In my original blog post on ensaimada, I mentioned that The Peninsula Manila’s Bakery in the 90s had set the gold standard for Ham Ensaimada in my opinion. These ensaimadas were generously topped with grated cheese and were about the size of my palm. I recall purchasing them for 50 pesos each in the mid-90s, and I would often have them for lunch due to their filling nature.

Although I love ensaimada, I only make it once a year during the Christmas holidays because it is quite time-consuming. I have shared recipes for two types of ensaimada on my blog: plain and ube. This ham ensaimada recipe is essentially the same as the others, except that it incorporates ham as a filling. I prefer using country ham in my ham ensaimada since its saltiness provides a lovely contrast to the sweetness of the bread. To make it, simply spread butter onto the dough, sprinkle chopped ham, roll the dough, and coil it into a spiral.

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During the holidays, I had leftover Baked Ham with Brown Sugar Glaze which I used to make this Ham ensaimada. I opted for Cook’s Hickory Smoked Ham, which is saltier than the typical honey hams used during Christmas and Easter.

When we had guests over for brunch, I served this Ham ensaimada alongside a frittata and fresh fruits.