Everyone's favorite bun is made extra delicious thanks to cheese mixed into the batter. This time-friendly recipe can be cut into two parts—make the dough in the evening then leave to proof (covered in plastic) in the refrigerator. Bake it the following morning.
Makes 17 pieces Prep Time 4 to 5 hours including rising and proofing Baking Time 30 minutes
3/4 cup water
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 1/4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1/2 cup grated processed cheese
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon instant yeast
1 tablespoon powdered full-cream milk
6 egg yolks
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup melted and cooled unsalted butter
1/2 cup softened butter
For the topping
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup sugar
grated quezo de bola
1 In a bowl, mix water and honey.
2 Place salt in flour and pour into a mixing bowl. Add grated processed cheese and mix using your hands to separate the particles.
3 Add the water-honey mixture and the rest of the ingredients (except softened butter).
4 In an electric mixer with a dough hook, knead for 5 minutes at low speed.
5 Transfer to an oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and allow to rise (in a warm, airless room or inside a cabinet or unused oven) until it doubles in size, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
6 Punch down dough and scale at 60-gram portions. (See step-by-step here: How to Proof Dough)
7 Roll out each one with a rolling pin and brush with softened butter. Taking one corner, roll the dough obliquely into a cylinder and twirl, tucking the end at the bottom of the dough. Arrange on greased baking trays.
8 Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise to almost 3 times its size (about 1 1/2 hours in a proofer; 3 to 4 hours in a warm, airless room; or about 8 hours in the refrigerator).
9 Bake in a preheated 350ºF-oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until slightly brown. Remove from the oven and cool on wire racks. Cool completely.
10 Make the topping: Beat unsalted butter with sugar until light. Butter buns and top with grated quezo de bola.
• Replace half or all of the grated cheese in the dough with bits of ham or bacon for a more filling ensaymada.
• In place of butter, brush the dough with coco jam, chocolate-hazelnut spread, or dulce de leche before rolling.
• Make cheese rolls! Roll the dough out into a rectangle and place a slice of cheese in the center. Wrap the cheese, folding the sides inward first before rolling. Proof and bake seam side down.
If you liked this recipe, you'll also like: Ensaymada with Tablea Filling,
Traditional Ensaymada, Apple and Ensaymada Pudding
Photography by David Hanson | Food Styling by Elaine P. Lim | Food Preparation by Patty Loanzon of Heny Sison Culinary School
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