Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Spanish food 101: Enxaimades

For this week's lesson on Spanish food, I thought I'd share something that has become a personal favorite since arriving here.  These delicious, yeasty rolls are called, enxaimades (pronounced en-shy-mad-as) and are actually from Majorca originally but you can find them in different sizes and different varieties in any bakery you visit (at least in Barcelona).  Enxaimades have very few ingredients: water, eggs, sugar, yeast, flour and  butter (or lard) and even though these are ingredients that everybody has in their pantries most of the time, I wouldn't really advise you to try baking these at home unless you have a lot of time and are an accomplished baker.  However, if you really want to give it a go, here is a good recipe (it's in Spanish, sorry!).

Apart from their varying sizes, enxaimades are normally sold either plain or stuffed.  I've seen enxaimades stuffed with cream, chocolate, apple puree, or cabello de angel.  Cabello de angel is not what you're thinking.  It doesn't refer to the angel hair pasta that most of us would think of when we hear this term. Cabello de angel is instead made of sugar and fruit pulp and the name comes from the golden color of the finished product.

Maybe I'm a traditionalist, but I think the plain version is best. It is dense and eggy and not too sweet so I can still get away with calling it breakfast :)  For those of you in the United States who are perhaps salivating on your keyboard, I have good news.  Starbucks sells a version of this treat that they call, "Mallorca sweet bread."  It's not quite the same thing, just like getting a croissant from Starbucks is not the same as getting a croissant from a proper boulangerie in France, but we make do with what we can, no?


P.S. If you missed last week's Spanish food 101, you can find it here.

(Photo: Madrid tiene miga)


  1. Being an sbux regular myself, I've come to find distate for a certain pastry of theirs...I mean all. They're all dry, stale, and generally meow meow. I'm looking forward to trying this when I visit Espana. =) Based on how you described it, I imagine that a cream cheese filling would be amazing. What do you think? Love! Me.

  2. @no other way Sounds good! I'm sorry to hear that the pastries at Sbux are not what they used to be. I used to love the pumpkin loaf and the berry coffee cake.