"Kusina" = Kitchen; "Manang" = older sister

A Filipina's unabashed chronicle of her adaptations in the American kitchen. Includes step-by-step photos on how to make pan de sal, ensaymada, pan de coco, siopao, hopia, pandelimon, pianono, atsara, crema de fruta,etc., and if you are lucky, you will find videos too!

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Friday, December 08, 2006

Special Ensaymada

Note as of 1-12-09: Please see my labels on the sidebar and look for "ensaymada" for other recipes I have (supersoft and buttery, aside from the earlier bread machine and manual methods). You will also see tips and methods. My favorite, and most popular among my readers, is the super moist, super easy to make, supersoft ensaymada.
Before I left the USA, I baked this bread for supper, which I tweaked with to substitute honey for some of the sugar. Husband said it was so good, so soft and sweet it was almost like a pastry. It reminded me so much of ensaymada.

Now, I am here in Canada as I post this, with my sister and Nanay, and I brought the recipe with me, following the recipe save for changing the proportion of eggyolk and eggs, brushed some with egg glaze and some without, and of course, I shaped them into regular sized ensaymada.

My sister tasted it and said, "Ang sarap! Siksik sya, hindi puro ere." (It's delicious, and not full of air.) At first I thought she was trying to tell me it was solid [hard] because it was "siksik" but what she really wanted to say was that it was not the kind that some rolls are - full of airy holes that one would get gas pains due to so much air eaten than the actual bread, which is usually a result of over-rising.

She brought to work two pieces, as she was giving the other piece to her Filipina co-worker. When she got back, she told me, "Sarap na sarap yung kasama ko. Gusto mag-order. Ituro mo nga sa akin kung paano paggawa." (My co-worker liked it so much that she wants to order some. Teach me how to make it.) At last I achieved what I have meaning to -- evoke interest in my sister to learn baking. She was, anyway, exposed to the same bakery and bakers I grew up with.

Hence, that is the reason why I am not (yet) posting the recipe here. My sister might want to sell ensaymada as a sideline, so she does not want me to post my final recipe here. I can only say that I did not use honey, but all the ingredients can be easily bought from the grocery store. And I can only offer, for now, the slideshow and the how-to's below. For those who will be interested, email me (see contact link) and provide me with your physical mailing address.

1. Prepare the dough (this recipe can be refrigerated, which I prefer because the dough is easier to handle/shape when cold).
2. Divide the dough into 24 pieces (you may want to make 12 pieces first and re-place the rest of the dough in the fridge. This dough can be used within 24 hours.).
3. Using both palms and starting from the middle going outward, roll out each piece to make a 1-ft long "rope."
4. Make each piece into a loose coil so that when you place it on the baking sheet, it lies flat, not like a mound. Some space in between can be allowed, since the dough will still have to rise. The mound at the center will form as the dough rises.
5. After placing on the baking sheet, brush with softened or melted butter/margarine. Let rise in a warm, draft-free place for about 10 minutes or until doubled (depending on the warmth of the place). I place mine inside the oven and turn the oven on for one minute just to make it warm inside. If you are going to place them on the countertop, make sure you cover to avoid drying up.
6. Bake at 350 F for about 12-15 minutes or until golden brown. You may brush with egg glaze if you want the top a darker brown for better contrast with the inside.
7. Once cooled enough, brush with softened butter or margarine then dredge in sugar and enjoy. Optional: Sprinkle top with grated cheese. I can tell you, though, that this is so good you don't need anything else aside from the basics of ensaymada to enjoy it. In other words, you don't need cheese or salted egg to make it taste good. It was my sister who labeled my ensaymada "special." That's how pleasurable this is to the palate.

Note: The rolling pin method can also be used. Instead of making "ropes", you can flatten the whole dough using rolling pin to make about 10x15 rectangle and brush with butter, leaving about half an inch on one long end. Start log-rolling from the other long end, then pinch to seal at that end without butter. Cut the log into 24 pieces, lay on the baking sheet at 2-inch intervals and let rise. Proceed as above.

When storing, let the buns cool completely then place inside a ziploc bag immediately. It is better to NOT brush them with butter and NOT to sprinkle sugar yet. If you have done so then you have to reheat, the sugar and butter will be quite melted when you microwave, which is not quite appealing to the eyes, but still appealing to the palate.
When ready to consume again, just reheat each piece for about 10-15 seconds in the microwave then brush with butter and roll on sugar.

UPDATE: 12-24-08 --
Please see my labels on the sidebar and look for "ensaymada" for other recipes I have (supersoft and buttery). You will also see tips and methods.
Merry Christmas!


  1. Wow, that's really nice, Manang. Well, magandang business iyan and I'm sure na talagang magiging successful ang sister mo, siempre ikaw kasi ang nagturo.

    Good luck.

  2. ay naku nandiyan ka na pala!
    ako hihingi ng resipi ha manang darling....thank you! enjoy your visit. hello to your sista and ma.

  3. Wow! Great to hear you are with your mom and sister. Exciting!

    The bread looks good!

  4. Hi Lani and Tina,
    I am not sure yet if my sister will pursue baking and selling ensaymada. She still has to get a Kitchen Aid stand mixer for that purpose.
    Na-try to mo na ba? Sana, di pa huli yung pahabol ko.

  5. I remember ensaymada was one of my favorite to have with coca cola for miryenda. I will always wait for our bakeshop to make them so it will be warm, buttered and lightly sugared! Super sarap.

  6. Manang, Merry Christmas to you and your family!

  7. Happy Holidays!!!

    Wishing you and your family a prosperous New Year.

  8. a happy and bountiful new year to you and your family!!!

  9. Manang, Happy New Year!

    nasa Canada ka pa rin ba? Anyway, pakopya ng ensaymada mo ha? thank you.

  10. i mean, pakopya pag puede na ;)

  11. To everyone,

    huli man daw at magaling, naihahabol pa rin...HAPPY NEW YEAR!

    Sorry, been busy these past weeks, not only on sending ensaymada recipes to some (new and old) friends, but also on preparing my resume and on applying for jobs. Just got an interview this morning and it went well! I hope it will have a positive outcome (will have another interview/facility tour with the nursing manager sometime next week).

    Please pray for me!

    Thess, since it is very well established that you are in Holland, I can send you through email. Do you use the yahoo email? (the one you used for sending e-greetings! I was not sure how to return that!) However, if you prefer to receive it through snail mail, I have printed out a copy already for you. So, email me at manang.kusinera(at)gmail.com to tell me what you prefer (and for me to verify what email you use).

    love u!

  12. Hi Manang,

    I have been peeking at your blog and have only seen the ensaymada, it's only now that I saw your comment. I was getting concerned why you haven't posted for a while.

    I'm so happy for you, great to hear things are going well.

  13. Hi Manang!

    I'm from San diego Ca. Can i have a recipe of your Ensaymada,Thanks in advance.


  14. manang,
    i was 12 yrs old when i moved to USA and i still remembered ensaymada..but have no clue on how 2 make them!! i run into ur site and saw pics of that oh soo beautiful buns that i really must have the recipe!! PLEASE!!! i will try my best to make them...and enjoy them wth my hubby...salamat po!

  15. Got here from Pinomomsnetwork, specifically through KK and I'm glad I did. Nakakagutom naman ang mga posts mo - parng gusto kong kagatin tuloy itong computer (grinning)!
    I just had fish lumpia last weekend ctsy of my mom-in-law. Masarap pala, pero siguro mas masarap ang recipe mo. I remember when my husband used to make ensaymada for sale in the school I was working at in Nigeria - talagang labor of love. But yours look so light (tama ang sis mo) and so yummy. I'll surely come back for more.
    BTW, baka puedeng maka-upa sa isang kuarto ninyo. Ganda ganda naman ng palace ninyo....
    Since i know I am much older than you, ako na lang ang tawagin mong,
    Manang. OK na OK ang site mo,

  16. Hi manang,
    Ask ko lng wala kasi akong bread machine,pwede ba ang mixer na lang?

    Salamat po,

  17. hello Manang.,
    hapi new year....i'm enjoying your blog so much...thanks for sharing your recipes...malaking tulong sa marami...
    if it's not sking too much. I know your so busy with your new career...baka po pwede rin ako makahingi recipe ng ensaymada..
    thanks alot and Godbless!!!!

  18. Hi anonymous,
    right now I have 4 ensaymada recipes on this site already (after I was certain my sister will not make a business out of it). Just look for the label ensaymada on the left side or search for it.
    I am glad you are enjoying my posts!

  19. can you share your ingredients how to do ensaymada, I'm pregnant right now and Im dying to eat ensaymada all the time but its too far from my house the filipino store so I decided to look for the ingredients in the internet and I wanna try your ingredients, I hope you can share it with me just for my baby. Thank you in advance.


  20. Hi Ludy,
    I have actually posted the recipes a long time ago. If you click on those links above (the supersoft and buttery, bread machine and manual methods) you will get to the page. Or look at this collection of ensaymada recipes: http://kusinanimanang.blogspot.com/search/label/ensaymada

  21. same materials or recipe ng pandesal ang ensaymada

  22. Hi Anonymous,

    I beg to differ. For ensaymada alone, I have three different recipes, each is good but distinctly ensaymada. Pandesal is a whole different recipe. If you are going to try to make a business out of selling pandesal and ensaymada using the same recipe, you can't have a profitable business.

    I am proud to say that at least one of my readers (Aileen N.) have used my supersoft ensaymada for her homebusiness (she was a plain homemaker before she tried my recipe). Another reader (a small bakery owner, Flor) from the Philippines used my recipe for camote pandesal and saw her profits rise within 3 days of starting to change her recipe.

    There is a reason why my blog has consistently been in the top 10 in the list of Filipino food blogs and in the widgetbox network, even though I only have a few recipes and I seldom post.

    Having said that, I would like to invite you to try my supersoft ensaymada recipe (the magnitude of positive comments I have received there might encourage you. Those people are ones who actually tried, not just read, the recipe. You can see in the reader's gallery as well as in my SSE post some of the photos they submitted), as well as my pandesal recipe. Then come back here and tell me what you think.

  23. hi. i just want to say thanks for making this site! i'm in canada and i'm missing the filipino food. now i can make it here. :) salamat po.

  24. Hi Anonymous,
    It's beena journey for me trying to adapt so I do not have to miss these foods terribly, and I am just happy to share it with you all. :)

  25. hi manang if i want to make the ensaymada which is the texture and taste like that in goldilocks which recipe should i use? please answer me ASAP im really eager to make it i miss it a lot im here at wichita, kansas thanks a lot God bless...meh dulz

  26. Hi meh dulz,
    I would recommend the supersoft ensaymada or the buttery ensaymada. :)
    Hope you will like them just as much as the others!

  27. thanks ate! i would difinitely try your super soft ensaymada! yummy!..

  28. Hi Manang,
    I've been reading your soft ensaymada recipe and i'm dying to try it. Hinahanp ko yung email add mo pero 2 hrs na ako dito sa site di ko makita..waaaa...pede mo kaya ma i share yung recipe sa soft ensaymada na ginawa mo sa Canada?I know marami kang napaligaya na puso and isa ako doon. Gusto ko sana matutung gumawa ng ensaymada at ibenta (sideline po)your recipe para makatulong din ako sa asawa ko to make both ends meet. May pina paaral kasi ako sa pinas kaya kailangan kung gumawa ng sideline para makatulong. I want to send u sana ng personal email but i dont know where to get your email addy. I wouild be willing to give u my personal info. Thanks a lot in advance.

  29. Hi redvelvet009,
    Actually this post is the earliest post I have on ensaymada, then after this, I have posted several recipes. The one I baked at my sister's house in Canada is the manual, and I also made a BM version. The supersoft ensaymada is a favorite of my readers, and there is also a buttery version of that if you want to use butter instead of shortening. So now I do not have any secret recipes anymore. I know of others who have used my supersoft ensaymada recipe for a home business. Just go to the recipe page for it (make sure to click the title to see the whole recipe; read the comments to see what others have experienced so that if you will tend to troubleshoot, you probably will have the answers there already).
    Goodluck in your business!

  30. Thanks Manang....i will try to make it this coming xmas and i will let u know the result. Oh by the way i just went to walmart today and buy the ingredients.

  31. Manang, your ensaymada recipe is the best! I made two batches over the weekend and brought them to church to share with everyone. They were such a hit both at church and at home. My son's asked me to make some more, but I didn't hesitate to say yes because they are so easy to make! You're the Bomb Baker Manang!!! Keep baking and keep sharing your recipes. God bless you!

  32. Hi Rhia,
    Thanks for your feedback! I am glad your family and church friends liked it!
    You might also want to try the supersoft ensaymada, which is the fave of most readers.

  33. Komusta Manang!

    I love the blog- It excites me so much to know that there is such a nice wealth of Filipino recipes for me to try and cook. I am only just beginning to start cooking, and I look forward to learning how to cook foods from my heritage via your site. (And my trusty Lola's recipies too haha)

    I am going to cook Ensaymada for a project in my school, and I can't wait for all my friends to get a taste of such a heavenly dessert. It TOTALLY beats out supermarket cake in taste, and I can tell them that they have not lived until they have tasted the Ensay.

  34. Hi Niko,
    Thanks for your wonderful comment!
    I would suggest you try the recipe for supersoft ensaymada if you like the Goldilocks type. For a more neighborhood-type of ensaymada, try the BM ensaymada recipe.
    I hope you enjoy making them!

  35. Hi Manang,
    I was directed here from the supersoft ensaymada site, because I was looking for the way to make the ensaymada using the coil method. Kaso, wala na daw yung site for the slide. May idea na ako kung papano gawin yun, pero kung makakahanap ka ng time, baka pwede mo irepost yung pictures or video or slide.
    Naiisip ko, ilagay sa muffin pans para maliit lang (so actually, baka 6 inches na lang ang haba ng dough na pang-coil?), kasi calorie-laden na sya per serving, para mapaliit. What do you think?

    1. Anon, kala ko nasagot ko na to. Sorry. Okay lang yun 6 inches para sa muffin pans. Just make them thinner.

    2. Manang,
      Hello, I am looking for a good ensaymada recipe the big ones that you cooked in one mold. My grandma use to make some long time ago, I remember she bake them on each mold and they are big and very delicious. Could you please send me a recipe for this?
      Thank you,


    3. Hi Mela, You might want to try this recipe: http://kusinanimanang.blogspot.com/2008/11/supersoft-ensaymada.html

  36. Hi Manang! Kamusta na nangyari dito? Were you able to market this special ensaimada?

    1. Hi Ly,

      It was my sister who wanted to use it for homebased business, pero hindi naman na-asikaso.

      Anyway, my recipes for ensaymada are up. Just look for the label ensaymada and it will show you all posts related to it. The most fave among readers is the supersoft ensaymada.


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