This recipe makes the most delicious, fluffy medialunas ever! They are not only super tasty and soft but also they are remarkably easy to make!
Medialunas are often mistaken for French croissants and although they are similar, there are three main differences between medialunas and croissants
- The medialunas dough isn’t laminated which means it is easier to make!!
- The medialunas dough contains egg whereas croissants do not.
- After medialunas are baked, they are covered in sugar syrup whereas French croissants aren’t and therefore are more dry/flaky.
Medialunas are the staple breakfast in Argentina and are often dunk into cafe con leche (coffee with milk). I remember to this day the first time my husband (who is from Manchester) saw me dunk a medialuna into my coffee and his appalled face ha!
Medialunas are also often found filled with dulce de leche and sprinkled with icing sugar – HIGHLY RECOMMENDED you do have a go at this as it is just HEAVEN! You can also fill them with ham and cheese, a classic savoury favourite in Argentina.
What do you need to make these amazing medialunas?
- Flour: regular plain flour is all you need to make medialunas. You cannot use self raising flour as you will be adding yeast.
- Yeast: I use dried active yeast as fresh yeast is not very easy to find where I live. If you do have fresh yeast, obviously you can use instead. You can also use fast acting yeast sachets!
- Butter: Any unsalted butter will do but it is best if its soft so I would recommend removing the butter from the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
- Milk: It needs to be lukewarm temperature (10 seconds in my microwave is enough to warm it just enough to be lukewarm and not hot) – if you have a food thermometer, check that the temperature is just below 40 Degree Celsius.
- Egg: Make sure that your egg is at room temperature so it does not affect the temperature of other ingredients and they incorporate seamlessly into the dough. The size of the egg will affect if you need extra flour or milk. I use large British eggs.
- Salt: A good pinch of salt is needed but ensure it does not come into direct contact with the yeast and this will inactivate the yeast and the medialunas will not rise!
- Caster sugar: Sugar is added both to the yeast sponge to feed the yeast and to the dough -not a lot of sugar is added to the dough so these medialunas are sweet but still light in flavour. Sugar is also used to make the sugar syrup in which the medialunas are covered in after baking!
- Orange: The zest of 1/4 orange is added to the dough to give it a light citrus taste. You can omit this if you would like or you can use satsuma/tangerines if you have these instead. Slices of orange are also used to make the sugar syrup however this can be substituted as well.
- Honey: Honey is added to the dough to make it a soft dough, it is also added to the sugar syrup.
- Vanilla extract: Use a good vanilla extract to give it an extra kick to these medialunas.
- Dulce de leche (OPTIONAL): Amazing argentine caramel flavoured filling for the medialunas. If you can find dulce de leche repostero (for baking), it is even better but otherwise Waitrose dulce de leche or Nestle carnation caramel will do!
- Icing sugar (OPTIONAL): Finish off your medialunas filled with dulce de leche with some sprinkling of icing sugar – to die for!
This recipe will yield 16 medium sized medialunas. Otherwise it would yield 21 small sized or 12 large sized medialunas.
For the yeast sponge:
- 60g plain flour
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 8g dried active yeast (15g of fresh yeast or 4g of fast acting yeast)
- 60ml lukewarm milk
For the dough:
- 250g plain flour – might need to be a bit more
- yeast sponge
- 6g dried active yeast (10g of fresh yeast or 3g of fast acting yeast)
- 70g caster sugar
- pinch of salt
- 1 large egg at room temperature
- 80ml lukewarm milk
- 70g soft butter at room temperature
- zest of 1/4 orange
- 1/2 tsp honey
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
For the egg wash:
- 1 egg
- dash of milk
- pinch of salt
- ping of caster sugar
For the sugar syrup:
- 50g sugar
- 50ml water
- 1tsp honey
- 2 slices of orange
for the yeast sponge:
- Stir flour, sugar, yeast into the lukewarm milk.
- Cover with cling fill and let it rest for 20-30 minutes until a sponge has formed
for the dough:
- Add the plain flour into a bowl and make a well in the middle.
- On the sides of the flour, add the pinch of salt.
- Add the caster sugar to the flour well.
- Add the yeast sponge to the flour well and stir quickly so that the salt and yeast sponge do not come into contact.
- If you are using the dried active or fresh yeast, dissolve extra yeast into the lukewarm milk and stir – you do not need to wait for it it sponge. If you are using the fast acting yeast (that comes in a sachet), you do not need to dissolve first in milk.
- Add the milk with yeast to the flour mixture, an egg and continue to stir
- Finally add the zest of orange, honey and vanilla extract and continue to stir.
- Once a dough has began to form, tip the dough onto a clean surface and knead until a uniform dough is formed – at this stage, you might find that the dough is still wet and you will need to add more flour if so until a soft dough is formed.
- To this uniform dough, begin to add pieces of soft butter (in total you will add 70g of butter) and continue to knead. You will find that it looks as if the dough is splitting, this is absolutely normal. Continue to knead all the butter in. Once all the butter has been added, knead for a further 5-7 minutes until a uniform dough is formed again – IT WILL FORM!
- Put the dough back in a bowl and cover with cling film or shower cap and let it rest for at least 2 hours until it has doubled in size
To make the medialunas:
- Once the dough has doubled in size, tip into a floured surface and gently press the dough to remove some of the gas built up.
- Roll the dough into a thin rectangle and cut the rectangle in half and then into further rectangles.
- Cut each rectangle across to make triangles.
- Make the medialuna by rolling the two nearest sides along and stretch the furthest side. Continue to roll and shape into a medialuna.
- Put all medialunas in a tray with parchment paper.
- Cover tray with tea towel and let it rest once again until they have doubled in size.
- Put oven to preheat at 180 degree Celsius about 15 minutes before medialunas are ready to go in the oven.
- Once oven is preheating, make the egg wash by mixing egg, dash of milk, pinch of salt and pinch of sugar.
- Before medialunas go in the oven, egg wash generously all medialunas.
- Bake medialunas for 13-15 minutes until they are golden.
- Whilst medialunas are baking, make the sugar syrup by heating gently the sugar, water, honey and slices of orange. Once the sugar has dissolved in the water, let it cool.
- When medialunas are removed from the oven, cover all medialunas generously with sugar syrup.
- Finally you can enjoy medialunas by themselves or you can cut a few along the top and fill with dulce de leche and sprinkle with icing sugar!!
Have a go at making these amazing medialunas and I look forward to hearing your feedback!!
Buen provecho! 🙂