into shape when pushed out, about 4 to 5 minutes. Then let it rest for 2 or 3 minutes. Knead again for a moment, and it is ready for the butter.

By 2 tablespoon bits, start folding, kneading, and smearing the butter into the dough with the heel of your hand. Then gather the dough into a mass, chopping it into small pieces with your scraper and smearing again. Keep working in more bits of butter as each previous addition is partially absorbed.

Dough will be very ropy, sticky until it begins to absorb butter. Work rapidly, using the heel of your hand. If it becomes too warm, chill dough for 20 minutes, then continue.

Fill bowl to point with 14 cups of water. Mark with tape, empty bowl and dry. Place dough in bowl, cover with plastic and towel, and set on wooden surface or towel and allow to rise to 14-cup mark.

Second rising:

When dough has reached 14-cup mark, with a rubber spatula, dislodge dough from inside the bowl with a teaspoon or two of flour.

With lightly floured palms of hands, pat and push dough out into a roughly shaped rectangle about 20 inches long.

With the help of a scraper or spatula, flip the right side of the dough over toward the center, then flip the left side over to cover it. Pat dough into rectangle again, fold again in three, and replace the dough in the bowl. Cover again with plastic and towel.

Let dough rise to twice its original volume or to about 11 cups, at around 70 degrees. This should take about 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Then dislodge from bowl with rubber spatula AND REFRIGERATE ON A LARGE PLATE OR PLATTER COVERED WITH WAXED PAPER, ANOTHER PLATE AND A WEIGHT. Dough should be ready to form in 30 to 40 minutes.

Cut into desired sizes, flatten with the heel of your hand, fill with filling, roll as in ensaymada, and place in buttered dishes or brioche cups. Allow to rise until dough is light and springy to the touch. Brush with egg glaze (1 egg beaten with 1 tsp water) just before baking.

Bake in 350 degree oven until golden brown , about 30-40 minutes.

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My mother's Ensaymada

I absolutely love cooking for my family.

Childhood food is the stuff of dreams. At our home in Baguio, Casa Blanca, one of the great treats was my mother’s ensaymada. Baguio is no longer the way I remember it, and our house is gone, gone, gone, but I do have the memory of the sun going down behind Mt. Santo Tomas, and the glorious colors of a cloud forest sunset. I also can conjure this magic in my own kitchen and eat these overlooking the unbelievable green of grass and maple trees, with puffy cumulus clouds sailing across the sky and sea gulls dancing through.

There is no substitute for the use of real butter and local eggs, both of which are readily available here.

These beautiful breads are true food for the soul. There is tactile pleasure in the kneading, delicious aromas while baking. The finished product is legendary in this commercially baked world.

Read through the recipe a couple of times to give yourself a visual. Then take your time, this process is forgiving. Let me know how they turned out. You are about to make food history in your own life.

Ingredients:
2 pkgs dry yeast
6 T warm water (not over 100 degrees)
2 tsp sugar
1 lb all purpose flour
4 tsp sugar
2 1/2 tsp salt
6 large eggs at room temperature
12 oz. butter, chilled

Procedure:
Break eggs into two -cup measure. Blend well with a fork. There should be 1 1/3 cups. Mix yeast with warm water, add sugar, and let yeast liquify completely.

Measure flour into mixing bowl. Make a well in the center, and pour in eggs. Sprinkle with additional sugar and salt, and scrape in the yeast mixture.

Cut and stir the flour and liquids together with a rubber spatula, then turn into a kneading surface, scraping bowl clean. Dough will be very soft and sticky. Work with the scraper or stiff spatula for a moment to blend ingredients completely. Scrape to the side of kneading surface and let dough rest while you prepare butter.

Soften butter by beating it with the rolling pin.

Smear it out with a scraper, spatula or heel of your hand until it is soft and malleable but still cold. Place at one corner of the kneading surface until you are ready to use it.

Using rubber spatula or scraper, start flipping the near side of the dough over to the far side, right side onto left, etc, rapidly and vigorously a dozen times or so until dough begins to have body and elasticity.

When it has enough body, life dough and slap it down roughly on the kneading surface repeatedly, using the scraper to help. Sprinkle more flour by tablespoons (up to 3 or 4 in all, if necessary), if dough remains to soft and sticky.

It should be a soft dough that will stick to your fingers if you hold a pinch of it for more than 2 or 3 seconds. Knead it until is has enough elasticity to draw back into shape when pushed out, about 4 to 5 minutes. Then let it rest for 2 or 3 minutes. Knead again for a moment, and it is ready for the butter.

By 2 tablespoon bits, start folding, kneading, and smearing the butter into the dough with the heel of your hand. Then gather the dough into a mass, chopping it into small pieces with your scraper and smearing again. Keep working in more bits of butter as each previous addition is partially absorbed.

Dough will be very ropy, sticky until it begins to absorb butter. Work rapidly, using the heel of your hand. If it becomes too warm, chill dough for 20 minutes, then continue.

Fill bowl to point with 14 cups of water. Mark with tape, empty bowl and dry. Place dough in bowl, cover with plastic and towel, and set on wooden surface or towel and allow to rise to 14-cup mark.

Second rising:

When dough has reached 14-cup mark, with a rubber spatula, dislodge dough from inside the bowl with a teaspoon or two of flour.

With lightly floured palms of hands, pat and push dough out into a roughly shaped rectangle about 20 inches long.

With the help of a scraper or spatula, flip the right side of the dough over toward the center, then flip the left side over to cover it. Pat dough into rectangle again, fold again in three, and replace the dough in the bowl. Cover again with plastic and towel.

Let dough rise to twice its original volume or to about 11 cups, at around 70 degrees. This should take about 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Then dislodge from bowl with rubber spatula AND REFRIGERATE ON A LARGE PLATE OR PLATTER COVERED WITH WAXED PAPER, ANOTHER PLATE AND A WEIGHT. Dough should be ready to form in 30 to 40 minutes.

Cut into desired sizes, flatten with the heel of your hand, fill with filling, roll as in ensaymada, and place in buttered dishes or brioche cups. Allow to rise until dough is light and springy to the touch. Brush with egg glaze (1 egg beaten with 1 tsp water) just before baking.

Bake in 350 degree oven until golden brown , about 30-40 minutes.

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