"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!

My Blogs


Baking & Cooking

Please use this search engine or the labels at the lower left side to look for a recipe. Thanks!

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Ensaymada Recipe #1 (Manual)

Quite late, but here it is as promised.

As with the bread machine method, the ensaymada resulting from this recipe is like the ones I used to eat a lot when I was a kid, the kind of ensaymada you can get from the nearby bakery in the Philippines, not from goldilocks or red ribbon. This is only made more special by virtue of its very ingredients: more eggyolks and butter.

I have tried both manual and bread machine methods. I still prefer using the bread machine, but the manual was my first attempt, so here goes the recipe.

Recipe #1: Manual method using Rapid Rise Instant Yeast

6 to 6-1/2 cups all-purpose flour – (measure separately and put in 3 separate bowls 2 cups first then 1/2 cup then 4 cups to make a total of 6-1/2; reserve the last ½ cup for dusting while kneading)
3/4 cup sugar
2 envelopes FLEISCHMANN'S RapidRise Yeast - If you do not have this, just look for anything equivalent to instant yeast (this is mixed with the flour before the hot liquid. 1 envelope = 2-1/4 tsp )
1-1/2 teaspoons salt

1 cup milk (You may want to experiment using buttermilk instead of milk)
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1 large egg
3 egg yolks (reserve 1 egg white for Egg Glaze – optional; if you are wondering what to do with egg whites, you can use it for meringue or just use for tortang talong and the likes)

about 1/2 cup melted butter for brushing prior to rising

Softened (not melted) butter or margarine
Granulated sugar
grated white cheese or any other cheese you fancy (optional)

Directions (See earlier post for slide presentation)
In a large bowl, combine 2 cups flour, sugar, undissolved yeast, and salt. Heat milk, water, and butter until very warm (120o to 130o F). Gradually add to flour mixture. Beat 2 minutes at medium speed of electric mixer, scraping bowl occasionally. Add egg, egg yolks, and 1/2 cup flour. Beat 2 minutes at high speed. Stir in enough remaining flour to make a soft dough (leave about ½ cup for dusting while kneading). Knead on lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic, about 8 to 10 minutes. Cover; let rest 10 minutes. (If preparing one night ahead, you can refrigerate at this point, a method I prefer because it is then easier to manipulate the dough. Grease a big bowl with shortening, put the dough in it and turn it over so that the dough is covered with grease all over. Cover with plastic wrap then refrigerate. The plastic wrap will prevent the dough from drying up on the exposed surface.)

Divide dough into 24 equal pieces (I do it by halves - cut in half first then cut each half into another half so that I have 4 big pieces. Then I cut each into half again, then cut into 3 to make 6 pieces for each of the 4 big pieces). Using both your hands, roll each piece to make ropes about 1 foot long or more, with the diameter about the same as your middle finger. Make a loose coil with each rope (parang katol; you can even give more allowance for rising), tuck the end under and lay flat on the greased baking sheet (or use parchment paper). Brush each piece right away with a generous amount of softened margarine or melted butter (so that the coil’s grooves are more pronounced. If you don’t, the dough sticks at the grooves and it appears as pyramid instead of a nice mound). Let rise until doubled. (I usually place them inside the oven, along with a bowl filled with hot water, then I heat the oven for 1 minute then turn it off and let the warm air speed up the rising process. Usually they are ready after 15-20 minutes, but you may extend some more if you want puffier buns. I then open the oven door carefully and gradually so as to avoid creating draft then take out the sheets carefully to avoid jarring them -- these might flatten the dough if you are not careful; what we term as "bumagsak.") Put the baking sheets on the countertop where there is no draft.
You might have to prolong the rising time to more than 40 minutes depending on the level of humidity and the temperature where you are (I was told by some that theirs did not rise too much so the buns turned out quite too solid). Keep eyeballing if the buns have doubled in size. You can now start heating the oven.
Brush with Egg Glaze (optional). Bake at 375o F for 12-15 minutes or until done and top is golden dark brown if with glaze or golden light brown if without. (I usually start checking periodically after 10 minutes for the individual rolls. Remove from baking sheets (this avoids sweating at the bottom part so it won’t turn soggy there); cool on wire racks until lukewarm just so that the softened butter or margarine will not melt when brushed. Dip in a bowl of granulated sugar to coat (or you can just sprinkle on top). If storing some pieces, it is better not to put butter/margarine and sugar yet. Cool them completely (about 10 minutes or so; keep touching them) then immediately store in an airtight Ziploc bag to avoid sweating (which will make them soggy and also will encourage faster mold growth). If you live in an area where humidity is too low, avoid exposing to air beyond the time for complete cooling, or the buns will dry out and will be hard. When reheating, place in the microwave for 10-15 seconds (depending on the microwave) to make it lukewarm before applying butter/margarine and sugar. As advised by breadworld.com, leftover breads are better left in room temp instead of inside the fridge. Refrigerating makes them stale faster.

Egg Glaze: Combine 1 egg white and 1 tablespoon water; beat lightly until well blended. This will create a very dark golden brown top. (I like the contrast. For those who usually think a dark crust means overdone, it will be such a surprise to bite into the softness of the ensaymada, and that wonderful first bite will reveal a yellowish-whitish interior).

You may want to bake them braided or in rounded pans if you want to wrap them as gift (as I did for Christmas) to friends.

Tuwang-tuwa sila!

UPDATE as of 4/2/09: Vincent posted his own take of ensaymada on thefreshloaf, with changes involving omission of milk and adding an extra yolk. Hmmmm....yum!


  1. i tried this recipe and wasted my ingredients,you dont need to make the milk,butter and water very warm, it will ruin the dry ingredients like the allpurpose.and u have to desolved the yeast first before you put in the flour.

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Hi anonymous,
    That temperature is specific for the type of yeast I used (rapid rise yeast). Maybe you used the active dry yeast?
    I can't think of any other reason why you failed. The recipes I post here are for food I have tried at least 3 times (meaning, results can be duplicated). I always make sure my ingredients are fresh (not a year old).
    One thing I can say is, whenever I try something out, I don't give up on the first try if I fail. I try to analyze really well where I have gone wrong before I try again. If I really can't come up with good results, then I give up.

  4. Hello,
    I will try your recipe because I tried one last night (also from the Internet) but it did not taste like ensaymada at all. The thing is, I halved the recipe so that probably affected the quality. My first attempt was more like bread, walang lasa na ensaymada at all. I also used cake and pastry flour because I thought that would make it fluffier and lighter.
    Yours looks like a well thought out recipe so it's the next on my list to experiment with. Thank you for sharing. Some people who make ensaymada here in Montreal won't share their recipes - so selfish and so undemocratic.
    Thanks again for sharing. I'll let you know how it turns out.

  5. Hi manang, ako po ulit :) can I also use this ensaymada recipe for spanish bread??? wala po kc akong bread machine eh, that's why I can't use the ensaymada recipe #2.

    tnx po!!!


  6. Hi zirk,
    Pwede pero ipa-rise mo siguro at least 1 hr, make sure it is puffy bago mo i-bake.
    Anyway, kahit ala kang bread machine, pwede kamayin mo na lang. Ganito lang: Stick to the temperatures (room temp for liquid ingredients). Sa gilid yung dry (sa bowl), lagay mo sa gitna yung liquid. Unti-unti mo ihalo yung dry ingredients like going round and round hanggang lahat ng dry ingredient na mix with dough. Masahin mo with paunti-unting flour about 15 minutes. Let rise for 1 hr (takpan mo ng cling wrap or ilagay mo sa warm oven with warm bowl of water para mag-rise without disturbance. Then i-shape and bake mo na as directed above.

  7. cge po manang, itry ko.. tnx po!!!


  8. Oh my gosh... your recipe is soooo yummy! I tried it this weekend and my family loved it. Thank you so much for sharing your recipes! I'm going to have to try more of them :)

  9. HI Anonymous,

    Welcome to my site! Glad you liked this recipe!

    I would suggest you try the supersoft ensaymada, or you can try making the dough of the sweet potato cinnamon roll (that was very good too! No cheese in the dough, but the color was pretty, and the dough is almost silky!) to use for special ensaymada.

  10. I tried your buttery ensaymada recipe and it turns out great! Its the first time I tried this and I follow all the instructions given.My friendz just loved it.Its really soft and not gooey.Thank you for sharing it with us. I really appreciate you posting more recipes.God Bless!

  11. Hi mabes!

    Glad you liked the buttery ensaymada! (this particular recipe - manual ensaymada - is one you have not tried, I suppose? although you are commenting under it.
    I also highly recommend the supersoft ensaymada, and the sweet potato cinnamon rolls. They are very good!

  12. Dear Manang,

    I made ensaimada using this recipe and it was a big hit with my family. Even my niece who claims she's only into Ensaimada in the likes of Goldilocks, raved on this one. Yes, this Ensaimada is in nature similar to those sold in local bakery but the extra yolks and butter did made it more special. It has a tender, soft chewy texture and rich creamy flavor. In one word: YUMMY. I used the eggwhites to make 123 Buttercream Frosting (in lieu of melted and soft butter in the recipe). While the Ensaimada is still piping hot, I brushed it with soft Buttercream. When it cools, it gives a somewhat shiny, glazed look. This is my third attmept at making bread (Supersoft & Pandesal 1st & 2nd) and it still going great!

    Manang, thank you for being such a great teacher. You're the best.

    Much love, MPC

  13. Hi MPC,
    Thanks for leaving a feedback! Glad you liked this recipe as well.
    That buttercream idea to use up the egg whites is very good! Is that buttercream using the sugar-made-to-syrup method (like the one I made for sans rival)?

  14. Hi Manang,

    I used the 1:2:3 Swiss Meringue Buttercream from dyannbakes.com (sugar & eggwhites are beaten together over a doube boiler, then butter is gradually incorporated after mixture cools down). Its quite good for an ensaimada topping or for frosting a simple cupcake.

    BTW, thanks for featuring my email. :-) I love your blogs and I can't wait to try my hand in preparing your other recipes.

  15. Hi MPC,
    Thanks for leading me to that site! That buttercream recipe has same ingredients I use in sans rival, but different and easier method! I think I would try that one of these days. The recipe is so easy to remember -- 1,2,3!

  16. I am so happy to find your blog. My pregnant daughter was craving for ensaymada and that's how how I found this, by doing a web search. Thanks for the recipe...Christine

  17. Hi Christine,
    Welcome to my blog!
    Please for a starter, try the supersoft ensaymada. It has been the favorite among my readers. I am sure your daughter will love it.

  18. yummm that looks like a tasty bread i have never heard of esaymada but i got to give this a try soon. i read the first comments :P......and it sounded like its a hard recipe to make. if i do fail of course i will try it second time around! im not a much of a baker but i do try lol.

    thank you so much for sharing :)

  19. Ann, If you want it easier, try the bread machine ensaymada. If you want it to taste better than Goldilocks,try the supersoft ensaymada.

  20. Hi Manang!

    Do you always use BM Yeast when you're using your breadmachine? Where do you buy them? What's the difference between quick rising and BM Yeast?

  21. Hi Karla,
    I am not familiar with quick rising yeast, but basing on this link, http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-quick-rising-yeast.htm, it would seem like they are the same.

  22. Hi i tried your recipe and it turn out really good...but i dissolved the yeast with warm water and little sugar first..(.same amount as you specified in your recipe)... thanks for sharing.... want to try more about your fantastic recipe... keep up the good work.... God bless you always....

  23. i like the look of ensaymada # 2. can i do it without a bread machine?

  24. Hi Anonymous,
    If you are going to use the bread machine recipe, you can still make it without BM. Just mix the wet ingredients first at room temp, then add the dry ingredients. Knead good and let dough rise. After about 1 hr, shape the dough.If you like the photo #2 here, flatten the whole dough into rectangular shape, brush with softened butter, then roll into a log. Cut every 1 inch the lay on the baking pan with about 1 finger in between each piece. Cover with plastic, let rise for about 30 minutes or less, then bake as directed.

  25. Hi Manang

    Just to let you know that I did your ensaymada recipe (the 1/2 portion) in the bread machine, exactly as per your recipe with ONE exception: I also put "tangzhong" in the mix to make it supersoft. This ingredient is just a roux of flour and water cooked to 65C till it becomes thick and apparently is the secret to the pillow-soft breads sold in the Japanese and Korean bakeries. It's a natural alternative to bread improver, apparently. If you've never heard of this method just google it for the procedure. Anyhow, the ensaymadas turned out yummy, albeit a bit too brown in some places (too generous with the butter and sugar LOL). Will keep some for my breakfast and bring some to work and give some to my dear mother who has been longing for Pinoy home made stuff for yonks...will try your other recipes soon...

  26. Hi irene,

    Wow, thanks for that major got-to-know bit of information!

    I had been wondering how to make my dough bouncy soft like the fried donuts in a Chinese resto near me. This might be the answer. I will experiment on that as soon as I can!

  27. Irene, how much tangzhong did you add for this particular recipe?

  28. Can I use Instant Yeast for the ensaymada.

  29. HI Anonymous,
    Yes you can, but I am not familiar with the instant yeast you are talking about, so you will have to adjust the method by following the instructions specific on that instant yeast.

  30. hello manang,
    i tried this recipe and it was great! it was nice and soft. my boys loved it! coz it was the first time i was making it, i halved the recipe. i ran out of milk, so i added diluted whipping cream instead. i used instant yeast and just plain all-purpose flour, yet it was almost as soft as cake. thank you so much for sharing! i posted your website on my fb wall so that others could check out your site too. i'll be trying out your other stuff for sure. more power to you!

    1. Hi hamida,
      Thanks for your feedback and the promo of my website amongst your fb friends! Very much appreciated! Your imaginative fix in finding subs was great! Now that's the kind of thinking I love eliciting amongst my readers!

    2. hamida, you may also want to try the supersoft ensaymada. Comparable to Goldilocks/Red Ribbon (actually, some who tried said mine was even better).

  31. hello there. just a question about the yeast. i am here in jeddah po kasi and i cannot find any rapid yeast or dry active yeast here, there's just the instant yeast. and ang direction po nya is to mix directly to the flour (dose 500-1000g) or add to dough during first stage of mixing. can you please help me out with this. i know the yeast is very crucial in every bread. and i really would like to try out the spanish bread recipe. and one more thing for the milk is it ok to use evaporated? thank you so much. and i really hope you will be able to help me out. thanks! i'm joyce by the way.

    1. Hi joyce,
      Instant yeast is the same as rapid rise, especially as that particular yeast you have has the same direction (add directly to the flour). Evap will be more yummy if you use it so go ahead! (evap is more expensive here since my place is a rural area and there are lots of farms around so fresh milk is cheap enough).

  32. hello Manang I just saw your website today.. I tried 5x of different recipes of spanish bread already and it all failed..:( My dough did not turn out good,masyado pong matigas..Eto po bang ensaymada recipe pwede na gamitin sa spanish bread na dough..thank you...sana magkaroon na din po kayo ng videos..I saw lots of good feedback, hope I can make a succesful spanish bread na with the help of your recipes...

    1. Hi rhea,
      pag gumagawa ako ng spanish bread, I use the BM ensaymada recipe: http://kusinanimanang.blogspot.com/2007/09/spanish-bread.html

  33. Hello Manang, Your Ensaymada Recipe is the Best. Also, I just want to add some new information about the recipe itself as I made this recipe too. You Can check out and click the Link on my name for the recipe. have a nice day


If you ask a question in the comments and want to receive email for my answer, please click on the option to notify you by email before you hit submit.
If you like my recipes, please subscribe to Kusina ni Manang, at paki-klik lang po some gugel adverts. Salamat!

Related Posts

LinkWithin Related Stories Widget for Blogs