I love to create and share recipes based on my international travels. That's why my recent posts have been dishes that are common in Costa Rica, such as gallo pinto and fried plantains, since we visited there last February.
For this recipe, I decided to go back to my first trip outside the United States. When I was only 18, I went on my first (and only) cruise. It was with my best friend, and was a graduation present. Our first port of call was Puerto Rico.
Pan de Mallorca is a traditional Puerto Rican sweet bread that is popular throughout the country. Did I have one there? I don't think I did, even while we were in San Juan. I didn't yet know how special it is to experience the actual culture of another plac, so I went to the beach and a jewelry store. (To my credit, I did at least take a bus tour into El Yunque National Forest, and I drank coconut water straight from a coconut.)
One day I hope to go back and truly experience what Puerto Rico is like. And I'll be sure to pick up a Pan de Mallorca pastry while I'm there.
You'll recognize most of these ingredients as what many breads are made of. The ratios and the shape are really what make Pan de Mallorca stand out from other pastries.
- lukewarm water
- lukewarm milk
- unsalted butter
- egg yolks
- white sugar
- bread flour
- powdered sugar for dusting
See recipe card for quantities.
Combine the water and the milk, and heat on your stove over a low flame (or low temperature) until lukewarm. Don't let them get too hot, and definitely don't boil it! If you let it get too hot, it will kill the yeast in the next step.
Remove from heat, and sprinkle yeast on top. Allow the yeast to begin to activate for a couple of minutes.
Split the butter into two portions and melt it over the stove or in the microwave. Take the 6 tablespoon portion and combine it with the sugar and egg yolks, whisking together until thoroughly mixed.
Place the butter/sugar/egg mixture into your stand mixer. Add the milk/water/yeast mixture. Turn on your mixer, then slowly add the flour and salt to combine. It should come together in a dough that pulls away from the bowl, though it might still be sticky to the touch.
Knead for 5 minutes using your stand mixer. Or if you prefer, you can knead by hand.
Cover the Mallorca dough with plastic wrap, or a clean kitchen towel or similar cloth, and place in a warm place to rise. Wait about an hour, and the dough should have doubled in size. While the dough rises, you can prepare your baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
After about an hour, take the dough and gently punch it down to remove some of the air trapped inside. Divide the dough into six pieces of equal size. Dust a surface with the remaining flour. With each piece, roll the dough into a long tube on the lightly floured surface. Then, shape the rolls by spiraling the tube from the center out.
Here is a demonstration:
Step 1 - roll each section of dough into a long tube. Try to keep the diameter fairly uniform, without any very thin sections.
Step 2 - begin to form each tube into a spiral, starting from the middle. You can see where I have started this on the left side.
Step 3 - continue to create the spiral. As you go, brush the sides with melted butter to help them stick.
Step 4 - place each finished spiral onto the prepared baking mat. Tuck the end underneath the roll. (You may have to re-tuck it after the second rising period!)
If you've ever made cinnamon rolls, the process is fairly similar!
Transfer all of the shaped dough to your prepared baking sheet, cover, and wait for another hour for the second rising of the dough. When it gets close, go ahead and preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
Once that second rising time has passed, brush the tops with the remaining melted butter. (Feel free to microwave it again if it has solidified.) Cook in the oven for 12-15 minutes. When finished, remove, allow to cool slightly, then dust with powdered sugar.
Enjoy a Mallorca roll with your morning coffee (try a café con leche to continue the theme!), or as an afternoon snack (perhaps with jam). You can even slice it halfway through and use it to make a sandwich; the sweetness of the bread makes it go very well with maple ham!
If you don't have bread flour, you can use all-purpose flour in a pinch. Your results will be better with bread flour, though.
You don't need very much for this recipe. A stand mixer, such as a KitchenAid, helps you make the dough more easily. But you could use a hand mixer and knead the dough by hand as well.
You can also use a powdered sugar duster, which will help you create an even dusting on the top of the roles without clumps. But this isn't really required!
I have found I can store these for a few days at room temperature, or up to a week in the refrigerator. Make sure to use an airtight container so they don't dry out.
When you are ready to eat one, just reheat it in the microwave for a few seconds, longer if it has been refrigerated.
And for presentation, you may wish to sprinkle powdered sugar over it again after reheating.
While shaping the tube of dough into the spiral, you can brush the sides with melted butter to help it maintain the shape. (It also tastes delicious!)
When you reach the end of the tube, tuck it underneath slightly so it stays put and doesn't unwrap itself while baking.
Yes, that is just a shortened name for these spiral buns. In Spanish, "pan" means "bread", so the longer name is just "bread of Mallorca". You may also hear it called Mallorca bread in English.
The word "Mallorca" is the name of one of Spain's Balearic Islands. The recipe originated there. You may also see the island spell as Majorca, but the dish is always spelled with two Ls instead of the J.
It's actually easy! "Pan" is pronounced just like the same English word; it just has a different meaning. "De", which means "of", is pronounced similar to the English word "day". And "Mallorca" breaks down into "my", "york", and "uh", with the emphasis on the second syllable.
Pan de Mallorca
- 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
- ¼ cup water
- ¼ cup whole milk
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter divided, 2 tablespoons and 6 tablespoons
- 3 egg yolks
- ¼ cup white sugar
- 2 cups bread flour can substitute all-purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup powdered sugar use more or less as you wish
- Set up your stand mixer with the dough hook attachment.
- Combine the ¼ cup milk and ¼ cup water in a small saucepan and heat over a low stove until lukewarm. (Don't overheat!)
- Remove from heat and sprinkle 1 teaspoon yeast on top. Allow to activate for a few minutes.
- Meanwhile, combine 6 tablespoons melted butter with ¼ cup white sugar and the 3 egg yolks, using a whisk to mix.
- In the bowl of your stand mixer, combine the butter, egg, and sugar mixture with the water, milk, and yeast mixture. Stir on a low speed to combine.
- While the mixer is still running, slowly add the 2 cups bread flour and the ¼ teaspoon salt. Continue to mix until dough comes together and pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
- Increase mixer speed to medium-high, and knead dough for 3-5 minutes. If you don't have a dough hook, you can knead by hand, but it will take longer.
- Cover the dough, and let rise in a warm spot for one hour. After that hour, it should have roughly doubled in size. Gently punch down the dough, and divide it into 6 pieces.
- Shape each piece of dough into spirals. To do so, make a long tube and then spiral from the inside out. (There are more specific tips, with photos, in the blog post above.) Place onto baking sheet lined with a silicone mat or parchment paper, leaving at least 2 inches between each roll.
- Cover again, and allow to rise a second time, for one hour.
- When rising time is almost done, preheat the oven to 375℉ / 190℃. Once the oven has preheated, brush the rolls with melted butter. Then cook them for 12-15 minutes. You want them to become a beautiful golden color without turning brown.
- Remove from the oven, allow them to cool slightly, then dust with powdered sugar. Serve and enjoy!
🦺 Food safety
Because the recipe contains raw eggs, you shouldn't eat the dough before it has been cooked thoroughly. Also, as always, be careful when removing hot pans from your oven, so you don't end up with scars like I have on my wrists!!!
I hope you enjoy this recipe. If so, please rate it and, if you choose, leave a comment below. If you have any trouble, feel free to comment and I will try to help. I hope you love the end result as much as I do!