A Taste of Spain

The tempting picture in my cookbook... how could I resist?

One of my favorite ways of remembering Spain (and perhaps to try and re-live it a little) is by trying to recreate some of my favorite foods from the country.  I even received a cookbook of Spanish foods for Christmas two years ago, when I came back from my trip.  I was flipping through a week or so ago and I spied one of these tasty treats, ensaimadas – little spiral pastries topped with powdered sugar.  They are light, sweet, and a delightful breakfast treat with a chocolate (hot chocolate) or café (coffee).  They’re from the region of Mallorca, but you can find them pretty much everywhere in the country (at least in the major cities).

So, I decided to have a go at my Spanish baking skills – after all, I have a recipe and everything.  It’s not a particularly difficult recipe, either, but I had never worked with yeast before so I was a little worried about messing up the cultures and ending up with flat pastries… but hey, at least they would taste good.  I admit that it was a little bit of a challenge to find all the proper cooking utensils in the dorm, but Robinson is pretty well stocked, luckily.  The only thing that I couldn’t locate was a food mixer, so I had to knead the dough by hand, which was not a problem.  I even documented my progress in this exciting endeavor:

First, before going into the oven, after cooling for 24 hours, then rising for three...

Then, after coming out of the oven, looking pretty good so far...


Finally, my proud final product, lightly dusted and tempting. Not bad!

They didn’t turn out exactly like they’re supposed to, but they were pretty close (and still quite delicious).  Success!