Mallorca Bread: Soft Puerto Rican Sweet Bread Rolls

I can get a little fixated on an idea.  I will think about it over and over again until I can take it any more.  This week I became fixated with a soft eggy bread called mallorca.  Suddenly at 5:30 am Friday morning my eyes were wide open and my head was filled with thoughts of soft sweet eggy bread.  By 6:00 am, before the sun had risen, I was in the car on my way to the store for  yeast and eggs.

Mallorca Bread 8

You might understand my sudden and overwhelming obsession if you’ve had mallorca bread before.  This bread is sweet, soft and supple. Not to mention all the memories I have tied in with this bread.  We lived in Puerto Rico when I was in high school and almost every Saturday morning my mother would take my sister and I to La Bombonera for breakfast.  La Bombonera was famous for their delicious plump, buttery rolls of mallorca bread, dusted with powdered sugar. The rolls would sit in the window beckoning you to come in. Unfortunately after 110 years La Bombonera closed in 2012, but those soft sweet rolls will always have a special place in my heart.

Mallorca Bread 65 (1)

Pan de Mallorca (mallorca bread) originates from the Ensaïmades bread from the Spanish island of Majorca, which is why we call it Mallorca. Although La Bombonera has closed you can still find mallorca bread in any local Puerto Rican reposteria (bakery).   Every time I go home I do my best to get my hands on a warm buttery mallorca.  But, for the times I can’t make it to PR, I can make them at home and so can you.

I had made and posted mallorca before, but the original recipe could be a little difficult and needed some tweaking.  It is important to have unbleached bread flour.  I have used bleached AP flour and unbleached AP flour, but unbleached bread flour works best and makes the softest bread.  Also, make sure you give yourself time to make this bread, it is almost an all day process.

Mallorca Bread 1

In a large bowl combine, eggs, sugar and melted butter, whisk until well combined, set aside.

In another large bowl pour in milk and water, sprinkle in yeast and let sit for a minute. Add egg mixture to yeast mixture and whisk until well combined. Add 1 teaspoon salt and 6.5 cups flour a cup at a time, stirring with a wooden spoon until just combined.  The dough will be wet and tacky.

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Cover with kitchen cloth and let rise on the counter for 2 hours.

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Refrigerate and let rise for 3 hours or overnight to cool completely.  Refrigerating the dough makes the dough easier to work with later.

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Line two light aluminum sheet pans with parchment paper.  Do not use dark sheet pans because they will over brown the bottom of the rolls. Generously flour a clean work surface, turn dough out on work surface.

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Sprinkle the dough with flour and roll out to about 1/4 inch thick.

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Using a pizza cutter cut the dough evenly into 12 strips.

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Roll the strips into coils, tucking the end under the bun.

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Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

Place 6 rolls per sheet pan, loosely cover with kitchen towel or plastic wrap and let rise another 45 minutes.

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Using a pastry brush gently brush rolls with melted butter.

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Bake for 20-25 minutes, until they are just beginning to brown.

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Allow buns to cool a bit and sift generously with powdered sugar.

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They look like big fluffy bread pillows!

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And they are just as soft and tender on the inside.

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Mallorca bread is perfect to have sliced and buttered with a cup of coffee in the morning.  By the following day the powder sugar melts into the bread and it is perfect for making a savory grilled sandwich with ham and cheese.   I like to slice the roll and toast with coconut butter it cut side down.  Then I make the ham and cheese sandwich and toast both sides in a skillet.  It is absolutely divine! I kid you not it almost taste like french toast.

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Now if you will excuse me I have a sandwich and a cup of coffee to tend to.

Mallorca Bread: Soft Puerto Rican Sweet Bread Rolls
 
Adapted from RecipeLink
Serves: 12 rolls
Ingredients
  • 1 pkg dry yeast (1/4 oz)
  • ½ cup milk, lukewarm
  • 1½ cup water, lukewarm
  • 8 egg yolks
  • ¾ cup white sugar
  • 2 sticks butter (1/2 lb.) + 1 stick for brushing, melted and cooled to lukewarm
  • 6½ cups bread flour, plus more for flouring work surface
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • powder sugar
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl combine, eggs, sugar and melted butter, whisk until well combined, set aside.
  2. In another large bowl pour in milk and water, sprinkle in yeast and let sit for a minute. Add egg mixture to yeast mixture and whisk until well combined. Add 1 teaspoon salt and 6.5 cups flour a cup at a time, stirring with a wooden spoon until just combined. Cover with kitchen cloth and let rise on the counter for 2 hours then refrigerate for 3 hours or overnight.
  3. Line two light aluminum sheet pans with parchment paper. (Do not use dark sheet pans because they will over brown the bottom of the rolls.) Generously flour a clean work surface, turn dough out on work surface, sprinkle with flour and roll out to about ¼ inch thick. Using a pizza cutter cut the dough evenly into 12 strips. Roll the strips into coils, tucking the end under the bun.
  4. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
  5. Place 6 rolls per sheet pan, loosely cover with kitchen towel or plastic wrap and let rise another 45 minutes. Using a pastry brush gently brush rolls with melted butter. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until they are just beginning to brown.
  6. Allow buns to cool, sift generously with powdered sugar. Enjoy with coffee!
Notes
Do not use dark pans for rolls as it will over darken the bottoms.

Must refrigerate for at least 3 hours, allowing the dough to be easier to handle.

Use day old rolls for ham and cheese grilled sandwiches.

*Original post Mallorca 2009

Comments

  1. Sheila says

    Hi! I am on a journey to learn how to cook Puerto Rican food because my husband is Puerto Rican and he does not know how to cook the foods lol. He’s always talking about the memories of the food that him and his family would eat when they lived in Puerto Rico. We even went to Puerto Rico for our honeymoon 5 yrs ago. And omg I fell in love with the delicious food and of course the scenery (so beautiful). Now I have been cooking simple things that he could remember but I’m searching on pinterest for more recipes and I came across this one. It looks so yummy so I want to try it and hopefully get it right so when my husband comes back from his deployment, I could surprise him :-)

  2. Annamarie says

    They turned out delicious! I will use a bit less flour next time and tighten the coil. I have a question: can you freeze these for later? Thank you!

    • Annamarie says

      These freeze beautifully, and thaw quickly at room temperature. You also can microwave on the defrost setting for about 30 seconds.

  3. Annamarie says

    I have been waiting to try your recipe for quite a while, and the dough now is rising. But, it was not tacky by the time i added all the flour. I actually used about 6 cups, not 6 1/2. We will see what happens! Looking forward to breakfast tomorrow :-) Thank you!

  4. Maria Carrera says

    Te felicito con la nueva y mejorada receta! Pues ahora si te quedaron IGUALITAS a las de la Bombonera. Llevo 24 anos en los Estados Unidos y como las extranaba!

    Gracias por compartir la receta!!!!

  5. Sue Potter says

    Oh Gracias, Gracias, Gracias …

    My significant other is native born and raised Puerto Rican and I have spent the last two years (come next week) being utterly spoiled by all his cooking of Puerto Rican meals at every meal. (I do not have to cook a thing if I choose not to – so very happily spoiled).
    But I love to bake as my life recently allowed me time to pursue this love from 20+ years ago, before the children were born. Reinaldo does not bake … except for his deadly chocolate cake and his intoxicating rum cake … which friends, family and his college students trip over themselves to get a bite of.
    So, months ago, upon hearing about these traditional mallorcas, I have set out trying to find a recipe that will satisfy him and his love of things ‘home’.
    Today I will double check my ingrediants and tomorrow I will do my best to make something half as good as his mom.
    Thank you again so much for your time and efforts in bringing us this great recipe.

    • says

      Just returned from P.R. and had delicious mallorca s at Mallorca Cafeteria on calle San Francisco in Old San Juan. They were great. Someone told us La Bombonera will be reopening soon.making your recipe tonite. Let you know how they come out.MY KIDS CAN’T WAIT! Thanks for recipe.

  6. says

    So recently I was craving mallorcas, and since God knows when I’ll be back in P.R., I figured I’d find a recipe. Yours came up first in Google, and I as I read, I got excited to try it right away. And then I got to the part about La Bombonera closing, and I was devastated. I remember going there once a week with my family after Mass, picking up mallorcas and pastelillos, and eating them in the park. I was looking forward to taking my own kids there someday. A little more googling and I discovered that La Mallorquina closed, too, depressing me more. I’m sad over the loss of those two institutions, but I’m still excited to try your recipe.

  7. Ivett Castillo-Levy says

    Hi, and thanks for posting this recipe. I grew up on mallorcas & the closest thing I get to it her in Jersey is from Starbucks. I love Starbucks but it’s not even close to the real thing. I will be making these later this afternoon because I haven’t tasted one in 6 years. The last time I was back on the island. I love to see traditional and non-traditional Puertorican recipes find their way into blogs and into the kitchens of homes everywhere. We have terrific cuisine that is often dwarfed by Mexican & Cuban cuisines. I hope it’s okay, but there is a website I found years ago for very traditional island food that you and your readers ay like to check out… elboricua.com has recipes for sofrito, pernil, pina coladas, and even sweet coconut rice aka arroz con dulce (my favorite). I have absolutely no affiliation with this site but your recipe has gotten me excited to cook. I’m off to turn on some salsa music & get to cooking!!! Terrific post, thanks!

  8. Anita says

    Let me start off by saying I never leave post. Just don’t. :). But I had to for this one. I am Hispanic, born and raised in USA as my parent were. I love the concha bread the Hispanic bakeries make, but would never make them due to the whole process it takes! They also don’t sell them in the immediate area I live in. So when I saw this on Pinterest, I thought this looks close enough and easy. Well, these are even better than conchas! And, super easy to make, especially with your pics and step by step instructions. If I could, I would eat them all day; breakfast, lunch and dinner.

    Thank you so much for sharing!

  9. nayeli says

    Hi! Ive been searching the internet to see if i could find a mallorca recipe that is soft,sweet and perfect to eat with a glass of milk! Im gonna try this recipe soon and see if it taste like the ones from Pepin or something better!

  10. Carmen says

    Hi Miseidy,

    I just found your blog and I am so happy now that I can have recipes from my Island Puerto Rico. I am going to try the Mayorca so my husband can try it too, he is Cuban and never heard about the Mayorcas before he just saw your picture and wanted to try it. Thank you so much!

  11. Gwynne says

    THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU for posting this recipe. I stayed with a good friend of mine and her family in Puerto Rico and her mom brought these home for us one morning. Loved them!!!! I just made this recipe and it brought back such great memories. They are so good and I am so pleased that I can now enjoy them here in the states. (oh and my husband loved them too). Thanks again

  12. Amanda says

    Love the revamp, thank you!. I have made your original recipe many times since you originally shared it. It is wonderful and worth every detail that is put into it.

  13. Kim says

    These are delicious. Mine were a little dry and dense……..I may have added too much flour. Or maybe yeast did not raise enough?
    Thanks for the recipe. I have to admit I was trying to imitate Starbucks Mallorca Sweet Bread, which they have discontinued!

  14. says

    These were quite tasty. They reminded me a lot of brioche or challah. Yum. I skipped the step of rolling them out and just formed balls and they were still really, really good.

  15. Cynthia says

    Thank you for this new post!! Wanted to ask if you can substitute cows milk for something else? Want to try it!!

  16. Sandra D. says

    Meseidy, you will not believe this. I was born in PR (Guayama) and lived there till I was 14 (I am now 51) and then we moved to NY. So basically I have lived in NY ever since (of course I visit the Island alot) I thought that I was a true Puerto Rican when it came to food but girl I have never, ever tasted Mallorca bread. Can you believe that! I planned on visiting PR now in January 2014 and girl the first thing I’m gonna do is look for a bakery and try me some Mallorca bread. Thanks you for sharing the recipe. Another thing that I never had was gofio.

    • Aliice Schroeder says

      I heard from my aunt who lives in San Juan that La Bombonera in Old San Juan has reopened!! If you want to taste a truly delicious piece of heaven, have your first Mallorca with cafe con leche there & enjoy! You’ll want to lick the plate.

  17. Maria says

    I tried your old recipe a few times. Delish, but the dough was quite wet and difficult to shape. Will try new recipe which seems to address that with 3 hrs in fridge. Now I’ll likely have a different problem. Moved from Milwaukee to MexCity, a much higher altitude where I understand recipes need to be adjusted in order for yeast to rise. Do I need to use extra yeast? Looking forward to trying the new version of yummy mallorcas!

    • says

      I have never had to cook at high altitudes but the blog Mountain Mama Cooks is a great place for high altitude cooking and baking. Here is what she says about raising bread.

      Yeast doughs rise quicker at higher altitudes, so the proof time will be significantly less. I like to punch the dough down and let it rise a second time. It’s great for developing a stronger yeast flavor and will ensure the dough doesn’t over rise!

  18. Almi says

    Hello Meseidi!

    Thank you so very much for this recipe! I am a Puerto Rican living in the Netherlands and here we don’t have a bread that compares to mallorcas. I will make this for sure for our next Puerto Ricans in Holland club meeting and we will have a lot of happy faces in the crowd. Keep the fabulous recipes coming!

  19. Leashakc says

    Good morning????
    I just made this formula with unbleached ap flour and it came out beautifully. I did not mix by wooden spoon, my stand mixer with dough attachment did that and I used 2c whole milk warmed to 120 degrees and additional 2tsp sugar to feed yeast.

    These came out beautifully. Thank you for the post and for sharing your culinary journey.

  20. Genevieve says

    I have done this Mallorca recipe from – The Noshery, few times and
    everytime I have baked them …I just feel like I was in heaven.
    They are sooo good! Even better than the ones you find in the bakeries in Puerto Rico. They are very soft. Tip: use a good quality butter.

    The Best!

  21. Ytmar says

    Can I use this bread to make Medianoche bread? I absolutely love the Medianoche sandwich one can get in Puerto Rico and I have not been able to find decent medianoche bread anywhere. When I order from Puerto Rico, by the time it gets to Wisconsin USA it is old…. thank you!!!

    • says

      The taste and texture of mallorca bread is very close to media noche bread. I think that these would be a great option for making media noche, just form into loaves instead of rolls. Also the color of media noche comes from adding a bit of yellow food coloring. Feel free to add a few drops if you want the pop of color.

      • Ytmar says

        Yeah!!! I will let you know how I did!! Thank you so much for your reply. I am now off to get some yeast and some pernil to get in the oven in the Valdelluly style. YUMM!!!

  22. Christine says

    I was most surprised to see this recipe. I live in Mallorca, and am most fortunate to have access to the real ensaimadas. Your recipe looks wonderful and if I ever cannot get the real thing I will know how to make my own. Good luck in your new house and new location.

  23. Amaris says

    This post just made me crave food and now I’m waiting for my husband to come home to tell him that we must go to PR for Xmas. I was sad when I read that La Bombonera had closed ad immediately thought of Kasalta. But reason that they will reopen makes me want to go visit even more. My menu is set:
    Sandwich de bistec de Kasalta, Mallorca de La Bombonera, some chillo frito with mofongo from somewhere in Salinas and them again in Fajardo or Luquillo. I see me downing it all with a lot of Malta India……

  24. RJLawhead says

    La Bombonera is going to re-open in July 2013 … and newly renovated (same location). I hope they don’t change their menu! Good news!!

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