Sometimes, I wonder what kind of mother will I be. Will the toddler love me when he’s already towering over me? When he knows more than I do? When he no longer needs me but I need him?
I admit, every single day with a toddler is a struggle but my view of the world is no longer as myopic as it used to be (fun fact: I have -10.00 vision. I’ll never be NOT myopic. HA! Ha.)
I’m not this zen when it comes to motherhood all the time. But when I am, I give myself a pat on the back. And sometimes, a pat on the back sends a shower of flour and sugar all over the place. :3
A few years ago, I knew my mother loved us when she slaved away at the kitchen for Sunday dinners even though she had to wake up very early for work the following day. When I was in college, I knew I was the favorite child (Kidding) because she drove by my apartment to give me groceries during the weekends when I couldn’t come home. Of course, at the time, I had my own idea of parental love — that mothers fussed over their daughters, that fathers loomed and lovingly towered over their daughters. My own mother wasn’t one to fuss. She became a mom in the 80s and 80s women wanted to work and do it all.
Being a mother made me realize the true meaning of unrequited love.
Every now and then, my toddler would throw a fit and proclaim that he no longer loves me. Sometimes going as far as saying that he hates me (oh the influence of YouTube).
Looking back, I really think that Sunday dinners by my mom were the best:
Roasted lamb and blueberry cheesecake. Palabok with lots of shredded tinapa and extra toppings on the side. Lumpiang ubod with wrappers she made herself. Roast chicken with the drippings turned into gravy (with a side of mashed potato, of course). Carbonara with garlic bread.
I used to want a mother who would fuss over me and make lots of declarations of love. Now that I’m a mother myself, I find that I’m the kind of mom who’d bake bread even though she’s feeling under the weather.
All I could hope for at this point in time is for my toddler to grow up and remember all the cookies I slaved over before bedtime, the fragile pie crusts I lamented over (and cursed the humidity for), the pizzas I hand made, and the brownies with healthy ingredients he’d rather not think about.
Right now, the toddler loves his Spanish Bread. And basically, I want him to taste Spanish Bread that’s made with real butter (and couldn’t be sold at 2 pesos per piece, haha).
Without further ado:
Spanish Bread (and Ensaimada) Recipe adapted from Annie’s Chamorro Kitchen.
1&1/4 cup warm milk
½ cup sugar
2 packets active dry yeast (1 packet is equal to 2 and 1/4 teaspoons of yeast)
6 tablespoons butter, melted
1½ teaspoons salt
1 large egg
2 large egg yolks
3 cups bread flour
1 and ½ cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup butter
3/4 cup sugar
Optional: Nutella, Jam, Et cetera
Breadcrumbs (with dollops of extra filling, if you have any leftover)
1. In a large bowl, place the warm milk and sugar. Mix for about a minute.
2. Add yeast. Let stand for 10 minutes until doubled in size.
3. Since I microwaved the butter in a large mug, I let this cool down for a bit. Then I added salt, egg, and egg yolks to the butter.
4. Pour the butter mixture into the large bowl (with yeast that has doubled in size).
5. Add in the flour, about half a cup at a time until you’ve used up four cups. (Don’t add in the remaining half cup of AP flour just yet.) Incorporate the flour gently.
6. If you have a mixer with a dough hook, change it to a dough hook. But if you don’t have one, it’s okay. Now is the time to add the remaining half cup of flour.
7. Mix the dough for 5 minutes. (about 8 minutes if doing so by hand.)
8. Once your dough is smooth and pulls away from the bowl (Don’t overmix!), grease your dough with oil or cooking spray.
9. Wait for about an to hour to let it double in size.
10. While waiting for the dough to double in size, prepare the filling.
11. Prepare the filling by creaming together the butter and sugar.
12. After the dough has doubled in volume, punch it down then place it onto a clean countertop. Knead gently for 1 minute. Divide the dough into 24 pieces. Roll out each piece of dough into ovals. Flatten the said ovals.
13. Now, spread about a heaped teaspoon of filling onto the flattened dough.
14. Now roll the dough and seal in the filling. Doesn’t matter if the roll isn’t too neat.
15. Cover the rolled pieces of dough with cling wrap or a towel. Make sure you leave about an inch of space between the dough (I didn’t. Still came out great :D)
16. Let rise for 20 minutes.
17. When the dough has risen, sprinkle breadcrumbs (and tiny dollops of leftover filling if you want) on top of the individual pieces.
18. Bake for 18 minutes at a preheated 350 F / 176 C Oven.
20. Whoops. Ensaimada. Right. If you want ensaimada along with your spanish bread (It’s understandable, really), at step 12, set aside some of the dough and coil them like you would cinnamon rolls. Put the coils into your tin of choice. You can use brioche pans or cupcake tins. Let that rise uncovered or with a towel.
Bake at 350 F / 176 C for 15 minutes. Top with spanish bread filling and cheese (or make your own buttercream frosting and finish with shredded sharp cheddar. Enjoy!)
All photos were taken with an asus zenpad 7.0