Introduction: Buttery Sweet Mallorca Bread
You know those delicious butter shortbread cookies you get in a tin for Christmas? Sweet, delicate, and melt in your mouth... now imagine them puffed up and dusted with powdered sugar for a breakfast treat.
Windows filled with these Mallorcas line the streets in San Juan, Puerto Rico; where we first fell in love with the croissant-like pastry. With just a little prep you too can have these the aroma of these authentic tasting sweet breads filling your home.
This recipe makes 6-8 Mallorcas.
2 cups (170 grams) Bread Flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup (60 ml) milk
1/4 cup (60 ml) water
8 Tablespoons (1 stick) butter - divided 6T for mix/2T for topping
1/4 cup (50g) sugar
3 egg yolks
1 packet instant rise yeast
Powdered sugar, for topping
Mixer or whisk
Surface to roll on
Step 1: Separate and Melt the Butter.
Reserve 2 Tablespoons of the butter, and melt down the rest. You can opt to melt it all now, since you will want it melted to top with as well; but it will likely need rewarmed before it's time to brush the tops.
Don't overheat it; you want everything just "warm" enough to be liquid and keep the yeast active. If the butter is too warm, it can cook the egg or kill the yeast in the following steps.
Step 2: Activate the Yeast
Combine together the 1/4 Cup (60 ml) milk and 1/4 cup (60 ml) water, and heat gently. I totally microwaved mine.
The goal here is to activate -- not murder -- the yeast organisms. The target temperate here is scientifically between 110°-115°; it should feel warm but not hot and should not be steaming. If you find you've over heated your mixture, allow it to cool before proceeding.
Sprinkle the yeast on top of the warm water/milk mixture and give it a little jiggle to moisten the yeasts. Allow it sit there while the yeast foam up, and proceed to the next step.
Step 3: Separate Your Yolks
If you've already separated your egg yolks from your whites; skip this step. Separate your egg yolks by gently cracking your egg on a flat surface (cracking too hard or on an edge surface such as a bowl can cause the yolks to burst.)
Take the entire egg into your hand with fingers spread loosely and allow the whites to fall away from the yolks.
Reserve the whites for later use (like an egg white filling for a fantastic breakfast sammy made with these sweet buns)
Step 4: Cream the Butter, Sugar, and Yolks
Before beginning this step, ensure the 6 Tablespoons of melted butter is cool enough to avoid cooking the eggs.
Cream together 6 tablespooms of melted butter, 1/4 cup (50g) sugar, and 3 egg yolks.
Step 5: Mix in the Yeast
The yeast should now be slightly foamy and thick, indicating it is active. Add it to the sugary-buttary-eggy mix.
Step 6: Add in the Flour and Salt
Sprinkle the 1/4 teaspoon salt over the 2 cups of bread flour.
Add the dry mixture into the wet mixture and mix on level one (hand mixing is also okay) until it becomes a soft dough. Scrape the sides down after about a minute to incorporate all ingredients.
You want to avoid over mixing; the more that you work flour the more the gluten will develop. This can cause tougher dough than what you want if done to excess. The less you work the dough, the more delicate your pastry will be.
If the dough is too wet, you can add a bit more flour; but keep in mind the end dough should be quite soft.
Step 7: Allow to Rise
Place the dough in a clean bowl and cover with plastic wrap or a moist kitchen towel. Allow to rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about one hour.
Step 8: Knock the Dough Down and Divide.
Once the dough is doubled in size, knock it back to release some of the excess air. Spread the dough out on a clean lightly floured surface and divide into 6-8 strips depending on desired size.
Step 9: Stretch and Roll the Mallorcas
Take each strip of dough and roll or stretch until it is about 18" long. Roll the mallorca into a spiral and tuck the tail underneath to prevent uncoiling.
Cover with plastic wrap or a damp kitchen towel and place in a warm place to rise until doubled in size, again about one hour.
Step 10: Preheat Oven and Brush Tops With Butter
When rolls are doubled in size, preheat oven to 375° F (190°c)
Top the rolls gently with the remaining 2T of melted butter.
Step 11: Remove From Oven Then Dust With Sugar
Bake for about 10 minutes, until just changing color on top (the ones picture could have gone for about 1 or 2 minutes less, finishing at 12 minutes)
Allow to cool for about 10 minutes, then dust with powdered sugar.
Serve straight from the oven, reheated on a griddle, or slice day-old mallorcas in half and used as the bun for a grilled sandwich.