Mallorcas just make my days. My mornings to be more accurate; weekend’s mornings to be precise. This is what we should be having for breakfast ALL days. This is Puerto Rico’s croissant, if you will.
Mallorcas are a sweet custardy bread. Sometimes it’s compared to a brioche, but in reality it’s more moist and sweeter. And it’s served with lots of dusted powdered sugar on top. If I want to knock out someone with a real deal Puerto Rican confection, falling in love with it and then wanting more, mallorcas will be the go to baked good for this. Mallorcas and quesitos, obvs!
As a girl I was never a fan. At the end of the day it was just bread, and eating it alone with just powdered sugar was not something that I necessarily found fascinating. My affair with them began when I was in high school. And affair is just the word, because my friends and I used to escape from the school facilities before the bell rang and cross the street to a cafeteria just in front. They made the best mallorcas with cheese, just like a regular grilled cheese but with dusted sugar through the glossy top. Maybe it was the shortening or the truly American processed cheese or any of the things we reject in our nutrition today, but I have to admit it, they were insane. Toasty, sweet and very cheesy. To this day I have never found a mallorca quite as delicious and perfect as those ones. The idea of the cheese made me rethink my relationship status with mallorcas, for good.
Fast forwarding to the present time, I wanted to recreate that doughy texture and flavor but with better ingredients. It has taken me some trial and error but I think these ones are really good. I like to make them as a roll because my secret is to fill them with butter, that way every bite is soft and moist. Instead of milk I use coconut creamer, that way we can increase the amount of fat in the dough but with good fat, besides, it leaves a subtle fruity taste. The addition of chocolate chips this time was right on target. They don't add sweetness but rather a note of warmness and simpler times as when you were a kid. I didn’t use that many, it was really an extra touch.
This recipe is easy, but please read it before hand so you have in mind what you need and what to expect. The process of the second proof the morning after could seem complicated but it’s really not, and makes all the difference, trust me!
1. All ingredients SHOULD be at room temperature. I have never been too paranoid about working with room temperature ingredients all the, time especially because who has the time on a Sunday morning to wait that everything gets to room temperature for you to start making waffles? But when making leavened dough, it’s really important to work with room temperature ingredients, unless otherwise indicated by the recipe.
2. Technically the mallorcas can be baked after 1 hour of the second proofing, but I have always preferred to make them the night before and just bake them in the morning, so the recipe and the results are based on overnight proofing.
3. Chocolate chips are optional. (Said no one ever, but just in case you were wondering.)
Chocolate chips mallorcas
8 to 10 rolls
Total time for the night before – 45 minutes plus overnight time in the fridge and rising time in the morning
Active time – 5 minutes for prepping the ingredients and the filling, 15 to minutes for rolling the dough and making the rolls
Rising time in the morning before baking - 30 minutesBaking time - 15 to 20 minutes
Equipment – Stand mixer with the hook attachment, 8” or 9” square or round pan, measuring cups, rolling pin
Instant yeast – 1 envelope
Unbleached all purpose flour – 2 ½ cups
Raw sugar – 3 TBSP
Egg yolks (organic if possible), room temperature – 4
Coconut creamer, room temperature – ½ cup
Fine sea salt – 1 Tsp + 1 pinch
Unsalted butter (organic if possible), softened and in pieces – 10 TBSP
Semi-sweet chocolate chips, room temperature - ⅓
Place the instant yeast and the flour in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook and mix for 30 seconds to 1 minute to distribute the yeast evenly. Add the sugar, egg yolks and coconut creamer and mix in low speed (#2 in the Kitchenaid mixer) and mix for 5 minutes. Add the salt, let it incorporate with the rest of the ingredients, then add the butter a few pieces at a time, incorporating each addition before adding more. Continue kneading for 25 minutes more, until you see the dough appears even in texture and has a muted yellow color (total time should be 30 minutes approximately and at the end the dough should have a nice yeast smell). Stop the mixer and pull the dough off the hook. Using your hands fold just enough to form a ball and press very gently. Transfer to a deep large bowl, cover it with plastic paper and then cover the entire bowl with a thick towel or throw blanket. Let it rest and grow for 1 to 1½ hours, until it had doubled in size. In the meantime you can make the filling.
Unsalted butter, softened – 5 TBSP
Raw sugar – 1 Tsp
Unbleached all purpose flour – 1 TBSP
In a bowl mix the softened butter, sugar and flour until you form a spreadable paste. Set aside.
Putting everything together: Remove the plastic paper cover from the dough bowl and deflate the dough by softly punching it 2 or 3 times. Transfer to a super clean flat surface dusted with some flour (also dust your rolling pin with some flour as well), then start stretching it with a rolling pin until you get an approximately 16” x 14” rectangle and the dough is about ⅛” thick (if working on a regular counter the longer side should be horizontally in front of you). Using a pizza cutter or a sharp knife cut the borders to make the edges straight. Spread the filling evenly through the dough. Starting from the side in front of you, lift the dough from the edge and then start rolling toward the other side. When you fold it completely pinch the seam of the edge with the dough to “seal” it. Cut the roll in pieces of 1½” approximately, placing each roll cut side down on the baking pan, leaving approximately ¼” between them. Cover with plastic paper and place in the fridge overnight. You can make rolls or knots with the leftover stripes of dough and place them in a smaller baking pan so you have bite-sized mallorquitas! (Those are the loose knots in some of the pictures.)
To make the second proof, boil enough water to fill in half a rectangular glass pan or two round bake pans. Remove the plastic cover form the mallorcas’ pan. Place the mallorcas in the middle rack of the oven, then pour the water in whatever pan you are using and place it under the mallorcas. The idea is to create warm moisture inside the oven. Let the rolls rise for 30 to 40 minutes.
Retire the mallorcas from the oven and preheat to 350°, leaving the pans filled with water inside. As soon as the oven is ready, remove them and place the mallorcas in the middle rack again. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until every roll seems cooked, a little bit dry in texture and they have a nice deep golden color (remember, if you are in doubt, it’s best to leave them 2 or 3 minutes shy from the full 20 minutes). Dust with lots of confectioner’s sugar on top!