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Mallorca - Sweet Yeast Bread


Mallorca - Sweet Yeast Bread

Mallorca - Sweet Yeast Bread

Photo (c) Jultud , Image from iStockphoto.com
Feathery and light these coiled sweet yeast rolls dusted with powdered sugar go exceptionally well with hot chocolate or coffee. Enjoy them for breakfast, dessert, or an afternoon snack. They’re quite popular on the Spanish speaking islands, as well they should be. The recipe comes from Spain where they are called ensaimadas.

Although simple to make, pan de Mallorca requires patience and time. The secret to its airiness is the long slow rising times. But, it’s worth it.

Tip: Always proof the yeast. Rising times depend on warmth of the spot where you set your dough to rise. It will rise slower in a cold spot.

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total rising time: 6 hours, 45 minutes

Total Time: 7 hours, 30 minutes

Yield: 12 rolls


  • 1 pkg (1/4 oz) active dry yeast
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 1/2 cups plus an additional 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 4 eggs (beaten, room temperature)
  • 5 cups all purpose unbleached flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt (divided in two)
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • Confectioner’s sugar for dusting final product


Proof the Yeast
In a mixing bowl, dissolve one teaspoon of sugar and packet of yeast into the one cup of warm water (no hotter than 115 F or 46 C).

Allow the mixture to sit for 10 to 15 minutes. It should become foamy. You’re yeast is now proven. If it doesn’t become bubbly, don’t use that yeast. Go get fresh yeast.

Make the Rolls
First Rising. With a whisk, lightly mix the proven yeast. Add one cup of flour and blend well. Cover the bowl with a cloth and set in a warm place to rise and form bubbles. About 2 hours.

Second Rising. To the mixture add 2 cups of flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, the beaten eggs, 1/2 cup sugar that has been dissolved in 1/4 cup olive oil and 2 tablespoons warm water. Cover the bowl with a cloth and set in a warm place to rise, undisturbed, until doubled. About 2 hours.

Third Rising. Mix in the remaining flour and 1 cup of sugar that has been dissolved in 1/2 cup olive oil and 4 tablespoons warm water. Use a mixer with a dough hook, if you have one.

Turn mixed dough out onto a floured work surface and knead until smooth. Add more flour a little at a time if the dough is too sticky. It should take about 5 minutes.

Place the dough into a greased bowl, cover with a cloth and allow it to rise until doubled in size. About 2 hours.

Final Steps
Divide the dough into 12 equal portions. Roll the portions into long rope like strips about 15 inches long. Brush the strips with melted butter and coil them into spiraled rolls. Tuck under the ends.

Place the rolls onto 2 greased baking sheets, leaving a couple inches between rolls. Brush the rolls again with more melted butter. Cover the rolls with a light towel and allow them to double in size. This will take about 45 minutes.

In the meantime, pre-heat your oven to 375 F / 191 C. When you’re ready to bake the pan de Mallorca, brush any remaining butter onto the top of the rolls. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes. Keep an eye on them and don’t over bake. They should be a light golden color.

Remove the bread from the oven, allow them to cool, dust with powdered sugar, and enjoy.

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