Ensaimada consists of sugared, spirally rolled dough, made from baking starch, water, sugar, eggs, sourdough and an ingredient which gives the pastry its name: saïm (pork lard).The dough takes a long time to rise (no less than 12 hours). When the dough has risen, it is rolled helically clockwise. Then it is put into the oven. Finally, the ensaimada is still dusted with powdered sugar.
The result is a crispy, outside golden yellow and creamy pastry, with a soft interior. A delicacy already known in the 17th century and protected from 2003 by a designation of origin (Indicación Geográfica Protegida). (This IGP includes the traditional ensaimada as well as the one filled with cabello de ángel - caramelized pumpkin jam).
The original version of the Ensaimada is the lisa, without filling. However, depending on the season and the inspiration of the baker, there are also other varieties: filled with cream, chocolate, caramel, cabello de ángel, apricoats or peach jam; at Christmas time, they are even filled with turrón... There is also an ensaimada called tallades, filled with pieces of sobrasada sausage or candied pumpkin. This is typical in the Christmas period.
Many ensaimadas are made in traditional bakeries. They are managed by bakers, who have passed on their knowledge and craft over generations. The entry into these bakeries, especially when they still smell of freshly baked ensaimada, is a pleasure and a seduction.
The small ensaimadas are ideal for breakfast or a coffee in the afternoon. You put your ensaimada into the milk coffee or your cup of hot chocolate. The large Ensaimadas are always enjoyed as dessert at the celebrations of the islanders. But their fame extends far beyond the borders of Mallorca, which has facilitated the distribution in the typical octagonal boxes through the airport shops. Only a few guests leave the island without taking these tasty pastries with them.