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.
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.
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.
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.
Cover with kitchen cloth and let rise on the counter for 2 hours.
Refrigerate and let rise for 3 hours or overnight to cool completely. Refrigerating the dough makes the dough easier to work with later.
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 the dough with flour and roll out to about 1/4 inch thick.
Using a pizza cutter cut the dough evenly into 12 strips.
Roll the strips into coils, tucking the end under the bun.
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.
Using a pastry brush gently brush rolls with melted butter.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, until they are just beginning to brown.
Allow buns to cool a bit and sift generously with powdered sugar.
And they are just as soft and tender on the inside.
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.
Now if you will excuse me I have a sandwich and a cup of coffee to tend to.