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By Request

Betty Shimabukuro

Wednesday, September 8, 2004


Sugary treat is a
happy indulgence


The ensemada has absolutely no nutritional value, unless you consider happiness to be good for the health.

Light, buttery and full of sugar, it is the ultimate empty carb. But you only live once, right?

For those unfamiliar with this fabulous pastry, an ensemada -- sometimes spelled ensamada or ensaimada -- has Spanish origins, but is best known in Hawaii in its Filipino version, a large, coiled bun spread with a butter and sugar topping.

Roberta Hawkins, a high school teacher from Edmonton, Wash., was introduced to the ensemada during a recent visit to Hawaii and was suffering from withdrawal, so she asked for a recipe.

In Majorca, Spain, where these buns are a breakfast basic, they may be topped with pumpkin custard or with bits of squash or sausage. Some Filipino recipes have them filled with cheese.

This version, more like the type sold in our local bakeries, is adapted from a recipe found on the Web site www.alohaworld.com.

It may be a bit complicated for a beginner, but both Hawkins and I tested it and got excellent results the first time.

We both noted that the dough is very, very soft. Do not be alarmed. This gives you a nice, airy end product.

Also, note that this recipe makes 12 large buns. If you can't consume them all at once, spread only a few with butter and sugar for immediate eating. Warm the leftovers up in a toaster oven and top them off at that time.

Or, omit the topping and these make very nice dinner rolls.

Ensemada

1/2 cup evaporated milk
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter
4 cups sifted flour
6 egg yolks, slightly beaten
2 packets (2 tablespoons) yeast plus 1 tablespoon sugar, dissolved in 1/2 cup warm water
>> Topping:
1/4 cup softened butter
Sugar, for dusting

Combine milk and water. Heat on stovetop until just below boiling. Add sugar and butter; stir to melt butter. Place in large mixing bowl and let cool.

Gradually mix in flour and egg yolks, then yeast/sugar mixture. Mix well. Dough will be soft and sticky. From into a ball and place in clean, greased bowl. Cover and let rise 30 to 45 minutes, until double in bulk.

Cover 2 large baking sheets with parchment.

Spread butter on work surface. Rub some butter on hands to prevent sticking. Divide dough into 2 parts. Throw dough onto work surface about 10 times to firm it up.

Divide each portion of dough into 6 balls. Form each ball into a rope, rolling and stretching until about 12 inches long. Coil each rope onto cooking sheet, making a snail-shell shape. Leave 2 to 3 inches between rolls. Let rise 40 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Bake buns 10 to 15 minutes, until light brown.

Cool slightly, then spread with butter and dust with sugar. Makes 12 rolls.

Nutritional information unavailable.



See the Columnists section for some past articles.

Send queries along with name and phone number to:
"By Request," Honolulu Star-Bulletin,
500 Ala Moana, No. 7-210, Honolulu 96813.
Or send e-mail to bshimabukuro@starbulletin.com


Asterisk (*) after nutritional analyses in the
Body & Soul section indicates calculations by Joannie Dobbs of Exploring New Concepts,
a nutritional consulting firm.



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