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Super Soft Ensaymada Bread Rolls

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.

**Note: Yeast amount and number of eggs updated to improve rising time. Please follow the recipe card.

Soft Ensaymada Bread Rolls

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 and idiot-proof. Try it to believe it!

Soft Ensaymada Ingredients

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  • Egg yolks + Whole eggs. This is 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. Of course, you can also use natural cheese if available (e.g. Gouda, Edam, Cheddar, Swiss).
  • Salt: A crucial ingredient that makes any bread taste good.

**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.

Tips on How to make Super Soft Ensaymada Bread Rolls

    1. Use egg yolks combined with whole eggs and pure unsalted butter. See the recipe card for the exact amount.
    2. 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.
    3. lukewarm water (temp 40c/105f)
    4. Softened the butter and cut into cubes. Cubed softened butter incorporates better with the dry ingredients.
    5. Add additional flour 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.
    6. 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.
    7. Let it rise in a warm place for 2 to 3 hours. For the winter season, use the oven. Pre-heat it at the minimum temperature for 5 minutes, turn it off then place the bowl inside. Warning: Use a damp towel instead of a regular cling wrap if you’re proving in a warm oven.

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.

Cold rise ensaymada dough in the refrigerator

Another option is to make the dough and finish the first rise on the same day. Shape them into rolls then do the second or final rise in the fridge. Bake them the next day and you’re done! After spreading the topping of course.

Just make sure you have enough space for your baking dishes. Once the shaped dough rolls have proved, you can’t remove or touch it in the pan. Otherwise, it will lose its shape.

Super Soft Ensaymada in a pan

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!

soft and buttery ensaymada

What if my bread did not properly rise?

Check out my Beginner’s Guide: Baking with Yeast Bread for more tips.

More MUST TRY Filipino Recipes!

Watch the video on how to make Super Soft Ensaymada Bread Rolls

 

**Note: Yeast amount and eggs updated to improve rising time. Please follow the recipe card.

Ensaymada Bread Rolls

Soft Ensaymada Bread Rolls

Print Pin
Servings: 22 -24 rolls
Author: Mella

Equipment

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Rising Time 4 hours
Recipe Video Above: The softest Ensaymada you will ever have! It's light, fluffy and butter-rich. This is the best and easiest homemade Ensaymada 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.

Ingredients

  • 4 egg yolks
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 1/2 cup lukewarm water (temp 40c/105f) (mix with 1 teaspoon sugar)
  • 1 tbsp instant dry yeast
  • 2 cups bread flour (scooped then leveled, add more if needed (see notes))
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (scooped then leveled)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup whole milk (lukewarm or room temperature)
  • 227 grams /1 cup unsalted butter (softened and cut into cubes)

Topping

  • 50 grams unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup white sugar (granulated or fine will do)
  • 1/2 cup grated cheese (I used cheddar, add more if preferred)

Instructions

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 yeast begins to foam.
  • Meanwhile, in the bowl of your stand mixer, combine flour, sugar, and salt. Mix thoroughly.
  • Add milk, yeast mixture, eggs, and butter 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, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
  • Increase the speed to medium and beat for 2 minutes. Add additional flour as necessary, start with 1/4 cup and go from there. Continue beating for 5 to 6 minutes until the dough is slightly sticky and soft and pulling away from the edge of the bowl. Be careful not to add too much flour.

Rise # 1 Warm rise or cold rise

  • 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 the notes 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 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 in a greased baking pan lined with a parchment paper. Cover with a towel and let it rise for 1 hour at room temperature.

Baking

  • Meanwhile, 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.

Topping

  • Mix butter and sugar. Spread over the Ensaymada bread rolls.
  • Sprinkle grated cheese on top. Serve with coffee, hot chocolate or tea. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes and Tips:

  • NOTE: The number of egg yolks has been adjusted to improve rising time of the dough. Please follow the recipe card and use the video as a guideline only.
  • Milk and water must be lukewarm water (temp 40c/105f). The rest of the ingredients must be at room temperature including the eggs.
  • 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.
  • Don't add too much flour. Add additional add 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. I added about 1/2 cup more on top of the 4 cups flour.
  • 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.
  • For colder months, I use the oven to prove the dough. Pre-heat it at the minimum temperature for 5 minutes, turn it off then place the bowl inside. Note: Use a damp towel instead of a regular cling wrap if you're proving in a warm oven.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 30 to 40 seconds. Serve immediately and enjoy with coffee, hot chocolate, or tea.
Jump to Video
Cuisine : Filipino
Keyword : buttery rolls, ensaymada recipe, filipino brioche
Nutrition Facts
Soft Ensaymada Bread Rolls
Amount Per Serving
Calories 232 Calories from Fat 108
% Daily Value*
Fat 12g18%
Saturated Fat 7g44%
Cholesterol 66mg22%
Sodium 153mg7%
Potassium 41mg1%
Carbohydrates 27g9%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 9g10%
Protein 4g8%
Vitamin A 392IU8%
Calcium 32mg3%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Did you make this recipe?Tag @rivertenkitchen and hashtag it #rivertenkitchen or leave a comment below!

**Note: Yeast amount and eggs updated to improve rising time. Please follow the recipe card.

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This Post Has 90 Comments
  1. Hi @riverten! I just wanted to check if your recipe is applicable to colder, higher altitude areas. I live in Canada, Calgary to be specific, and our weather can be quite erratic. I have been trying a lot of ensaymada recipes. I am not an expert baker but I do follow recipes to the letter! Just am that way. And I am very frustrated with dense product when every recipe I’ve tried claims to be soft and fluffy. The only major change I do is use apf instead of bread flour for fear of exactly that, dense/heavy buns. To be honest have invested money in ingredients for ensaymada (they’re not cheap due to Covid) and am really discouraged in doing them. Am I missing something in the process? Most of the recipes are alike and before I try another one (yours!) I just want to check where you guys are from and if your recipe could be applicable to our area. I’m assuming that some of the ones I’ve been following are from California and or Manila with totally different climates to where I am. Hoping you can share tips with me and should I follow your recipe, how may I apply to our part if the world. Thank you for your time!

    1. Hi Joyce, I’ve had my fair share of failed bread recipes (for various reasons and not because of the recipes itself) so I completely understand where you’re coming from. I live in Singapore so the weather here is similar to the Philippines. As for this recipe, I always prove my dough overnight in the fridge and they turn out just fine. However, I have no direct experience in baking at high altitude areas so wouldn’t be able to give you specific tips. This recipe has been successfully made by many from the US but I’m not sure of the elevation difference between Canada. One piece of advice I can give is to start with my Soft Pandesal recipe first. It uses fewer eggs and butter, thus rises faster than this Ensaymada recipe. Observe how fast the dough rises and how quickly it bakes–bake a few pieces first using the recommended temperature in the recipe. If it turns out okay then bake the rest, if not then make the needed adjustments. I also found this site about high altitude baking. I hope it can give you some guidance. It would be really helpful if we hear about your experience, please do email me at rivertenkitchen at gmail .com whatever the outcome may be or you can also share your experience here. I’m sure other home bakers will appreciate it.
      – Mella

  2. 5 stars
    Your recipe is confusing. You used 8 eggs in the video, then on the recipe card there are 4 eggs in all. Then you proofed yeast in water rinse the video, but in the recipe it’s instant yeast. Correct me if I’m wrong but Instant yeast is supposed to be mixed directly in dry ingredients? What is really the correct recipe? Pls. fix the right measurements. Thanks

    1. Hi Lisette, in case you’ve read the entire post you will notice that I have several notes about the changes I made to the number of eggs (also indicated in the recipe card). I did this to improve (lessen) the rising time of the dough.
      There are a total of 6 eggs in the updated recipe–4 egg yolks and 2 whole eggs (which means you will use both the egg yolk and the egg white).
      Re: Instant yeast–technically it doesn’t need to be frothed but there’s no harm in doing it. Personally, I just 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.
      If you’re comfortable with directly adding instant yeast to the rest of the ingredients, you may do so. I hope this helps.
      -Mella

    1. NOTE: The number of egg yolks has been adjusted to improve rising time of the dough. Please follow the recipe card and use the video as a guideline only.

  3. Hi, I’ve read from a bread book that instant yeast can be added directly to the dry ingredients and doesn’t need ‘blooming’. Thanks for sharing your recipe, I will make it today.

  4. 5 stars
    I have tried several recipes on the internet. This is the BEST! The dough is not that sticky and can be handled very well! Some recipes do not show how they handled the sticky dough. A trick I do is to use a small amount of lard on my hands before handling the dough and during the weighing process! Thank you very much for this!

    1. Thank you for the wonderful feedback Tito! Happy to hear you loved my recipe. We use the same trick of oiling the hands when handling bread doughs. I didn’t need to do for this recipe though; the butter had enough grease to oil my hands all over 🙂

    2. 4 stars

      4 stars
      Not sure what I did wrong, my yeast bubbled good, the dough rised the first rise but did not on the 2nd rise after shaping. I baked them anyways, My
      Ensaymada became like biscuits. Lol… They taste like yummy ensaymada but consistency of biscuits. Lol… Any advice? Thanks

      1. Hi AC, I’m sorry to hear that. How long did it take for the first rise to finish? Did you do it on a room temperature or did you place it in the fridge? And how long was the second rise?

          1. Hi AC, it is likely that the yeast has lost its effectivity during the first rise. On your next try, wait for the dough to just double in size. This could take 1 1/2 hour to 2 hours depending on the room temperature. If it has doubled in size in less than 2 hours then it is ready to be punched down and to be shaped for the second rise.

            Mella

  5. 5 stars

    5 stars
    I love your recipes. Iḿ a beginner and tried a lot of different recipes and it didnt work for me.I´m just curious what will happen if I use 3 cups of bread bread flour instead of 2 just like your other bread recipe because using 3 cups is softer even for 3 days? I also noticed that the next day it is not that soft like your other recipes and it breaks not that intact. Sometimes I ran out of unsalted butter, can I use salted and how it will be substituted with regards to the salt in the recipe? Thanks.

    1. Hi Mary, so happy to hear you love my recipe. It’s perfectly fine to use more bread flour. You can even try using only breadflour for a much chewier texture.
      – Mella

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