Timpla

Good Old-Fashioned Ensaymada

Lori BaltazarEnsaymadas that are soft and taste like butter

This is a story about old-fashioned ensaymadas, the ones that time and margarine and modern manufacturing processes have forgotten.

This is about ensaymadas that are bright yellow. They're yellow because of the immense quantity of egg yolks used to make them, contributing also to the bread's tenderness. It's about ensaymadas that are soft, the weight of teeth compresses the crumb of a single bite. Lastly, this is about ensaymadas that taste like butter. These are not — like I've had the misfortune of trying — bread rolls that have been sprinkled with margarine and processed cheese food then labeled "ensaymada."  NO. Proper ensaymadas should have so much butter that they practically heave with their heady aroma hitting you as they're being unwrapped, that perfume then quickly translating its unmistakable flavor on your tongue. This is my nostalgia talking, but I think it also goes without saying that ensaymadas should be large, large enough to inspire a landscape of optimism and gratitude that there are still people in this country who bother to make them properly.

Lori BaltazarAddie Wijangco’s old-fashioned ensaymadas from Pampanga

Addie Wijangco is a baker who makes this type of ensaymadas. The recipe she uses is an amalgam, a product of one recipe from each of her lolas, who are the foundation of her most delicious, memorable life that "…was non-stop, no-break from cooking at all." There's Lola Gloria, whose pantry and refrigerators were as fully stocked as the nearest supermarket. "I'd do the groceries with her and I could stuff my cart with whatever I wanted without any questions from her," Addie details almost breathlessly. Lola Gloria was also quite the culinary adventurer, making traditional snack items from scratch that included halo-halo and fishballs. The other lola, Lola Bets "…wasn't as gastadora as Lola Gloria, no experiments allowed… but everything was picked from the garden," Addie says, reminiscing about the "best and freshest ingredients [and] I learned how to make fresh pasta from her."

Addie's ensaymadas are fluffy turbans: they are edible reminders of my childhood Christmases in Pampanga where dinner plate-sized ones were the stars. Little did I know then that they were to become the standard for future ensaymadas that came my way. I'm aware that one's choice of ensaymada is a subject of impassioned debate and loyalty, me included. I'm rather unstinting and inflexible with my ensaymada criteria. For the record, I'm not a fan of the famous Hizon's and Cunanan. I've outlined (above) what I look for in an ensaymada so if your criteria are like mine, then you'll like Addie's ensaymadas as much as I do.

The ensaymadas that I prefer all come from Pampanga, or have their roots there, which leads me to ask Addie if she'd describe her ensaymadas as Capampangan. She can't give a definitive reply however. But if there's one thing Addie is decided on, it's that her recipe is "… old, old style from an old, old recipe." She adheres to the methods, ingredients, and amounts for those that were used to teach it to her, including the nine (!) hours it takes her to make just a dozen. It certainly gives me pause, opening up a wider dimension of respect for one's food, or in this case, one's ensaymada.

Ensaymadas by Addie Wijangco
0917 85addie (23343) / (02) 586 7615
Prices available for 1 dozen (small, 100 grams per piece; or big, 200 grams per piece)

Lori Baltazar is the whiz behind the popular food blog, Dessert Comes First. Looking for more tasty Timpla articles by Lori? Find them here. You can also follow Lori on Twitter.

Editor's Note: Do you also love ensaymada? Where do you go for your favorite ensaymadas?

  • 5 Unanswered Questions About Jesus
    5 Unanswered Questions About Jesus

    As Christians worldwide gather for Easter to celebrate their belief in the death and rebirth of Jesus, researchers continue to delve into the mysteries that surround the man. The following are five questions about Jesus that, for now, at least, remain unanswered. In 2008, astronomer Dave Reneke argued that the Star of Bethlehem (a celestial event long associated with Jesus' birth) may have been Venus and Jupiter coming together to form a bright light in the sky. Other researchers have …

  • Ageless Hopkins pitches 50-50 Mayweather deal
    Ageless Hopkins pitches 50-50 Mayweather deal

    Bernard Hopkins, boxing's ageless wonder at 49, is one victory from becoming the undisputed world light-heavyweight champion and already daring unbeaten pound-for-pound king Floyd Mayweather to a showdown. Hopkins, the oldest major world champion in boxing history, won a split decision Saturday over Kazak fighter Beibut Shumenov to take the World Boxing Association title and keep his International Boxing Federation crown. Money is great but history is something you can't get rid of." Now …

  • The light that shines from within
    The light that shines from within

    Physical beauty fades and it is inevitable. Usually, the grace to accept that comes with great wisdom and maturity. That said, one may always strive for something deeper, more meaningful and lasting: inner goodness. Bulletin Entertainment caught up with some of the country's most stunning beauties, and asked them what qualities they value the most. Their answers show why they are truly beautiful inside and out. ... …

  • The return of Gigi Reyes
    The return of Gigi Reyes

    By Ellen T.Tordesillas This is going to be fascinating. Atty. Gigi Reyes, former chief of staff of Sen. Juan Ponce-Enrile who is included among those accused of plunder in connection with the misuse of Priority Development Assistance Fund, came back … Continue reading → …

  • Baby Prince George visits Australian zoo
    Baby Prince George visits Australian zoo

    Baby Prince George stepped out in public with his parents on Sunday for the first time in Australia, for an encounter with wildlife at Sydney's Taronga Zoo. George, eight months old and third in line to the throne after grandfather Princes Charles and father William, stole the show as his parents toured the harbourfront zoo overlooking the Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge. …

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • 5 Unanswered Questions About Jesus

    5 Unanswered Questions About Jesus

    LiveScience.com - Sat, Apr 19, 2014
    5 Unanswered Questions About Jesus

    As Christians worldwide gather for Easter to celebrate their belief in the death and rebirth of Jesus, researchers continue to delve into the mysteries that surround the man. The following are five questions about Jesus that, for now, at least, remain unanswered. In 2008, astronomer Dave Reneke argued that the Star of Bethlehem (a celestial event long associated with Jesus' birth) may have been Venus and Jupiter coming together to form a bright light in the sky. Other researchers have …

  • 16-year-old survives in wheel well of Maui flight

    16-year-old survives in wheel well of Maui flight

    Associated Press - 2 hours 0 minutes ago
    16-year-old survives in wheel well of Maui flight

    HONOLULU (AP) — Officials say a 16-year-old boy is "lucky to be alive" and unharmed after flying from California to Hawaii stowed away in a plane's wheel well, surviving cold temperatures at 38,000 feet and a lack of oxygen. …

  • Malaysia Airlines jet turns back after tire burst

    Malaysia Airlines jet turns back after tire burst

    Associated Press - 13 hours ago
    Malaysia Airlines jet turns back after tire burst

    KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — A Malaysia Airlines flight heading to India with 166 people aboard made an emergency landing in Kuala Lumpur early Monday after it was forced to turn back when a tire burst upon takeoff, the airline said. …

POLL
Loading...
Poll Choice Options