"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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Monday, November 24, 2008

Buttery Ensaymada

I should call this buttery eggyolk-y ensaymada.
I am getting so ensaymada'ed out already I could puke (excuse me!), but I just gotta be able to compare the two recipes which vary only in the fat content (shortening versus butter) and the eggyolks.

Honestly, I cannot really choose between the two recipes (Supersoft using shortening and just whole eggs versus Buttery using butter, of course, and 5 eggyolks in addition to 1 whole egg).

Supersoft has the familiar taste of the ensaymada I used to get from bigger bakeries in PI. By itself (without topping), it is okay, but since it is not sweet, the flavor is greatly enhanced once the topping is there, and a bite becomes heavenly. Lasts 2 days or even 3 without getting tough as long as it is kept in plastic at room temp.

Buttery is strikingly special flavored by itself mainly by its very nature...buttery and yolky. Once with the usual topping, it is as heavenly as supersoft, although it is not the taste I was familiar with when it comes to ensaymada bought from the likes of goldilocks. I have yet to observe how long it lasts. It is still soft after a day even when cold.

Now, since i have made lots of ensaymada dough, I thought I'd use some of it for something else special I can create for the Holidays. I came up with pan de coco-cinni (or Coconut-cinnamon rolls) because I accidentally left a pack of grated coconut on the warm floor when I was rearranging my meats in the freezer). I am not assigned to any of the winter holidays, so I will just bring to the gathering some desserts like this or leche flan or egg pie. I will next post the coconut-cinnamon roll and pan de coco-cinni, which my poor husband had to taste-test last night, and he bit with that familiar closing-of-the-eyes expression for something sooo good.

3+1 +1 + 1 cups bread flour (total 6)
1/2 cup sugar
2 envelopes RapidRise Yeast
1 tablespoon salt
1 cup milk
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup butter + 1/2 cup softened butter (total 1)
1 cup mashed potato (I used leftovers, with all the flavors -- salt and pepper, butter, and cream)
1 egg
2 + 3 eggyolks (total 5 yolks)
Melted butter (about 1/4 cup) for brushing


Combine 1 cup flour, sugar, undissolved yeast and salt. Heat milk, water and butter until very warm (120º to130ºF). Gradually add to dry ingredients. Beat 2 minutes at medium speed of electric mixer, scraping bowl occasionally. Stir in mashed potato, 1 egg and 2 egg yolks and 1 cup flour; beat 2 minutes at high speed, scraping bowl occasionally. Gradually stir in 3 cups flour to make a stiff batter. Detach dough hook from mixer. Cover dough with the hook loosely with plastic wrap; refrigerate 1 hour. Meanwhile, soften 1/2 cup butter by leaving it out at room temp.

Remove dough from fridge and attach dough hook to mixer. Stir in 3 egg yolks and 1/2 cup softened butter (cut into bits), gradually add 1 cup flour and blend well. Place in greased bowl and cover loosely with plastic and refrigerate for additional 2-24 hours prior to baking (put simply, shape and bake the next day).

Use a GENEROUS amount of flour on the countertop, your hands, and your rolling pin when you start working to shape this dough because it is so STICKY. Shape accordingly (coiled or rolled method -- please see previous post). Brush with (or dip in) melted butter. Let rise for about an hour in a draft-free, warm and preferably moist environment (oven works best - place pans of ensaymada inside, along with a bowl of hot water, turn oven on for one minute then turn off and let the trapped heat hasten the rising. Don't forget to remove from oven once you are ready to bake and you are heating up the oven to the right baking temp.) (This whole batch will probably give you 32-40 pieces depending on the size you want. I suggest you think of ways to use this as master dough for other special desserts/pastries, like pan de coco-cinni up on my next post, or use ube haleya as filling, or make monggo bread which I plan to experiment on sometime later).

Bake at 350 deg F for 12-15 minutes (rotate pans after the first 10 minutes to even out browning) until done and browned to your preference. Take out from oven and brush again with melted butter (helps keep them moist). Enjoy with preferred topping.
If not consuming right away, let cool on wire rack completely then place in ziploc bags without the toppings. For individual servings, zap in microwave for 15 secs, add softened butter, sugar, and cheese. For family servings, cover loosely with foil and bake at 350 deg for 10 minutes.

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UPDATE: 9-07-09
Ritchie made and blogged about these ensaymada buns, saying,
Thank God for Kusina ni Manang she has the recipe for ensaymada (brioche) without too much work. Not that I want to eat ensaymada a lot, but because of the challenge in making it and getting the desired result, it became a monkey on my back, until now. You are da bomb manang.

I left a comment there thinking it was the supersoft, and she emailed me back:
Hi Ritchie,
Thanks for trying my recipe and actually liking it. :)
I presumed it was the supersoft ensaymada that you made?...I edited my post on it to include a link to this post.

Actually, it is the buttery one. OMG, it is the best I have ever made in my life. I gave some to my friends today and they said this is the best they have eaten too...hahaActually, it is the buttery one. OMG, it is the best I have ever made in my life. I gave some to my friends today and they said this is the best they have eaten too...haha

Thanks, Ritchie!


  1. This recipe looks yummy and I would definitely try making it this weekend. Could you please tell me what cheese you used as topping?

    Thank you so much.

  2. Hi anonymous. I used the same sharp cheddar cheese as the one in supersoft ensaymada.

  3. hello, i always read your blog, and fascinated with all your recipes. . . i do admire you for having the time & effort to cook knowing you are working as well.can i ask how much (in grams or teaspoon) is the rapid rise yeast per envelope? thank so much & God bless!

  4. Hi areceli!
    1 pkg of rapid rise yeast is equivalent to 0.25 oz or 7 g or 2&1/4 tsps.
    thanks for the kind words!

  5. Hi Ms. Manang

    I have a micro bakery business. I was truly happy discovering your website. Prior to discovering your site, we're having a problem on how to improve our pandesal. Not until I've tested your recipe using s.camote. It's been 3 days now that we're adapting your recipe and it was indeed satisfactorily improved our sales and the quality of our pandesal.

    Thank you so much for being so kind sharing your recipe.

    Right now I am about to try your supersoft ensaymada. However, I am pending it bec. the yeast in your recipe is not availbale here in the Phils. We are using other brand. Relative to this, may I know the measurement in grams of your 2envelopes of rapid rise yeast so that we can adapt the local brand we are using.

    Thank you and I look forward to hear from you soon. God bless.

    Pretty Angel

  6. Hi Pretty Angel,

    You are so welcome! I am just glad to be of help even to my kababayans back in the Philippines, which is a bonus, since I started this blog aiming to help Filipinas like me in trying to adapt to a new country so they (we) will not get too homesick by making our own comfort foods. I never expected that people in the Philippines would also benefit from my recipes. Some readers have expressed interest in putting up their bakeries since they learned to bake from my website. Nakakataba ng puso :).

    To answer your questions, 2 envelopes of rapid rise yeast is equivalent to 0.50 oz (roughly 15 g). If you are going to use active dry yeast, same amount, but you have to change the proofing method and rising time accordingly.

    Best of luck in your bakery business!

  7. Hi Manang! Good day po...d2 po ako sa kuwait naka stay.mahilig po akong mag luto at mag bake.tatnong ko po kung ano ang pwedeng pamalit sa lard? di ko po alam kung ano un.parang wala kasing akong makita na lard d2. maraming salamat po.

  8. Hi Anonymous from Kuwait,
    This buttery ensaymada does not use lard, but to answer your question, you can use shortening (or purico). I am not sure what the equivalent will be in Kuwait.

  9. HI Anonymous from Kuwait,
    this buttery ensaymada has no lard, but to answer your question, you can look for shortening or purico (maybe you can even try margarine). This lard is oil that is solid in room temp.

    1. Hi!

      I stumbled upon your recipe when I was trying to find an improvement to the recipe I tried the other day (which was good, but not quite what I was looking for). I also saw your recipe for supersoft ensaimada using lard. I am more inclined to try this buttery recipe though, only because I *try* to avoid lard as much as possible. I haven't made these yet, as I am still trying to finish the ones I made. :P

      However, I was thinking... have you tried just using vegetable oil? Do you think the recipe will come out more like the supersoft one if I use that instead?

      Maraming salamat. I will be waiting for your reply.

    2. HI Maria S,
      Basing on the books I have been reading lately (Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon, Deep Nutrition by Catherine Shanahan, and Why We Get Fat and What to Do About It by Gary Taubes), I now cringe every time I see vegetable oil in a recipe. I have made the switch to shortening made of palm oil, or lard rendered from my own pork (for pie crusts). The only vegetable oil I would consider using now are olive oil and coconut oil. Any vegetable oil that are highly processed (soybean, canola, corn, etc.) are off my list, as they are unstable and easily oxidized, paving the way to free radical formation and predisposing us to cancer. The more natural the fat is, the healthier and better for the body.

    3. Salamat for the quick reply!

      I don't have anything against lard. I actually have 2 big tubs of those in my pantry. I just try to avoid it because of the ... (I don't know how to describe it) ... Taste (? But it doesn't really "taste" like anything once added to anything) ... Greasiness (? But after all, it IS oil) ...Consistency (?). I don't really know. I guess it's a personal thing. I, too, prefer less-processed stuff, actually - as much as possible. Sabi nga ni Michael Pollan (In defense of food), a good rule of thumb is, don't eat what your great-grandmother did not eat (or something to that effect).

    4. Maraming salamat sa pagsagot agad sa tanong ko. :)

      I'm sorry I gave the wrong impression about lard. I have nothing against lard being better for the body. As I said, I just *try* to avoid it. I guess it's a personal thing. I'm not exactly sure what it is about lard that I don't particularly like - the taste (? although really, there's no real "taste" to it once it's incorporated into a recipe), the greasiness (? but then it IS oil), the consistency (?), or whatever it is. Goodness knows... I have 2 tubs of it in the pantry. I have used it in cookies, pies, and have even used it to fry chicken. I'm really just not a fan. I HAVE used lard rendered from pork and bacon to make soups - and THOSE I loved.

      I'm with you on the less processed stuff. I try to follow Michael Pollan's (of In Defense of Food) rule of thumb: don't eat something your great grandmother did not eat (or something like that).

  10. Manang, you're the best! I started out making SUPERSOFT doing the manual way with the Active Dry Yeast then until I realised I didn't have any cheese so I made 'habol' na lang with butter and egg yolks (after 1 hour of refrigeration, following your BUTTERY ENSAYMADA). Super Sarap Ensaymada! Soft and a little chewy. It was heavenly. Manang, you're a real Angel. :-) Thank you for sharing with us your talent. love, MPC

  11. Hi MPC,
    Thank you so much for the feedback and the email with photos. I have posted them under Reader's Photo Gallery.

  12. Hi Manang,
    Can i make also the dough of both buttery and supersoft in a bread machine or food processor?

  13. Hi Anonymous,
    Sorry for the late reply; I thought I have answered this question already...hindi pa pala.

    You can try the pandelimon recipe (uses potatoes and bread machine) then just add maybe 3 eggyolks to the liquid ingredients, and add 2 oz crumbled feta cheese with the flour (you have to crumble it very well to mix good, maybe use food processor to mix flour and cheese), just like I suggested to one reader. She has tried it and loved it.

  14. Hi Manang,
    I made the supersoft ensaymada again with the pandelimon recipe, I added 3 eggyolks and 2 oz. crumbled feta cheese, the last time I just used different cheese, but this time I added feta cheese, masarap at malambot na malambot siya, I love it, medyo sticky lang pero ok lang.
    I manage it well naman just added some flour while I shape them into ensaymada(coil shape).

  15. Hi Luz,
    Thanks for letting me know that my suggestion to use the pandelimon recipe as basis for BM supersoft ensaymada worked out pretty well!
    Tama yun...just add flour to deal with the stickiness.

  16. ate if i will bake it next day do i needd to put this in refrigerator or freezer? because as you've said fridge 1 -22 hour di ko ba pwedeng gawin gya nug sa supersoft ensaymada na you can freeze it? how long will it take to rise after i take it out? from refrigerator or freeze? if you wil heat the oven 1 minute. Lastly do i need to cover after shaping while waiting to rise? thanks . dulz

  17. Hi Anonymous,
    pwede mo ibake anytime from 1-22 hours after placing in the fridge and shaping and rising. But if you want to freeze, shape mo muna into logs then wrap. Do not let rise yet. Paglabas ng freezer, wait 15 minutes to cut the logs, then place on baking sheet. This will thaw for about 2 hours before it will actually rise for about 30 minutes (time varies depending on your temp). If you place in warm oven, the total time will be less. I can't give you an exact time; just approximates. I once let it rise for 4 hours from freezer, nasobrahan, maasim tuloy.
    After shaping, if you place inside the oven to rise (warm or not), as long as there is no draft, you don't have to cover. the important thing here is not to let them dry up, and not to let sudden draft flatten them (babagsak pag nahanginan or kahit pag hindi ka maingat paghandle sa end ng rising time).
    Hope this helps.

  18. Hi, Manang! Just a wee question before I attempt to make your buttery ensaymada : Is the first rising only after you shape the dough? So is there only one rising time to this recipe?

  19. Hi Jo,
    The first rising is when you place the dough in the fridge. By the time you are ready to shape them, this dough should have doubled in size at least.

  20. Rhoda L. of Orange County, CA12/17/2009 5:02 PM

    Hello! I'm a stay-at-home mom and love trying out new recipes. I wanted to let you & your readers know that I tried this ensaymada recipe and it was perfect! Following your instructions to the dot resulted in a moist, buttery, yummy ensaymada. I used a xmas tree pan for one batch using the coiled method, topped with cheese. For the remaining dough, I added chocolate frosting using rolled method. Now I don't have to drive far to Goldilocks or Red Ribbon for ensaymada. Salamat at maligayang pasko!

  21. Hi Rhoda,
    Thank you for your feedback on this recipe! It really means to me and to my readers to have comments such as this. I myself look at comments and feedback if I want to try a certain recipe, and it does contribute a lot to my decision making.
    That chocolate frosting is a good idea!
    Merry Christmas to you!

  22. Hi Manang! I'm assuming that you use your KitchenAid stand mixer to make your ensaymada. Unfortunately, I don't have that. Can I use a hand mixer instead or just mix it manually with a wooden spoon or something? Thank you!

  23. Hi Anonymous, hand mixer will most likely have a hard time with dough. Better use wooden spoon. Be prepared to work out your arms...lol! That's what chef EQ did with the supersoft ensaymada recipe.

  24. Hi,

    Your recipe did not mention if the the mash potato was
    1 cup flaked from the box or cooked. I used 1 cup flaked hoping it will turnout ok as I am in the process of making it now.

    1. Hi Anonymous,

      When I made this post I was not even aware of any boxed potato flakes. My ingredient here of mashed potato was simply that -- potato that was boiled and mashed. My original ensaymada recipe where I used mashed potato was an accidental discovery when I was trying to look for ways to use leftover mashed potato from a previous night's dinner. And whether I use that kind of mashed potatoes flavored with butter, salt, pepper and cream, or the plain mashed potato, the result was pretty much the same.

      If I was the reader, though, I could not imagine how I would interpret "mashed potato" as the same as the boxed mashed potato flakes. I was asked before if such could be used for this recipe, and I have always answered, "prepare it first to make it into mashed potato".

      I hope that you would not blame me if your outcome is not favorable. If it does not turn out good, I can assure you it is not this recipe that is at fault. That said, hopefully you would ask first if in doubt before you make the dive, that way you would avoid wasting your time and ingredients.

      I would suspect that if you are now far into making this, your dough might turn out too dry. If you are not yet late, add more liquid to try to save the dough.I cannot say how much because I don't know the discrepancy in the volumes between the dry mashed potato flakes versus the prepared boiled and mashed potato.

  25. Grace of Phils10/07/2012 11:43 PM

    Hi Manang,

    Me & my son tried your ensaymada recipe yesterday , it was so soft & delicious talaga, just want to ask how long is the shelflife pag nabake na we plan to sell it this Christmas. Thanks

    1. Hi Grace,
      Thanks for your comment. I am not sure how long the shelf-life is, because ours would only last 3 days at room temp because nakakain namin lahat, and I try to avoid baking a lot of them at a time because I always prefer them freshly baked. I freeze the dough ready to bake after thawing and rising for about 2 hours.

    2. Grace of Phils10/08/2012 4:20 AM

      Thanks Manang , I'm going to try your other recipes,I subcribes your blog so I can have your updated recipes.

  26. Hi,Manang! I made your buttery ensaymada recipe just now (it's still hot! We just had it for breakfast, yum!) and it is the best I've made! Yay! To make it easier to handle, I added about a quarter cup of oil at the end of the kneading period. Also, I didn't just refrigerate it right away, I finished kneading it (until smooth and bouncy) and rising it (first rise) before placing it in the ref overnight. Then I shaped and let it rise again. Thanks a lot for the recipe. I will try the supersoft ensaymada next time. Also I will make some of the dough into cheese rolls, ham rolls, etc. Thank you from Quezon City, Philippines!

  27. Hi Manang,
    The first ensaymada i made was from a different blog, and i wasn't satisfied because the inside is too thick though the taste is nice. The 2nd time I tried doing ensaymada, I used your recipe and it was really a success! My husband and our colleagues really liked the taste of it plus the fluffiness and softiness! I am really glad that I bumped onto your blog and found this super soft and moist ensaymada recipe. Now, I am into my 3rd time of doing ensaymada and 2nd time of having ypur recipe. More power!

    1. Thank you for your feedback, Veron! It means a lot to me :) even if I rarely update my blog nowadays.

  28. Hello Manang, will try your recipe tonight. Please tell me anong mas tasty or mas prefer mo yung lard na gamit sa SS Ensaymada or eto buttery ensaymada? God keep you Manang.

  29. Hi manang! I'm so intrigued with your ensaymadas!
    Just a little question...
    Compared to SS ensaymada, I noticed that you didn't use Feta cheese/grated sharp cheddar cheese mixed in flour in this recipe. Just wondering if it would be better with or without feta? And what will happen if I'd toss in feta cheese even if the recipe doesn't call for it. Thanks!

    1. You can still add feta cheese. Just watch out for the salt content. You can lessen the salt if adding feta cheese.


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