Adapted from Saveur
Originally from the Spanish Mediterranean island of Mallorca, where they were likely invented by Sephardic Jews as a sweet bread for the Sabbath, these fluffy buns made their way to Puerto Rico in the early 20th century, and are now a staple at bakeries in San Juan. Wonderfully soft, fluffy, and delicious, they make for a lovely sweet breakfast
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1/4 cup whole milk, warm
1/4 cup warm water, warm
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus an additional 2 tbsp for brushing on the dough
3 large egg yolks
2 1/2 cups (300 grams) all-purpose flour*
1/4 cup (50 g) sugar
1 tsp. kosher salt
Confectioners' sugar for dusting
*For this bake, I used a 50/50 combination of Anson Mills French Mediterranean bread flour and pastry flour. I’ve also seen a few recipes that call for bread flour instead of AP, so I think that would work too.
Step 1: Activate the yeast
In a small bowl, combine whole milk, water, and a teaspoon or so of sugar and whisk together. Add active dry yeast and set aside for about 5 minutes until bubbly. The milk and water should not be too hot, just lukewarm will do.
Step 2: Make dough
Whisk together remaining sugar, egg yolks, and 4 tablespoons of melted butter until well combined. Add the yeast mixture, and then mix in the dry ingredients (flour and salt).
Using a stand mixer or by hand on a lightly-floured surface, knead dough until smooth and elastic, for about 8 minutes.
Place the dough in a large bowl greased with butter. Cover and let rise for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, until the dough has doubled in size.
Step 3: Roll and shape
On a lightly floured surface, roll dough out into a rectangle. Mine was about 15” x 10”, but the original recipe suggested 18" x 8".
Slice into 6 pieces lengthwise. Brush each piece with melted butter and roll up into a cylinder. You can roll it pretty loosely, as the dough will expand.
Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment. Leave at least 2 inches between each coil. Cover and proof for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
Step 4: Bake and dust
Bake at 375 degrees F for 12-15 minutes. Let cool, then sprinkle with powdered sugar.