Homemade Mallorcas (even better than the ones from La Bombonera)
Updated: Feb 4
Mallorcas or Pan de Mallorca is a Puerto Rican sweet bread. It was made super famous in Puerto Rico by the cafe called La Bombonera. They are usually shaped like snails and topped with lots of powdered sugar. They are soft and chewy on the inside and pair perfectly with a cup of coffee. We highly recommend trying this bread for breakfast with your cup of coffee or for a sandwich. Be forewarned, they are addictive!
½ cup lukewarm milk (about 110 degrees)
½ cup lukewarm water (about 110 degrees)
1 ½ tsp yeast
½ cup sugar
2 ½ cup all purpose flour (divided in ½ cup and 2 cups), plus additional as needed for dusting
½ tsp salt (optional)
3 large egg yolks
4 tbs butter melted and cooled, plus 2 tbs for brushing on top
Powdered sugar, for dusting
This recipe will take you about 4 ½ hours from start to finish, so please plan accordingly. However, do not worry, it doesn’t mean that this is hard, actually very little of that time will require you to do anything, most of this time you will just be waiting for the dough to rise. So, let’s get started!
We are going to start this recipe by preparing a sponge, using a sponge will allow our mallorcas to develop a more complex flavor and better texture. Start by adding your lukewarm milk, water, sugar and yeast to the bowl of your mixer.
Using a whisk, mix the ingredients to make sure that they are all incorporated and that nothing gets left behind on the sides of the bowl.
Let this mixture rest for 5 minutes, you should see some bubbles which means your yeast is alive.
Next, add the ½ cup of flour to the mixture. I prefer to do this little by little to make sure that there are no large clumps of flour. The important thing is to continuously mix as you are adding the flour to make sure that the flour is thoroughly incorporated. Once it is completely mixed, cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Let this mixture rest in a warm place for 1 hour. You can just leave it in your kitchen counter if your kitchen is warm or you can alternatively put it in your oven with just the light on or in the bread proof setting - if you have one.
After the hour is up, remove the plastic wrap from your mixture. Note that your mixture should have doubled in size and it will look like a thick foam with lots of little air bubbles on top. Now, we will add the rest of the ingredients. Place your bowl in the standing mixer and fit it with the paddle attachment, if you are using one or prepare your hand mixer and just continue using the same bowl.
With the mixer on low, add the egg yolks, one by one, making sure that they are completely incorporated before adding the next one. When all the egg yolks are incorporated, we will then start adding the flour. With the mixer still on low, start adding the 2 cups of flour little by little. Stop as necessary to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Continue adding the flour until it is all incorporated. After you finish adding the flour, add the salt and continue mixing.
Please note that the dough is very sticky and it will continue to stick to the sides of the bowl. Next, while the mixer is still running on low, slowly add the melted butter. Once the butter is incorporated, increase the speed of the mixer to medium and mix for 1 minute. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and turn the mixer back on and mix for 1 more minute at medium speed. At the end of the 2 minutes, the mixture should be shiny and smooth but it will still be very sticky.
Clean the paddle from your mixer and scrape down the sides of your bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it rest in a warm place for 90 minutes.
At the end of the 90 minutes, your mixture should have at least doubled in size. Remove the plastic wrap from the bowl and generously dust a working surface with flour. I have chosen to use a 12 x 17 baking tray as the working surface but you can just do this in your kitchen counter. Scrape down the sides of your bowl and turn the bowl upside down in the working surface. Remove all the dough from the bowl and add a dusting of flour on top of the dough.
The dough will still be very sticky so the flour will allow you to work with the dough without it sticking to your fingers too much. At this point, use your hand to stretch the dough into a rectangle that is approximately 10 inches long x 16 inches wide. If the dough is still sticking to your hands, add some additional flour until you have stretched the dough.
Once you have formed your rectangle, dust a small working surface where you can form your mallorcas with some flour.
Now we are ready to form the mallorcas. Using a pastry knife or a regular knife, cut a piece of dough that should be about 10 inches long by 1 inch wide. Place the rope shaped piece of dough in the flour-dusted working surface. Coil gently but tightly to make a slightly rounded bun shape, tucking the outside end under the bun to make sure that it does not come loose.
Place it in a baking tray lined with parchment paper. It is important to make sure that you are gentle with the dough so you don’t overwork it, but also you want to make sure that the buns are tight or otherwise they will not keep their shape.
I generally roll with my right hand but use my left hand as needed to guide the remaining portion of the rope. Also, as with many things, the more you do it, the easier it gets, so don’t get too worried if your first mallorcas are not perfectly shaped. Continue this shaping process until you have used all your dough.
I was able to get 16 mallorcas from this recipe. Make sure that you leave at least 2 inches of space between each mallorca as they will continue to rise in the tray.
Once all your mallorcas are formed, brush the top of the mallorcas with some additional melted and cooled butter. Make sure that the mallorcas are completely topped with butter. This really helps achieve a nicer golden crust.
Cover the mallorcas with plastic wrap and let them rest for 20 minutes. While the mallorcas are resting, turn on the oven to 350 degrees. If your oven has a convection setting, I highly encourage you to use it. It ensures a more even bake.
After the 20 minutes, place the mallorcas in the oven and let them bake for 8 minutes. At the end of the 8 minutes, flip the trays and bake them for another 8 minutes, this ensures a more even bake and color.
Remove the mallorcas from the oven, they should be an even golden brown. Place them in a cooling rack and let them cool for about 10 minutes.
Once cooled, dust the mallorcas with powdered sugar. You can add as much or as little as you want, you can’t go wrong here. The mallorcas are now ready. Go make yourself a cup of coffee and enjoy!
Check out our instructional video, showing how to make this recipe step-by-step HERE.