Mallorca’s Ensaimada, the sweetest tradition
Mallorca’s Ensaimada, the sweetest tradition
Absolutely delicious and essential in your visit to the island. It is the famous Mallorca’s Ensaimada, a word that comes from the Mallorcan word "saïmada", which in turn comes from "saïm", which means "butter" in old Catalan.

The ensaimada was originally made with a lot of lard, so it is believed that its name refers to this particularity. Therefore, "ensaimada" could be interpreted as "rolled with lard".The origin of the Mallorcan ensaimada

The origin of this typical and appreciated sweet dessert all over Spain is not very clear and there are several theories although the most accepted is the Arabic one. It maintains that the ensaimada has its roots in the time of the Arabs in the Iberian Peninsula.

It is said that the Arabs used bread dough to make rolled sweets, and that over time this tradition evolved into today's ensaimada.

Other possible theories are the Mallorcan theory, which considers that it originated as an easy and economical food for the island's fishermen and farmers. Or the baking theory, which believes that it is a derivative of bread and arose as a way to use the dough left over after its elaboration. The dough was rolled out, sugar and almonds were added, and it was baked to obtain a spongy sweet.

A simple but elaborate dessert

Its elaboration is not totally homogeneous and has varieties according to each artisan or even each area. Even so, we could define a series of basic elements that never vary. The ensaimada dough is made with flour, sugar, powdered sugar, yeast, lard, egg, salt and water. All the ingredients are mixed until a smooth and elastic dough is obtained. Then, it is left to rest in a warm place for about 30-45 minutes for the yeast to act and the dough to rise. Although this resting process is very variable, it can take up to hours.

After the resting time, the dough is kneaded for about 10 minutes until it is smooth and elastic. This is important so that the dough has the right texture to be rolled. Once kneaded, the dough is divided into portions and each is rolled into a spiral shape. The shaping of the ensaimada is a critical step, as it will influence its final appearance and texture.

Finally, the ensaimadas are baked at a moderate temperature (around 180°C) for about 15-20 minutes, until golden brown and puffed. It is important to adjust the baking time and temperature according to the size of the ensaimadas and the power of each oven. Finally, powdered sugar is added to give the ensaimadas their characteristic flavour and appearance.

For tastes, ensaimadas

That said, it is important to point out that there may be differences in the way ensaimadas are made depending on the island. In Mallorca, Menorca and Ibiza we find small divergences in the elaboration that result in doughs more or less dense and rolled in a snail or spiral.

Not to mention the infinite variety of ensaimadas that can be found depending on their finish or filling. The traditional ensaimada with a soft dough and sprinkled with powdered sugar; the filled ensaimada which is a variant of the traditional ensaimada in which a filling of cream, chocolate, dulce de leche, jam or fresh fruit is added before rolling the dough; the ensaimada of cabello de angel, etc.

It is clear that the ensaimada from Mallorca has become an important part of Spanish gastronomy and culture. It has evolved into a delicious symbol of the rich culinary heritage of this beautiful island, proudly representing its traditions passed down through generations of bakers and farmers.

With each bite, unique and rich flavours are discovered that make the ensaimada de Mallorca a true delight for the senses. A simple sweet, but with a special and unique character. A gastronomic experience not to be missed in Mallorca during your stay at Hotel Sant Jordi.