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A Christmas Heirloom: Bake These Rich And Fluffy Queso De Bola Ensaymadas

The Yuletide season is upon us once again—a time when joy, peace and love abound, a time of giving and forgiving, and yes, a time to enjoy lots and lots of glorious food! This is also? the time of year when treasured recipes are prepared and shared with our loved ones.

We are sharing with you, dear readers, a very special heirloom recipe for feather-light queso de bola ensaymada. What we love about this recipe is its ease of preparation, and of course, the unmistakable taste and aroma of thw queso de bola in a buttery, melt-in-your-mouth dough. For best results, use the best queso de bola you can find and grate it just before using so that it doesn’t dry up and lose some of its prized flavor. Feel free to make more than one batch, as this makes a wonderful Christmas present for family and friends. 

Queso de Bola Ensaymadas

This light yet rich recipe is perfect when served with a cup of thick hot chocolate or your favorite coffee preparation. Serve it warm, slathered with butter or fruit preserves, or extra slices of queso de bola!

MAKES 16 ENSAYMADAS

DOUGH:?

  • 1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons active dry yeast?
  • 3/4 cup + 1 tablespoon fresh milk warmed to 105°F?
  • 2 medium whole eggs?
  • 4 cups bread flour
  • ?1/2 cup caster sugar?
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons iodized salt?
  • 1/4 cup + 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

FILLING:?

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups grated queso de bola

FROSTING AND TOPPING:?

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar?
  • 2 cups grated queso de bola

1. Sprinkle active dry yeast over fresh milk in a mixing bowl and allow to stand in a warm place for 15 minutes or until mixture is bubbly. Whisk in whole eggs.

2. In a mixer bowl, combine the bread our, caster sugar, iodized salt and unsalted butter. Add the yeast mixture. Using the dough hook attachment, knead dough on low speed for 2 minutes. Switch to high speed and continue kneading for 8 minutes to develop the flour’s gluten.

3. Transfer dough to a large mixing bowl ?that has been lightly greased with softened unsalted butter. Lightly brush top of dough with softened unsalted butter. Cover bowl with a damp cloth and set in a warm place. Allow dough to rise until double in bulk, about 1 1/2 hours.

?4. Punch down the dough. Divide into 16 60-gram (golf ball size) portions. Shape each piece of dough into a smooth ball and allow to rest for 10 minutes. This process relaxes the flour’s gluten and makes shaping the dough easier.?

5. Grease 16 ensaymada molders with softened unsalted butter. With a rolling pin, roll out each piece of dough into a thin rectangle, approximately 8 inches x 4 inches. Using? the ingredients for the filling, brush with 1 tablespoon softened unsalted butter and sprinkle with 2 tablespoons grated queso de bola. Roll up the dough from the long end. Coil into a bun and place in the prepared mold. Repeat with the remaining pieces of dough. Allow ensaymadas to rise in a warm place for about 45 minutes or until well risen.

6. Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake ensaymadas for 15 minutes or until light golden. Cool to room temperature.

?7. To make the frosting, combine unsalted butter and confectioners’ sugar in a mixer bowl. Using the paddle attachment, beat mixture on medium speed for 10 minutes or until light and fluffy. Brush ensaymadas generously with the frosting.

8. Top each ensaymada with 2 tablespoons grated queso de bola.