These Super Soft Ensaymada Bread Rolls are the best! It’s light, fluffy, butter-rich, and exceptionally delicious. This is the best and easiest homemade Ensaymada recipe you’ll ever make! Skip using the rolling pin or coiling the dough. You won’t need a special molder either. Make it easier by shaping it into classic bread rolls.
Why you’ll love this Ensaymada Recipe
I have made Ensaymada at home plenty of times for my friends and relatives. I (used to) call it a labor of love because the whole process is quite extensive. It literally takes me one whole day from making the dough, proving, rolling, and then coiling. I still can’t believe I used to do that.
This recipe, on the other hand, is easier, beginner-friendly, and makes the best tasting ensaymada ever! Try it to believe it!
Soft Ensaymada Ingredients
Here are the ingredients you’ll need to make ensaymada.
- Egg yolks + Whole eggs. This is one of the secret to a really soft and fluffy dough.
- Pure unsalted butter: There’s no substitute for this. The better the quality of the butter, the better your Ensaymada will be.
- Bread flour and All-purpose flour: Mixing these two kinds of flour allows us to control the protein content of the bread. Which just means that it will give the bread a soft and delicately chewy texture.
- Sugar: We Filipinos love our buns sweet. Sugar is needed to make the dough and also for the butter topping.
- Milk and Water: These will serve as the base liquid for the dough. The water is combined with the yeast to activate.
- Active Dry Yeast or Instant Dry Yeast: Both can be used interchangeably. Activate in lukewarm water until foamy.
- Cheese: Ensaymada will not be complete without cheese. As simple as processed cheddar cheese will work wonderfully for this recipe. Other types of cheese you can use are cheddar cheese, Edam cheese (queso de bola), gouda cheese and quick melt-processed cheese.
- Salt: A crucial ingredient that makes any bread taste good.
Tips on How to make Super Soft Ensaymada
**Note: Number of eggs updated to improve rising time (use 4 egg yolks + 2 whole eggs instead of 8 egg yolks). Please follow the recipe card.
- Warm the liquid ingredients such as water and milk. Microwave for 20 to 30 seconds. The liquid needs to be at a lukewarm temperature around 40c/105f. If it’s too hot the yeast will die. If it’s too cold, the yeast will not activate. Don’t forget to add a teaspoon of sugar to activate quickly.
- Softened the butter and cut into cubes. Cubed softened butter incorporates better with the dry ingredients.
- Add additional flour only as necessary, about 1/4 cup at a time until the dough is slightly sticky and pulling away from the sides of the bowl. Knead the dough with the stand mixer after every addition and then feel and test the texture after.
- Cover the bowl with a plastic wrap and seal the edges. I find that the yeast activates more quickly when moisture is locked-in in the bowl.
- You can proof the dough in a warm place or do a cold rise by placing the dough in the fridge.
- Baking tip: If you’re using two racks, switch the trays after 12 minutes so all the rolls will brown evenly. Applicable only to 60cm/23 ovens and above. Bake in two batches if using compact ovens.
Make-Ahead tip! I do this all the time.
Making Ensaymada is easy. Waiting for the dough to rise, twice at that, is actually the hardest especially if you’re keen on making it in one whole day. But I don’t. Waiting makes me tired and more impatient. So what I always do is make the dough ahead of time then refrigerate it overnight.
In the fridge, the dough will slowly rise and double in size overnight. Once you’ve finished making the dough, just get on about your day and forget about it for a while. On the day of baking, remove from the refrigerator 30 mins before you’re going to shape them into rolls.
These Ensaymada Bread rolls are a perfect gift to yourself, friends, and loved ones as you don’t have to make an extra effort on individually wrapping them. You just need one big plastic wrap, tie a ribbon and it’s good to go.
I would love to serve this for Christmas and New Years Celebration. Just look at how pretty they are!
Refrigerate in an airtight sealed container. When properly stored, it can last 3 to 5 days.
Serve and Re-heating
Serve immediately and enjoy with coffee, hot chocolate, or tea. Ensaymada is best served warm. Re-heat in the microwave for 20 to 30 seconds.
More Filipino Bread Recipes
Looking for another weekend baking project? You’ll love these recipes too!
- The Best Pandesal Recipe
- Soft Spanish Bread
- Filipino Pan de Coco
- Ube Cheese Bread 3 Ways!
- Pandesal with Asado Filling
- Brown Pandesal
Watch the video on how to make Super Soft Ensaymada Bread Rolls
Filipino Recipes for Special Occasions
- Kutsinta (no lye water)
- Butter Puto Cheese
- Homemade Puto Bumbong
- Puto Flan (Leche Flan Puto)
- Bibingka Malagkit
- Cassava Cake
- Maja Blanca
- Easy Beef Kare Kare Recipe
- The Best Chicken Afritada
- Pork Embutido (Steam)
- Easy Pork Belly Sisig
- Pork and Shrimp Lumpiang Shanghai
- Oven-Fried Crispy Lechon Kawali
- Pork belly Humba
- Beef Caldereta
- Pork Ribs Caldereta
Super Soft Ensaymada Bread Rolls
- 4 egg yolks, see note 1
- 2 whole eggs
- 1/2 cup lukewarm water (temp 40c/105f), mix with 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 tbsp yeast, active dry or instant yeast, see note 2
- 2 1/4 cups bread flour plus more for kneading, see note 3
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup whole milk, lukewarm or room temperature
- 1 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup white sugar, granulated or fine will do
- 1/2 cup grated cheese, I used cheddar, add more if preferred
For the Dough
- Separate the egg yolks from the whites. Combine egg yolks and the 2 whole eggs in a bowl. Whisk lightly using a fork.
- In a medium-size bowl, combine lukewarm water, 1 teaspoon of sugar, and yeast. Stir until completely dissolved. Let it stand for 5 to 10mins until it froths.
- Meanwhile, in the bowl of your stand mixer, combine flour, sugar, and salt. Mix thoroughly.
- Add milk, yeast mixture, eggs, to the dry ingredients. Stir with a spatula until just combined. Attach the dough hook and turn the mixer on to the lowest speed and mix until flour is incorporated, about 5 minutes. Make sure to stop the mixer to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Add half of the cubes of butter one at a time while running the mixer at low speed. Beat for 2 minutes. Stop the mixer to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Add the second half of the cubes of butter one at a time. Beat until fully incorporated at low speed. Stop the mixer to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Increase the speed to medium (speed 4 in my mixer) and beat for 4 minutes. Add additional flour as necessary, start with 2 tbsp and go from there. The dough is slightly sticky, soft yet stretchy, and pulling away from the edge of the bowl. Be careful not to add too much flour.
Rise # 1 Warm rise or cold rise
- Transfer to a bowl sprinkled with a little bit of flour on the sides and bottom. Cover the bowl with a plastic wrap and seal the edges. Let it rise for 2 to 3 hours at room temperature until double in size. To make ahead, do a cold rise by placing the dough in the refrigerator. The dough will slowly double in size the next day. See notes 4 and 5 for more information.
Rise #2 Shape the rolls
- Remove the plastic wrap and punch the dough down. Transfer onto a lightly floured surface. Knead for 1 to 2 minute by hand. Divide the dough and form into the desired size of rolls (see video). For an evenly sized dough, use a kitchen scale. Mine was about 50g or 2 ounces each. Adjust based on your preference.
- Transfer the rolls to a greased baking pan lined with parchment paper. Cover with a towel and let it rise until double in size. This could take 1 hour or more depending on the room temperature. See notes 4 and 5 for tips.
- Preheat oven at 180c/350f, 15 minutes before the dough rolls finish rising. Bake the Ensaymada bread rolls for 18 to 20 minutes until the top turns light brown.
- Let the bread cool completely before removing from the pan. To take it out of a pan, place a wire rack or plate over the top of the bread and flip. Peel off the parchment paper from the bottom then transfer to a serving plate.
- Mix butter and sugar. Spread over the Ensaymada bread rolls.
- Sprinkle grated cheese on top. Serve with coffee, hot chocolate or tea. Enjoy!
- Egg yolks: The number of egg yolks has been adjusted to improve the rising time of the dough. Please follow the recipe card and use the video as a guideline only.
- Yeast – you can use instant or active dry. Personally, I always proof my yeast no matter the type to make sure they’re working before adding it to the rest of the ingredients.
- Bread flour – substitute with all-purpose flour if bread flour is not available. Replaced in the same amount as mentioned in the recipe. Bread will just be less chewy with all-purpose flour.
- Rising time: Because of the amount of butter in this recipe, the rising time is longer compared to other bread recipes. Mine took 2hrs and 15mins.
- Proofing in colder months: Place a baking dish on the bottom rack of the oven (DO NOT TURN IT ON) and fill it with boiling water. Put the dough in the middle rack and shut the door. The steam and heat from the boiling water will create a warm environment to help raise the dough.
- Make-ahead Tip: Make the dough ahead of time then place it in the fridge. The dough will slowly rise and double in size overnight. On the day of baking, remove from the refrigerator 30 mins before you’re going to shape them into rolls.
- Types of cheese recommended: Cheddar cheese, Edam cheese (queso de bola), Gouda cheese, quick melt-processed cheese.
- Storage/Shelf life: Refrigerate in an airtight sealed container. When properly stored, it can last 3 to 5 days.
- Re-heating: Ensaymada is best served warm. Re-heat in the microwave for 20 to 30 seconds. Serve immediately and enjoy with coffee, hot chocolate, or tea.
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Frequently asked questions
Check out my Beginner’s Guide: Baking with Yeast Bread for more tips.
Technically instant yeast it doesn’t need to be frothed but there’s no harm in doing it. Personally, I always want to make sure that my yeast is active before adding it to the rest of the ingredients. As you know, bad yeast = unrisen dough = wasted ingredients.
We don’t want that to happen here, especially with the amount of butter and eggs needed to make this recipe.
The bread flour in this recipe can be replaced with all-purpose flour. Replaced in the same amount as mentioned in the recipe. Bread will just be less chewy with all-purpose flour.
Because of the amount of butter in this recipe, the rising time is longer compared to other bread recipes. Mine took 2hrs and 15mins.
For colder months, I use the oven to prove the dough. Place a glass baking dish on the bottom rack of the oven and fill it with boiling water. Put the dough in the middle or top rack and shut the door. The steam and heat from the boiling water will create a warm environment to help raise the dough.