Patri of the blog, Asi Son Los Cosas, was our September 2012 Daring Bakers’ hostess and
she decided to tempt us with one of her family’s favorite recipes for Empanadas! We were given two dough recipes to choose from and encouraged to fill our Empanadas as creatively as we wished!
I found the entire concept of an empanada very fascinating. My first thoughts after reading the recipe were – A pie made with bread dough !!! How cool is that !!
An empanada (or empada, in Portuguese) is a stuffed bread or pastry baked or fried in many countries in Western Europe, Latin America, and parts of Southeast Asia. The name comes from the Galician, Portuguese and Spanish verb empanar, meaning to wrap or coat in bread.
Empanadas trace their origins to Galicia and Portugal. A very popular dish across the world, it’s known by different names in different parts. In Afganistan it is called a Bolani. In Asian countries like Indonesia it is known as a Panada or a Pastel. And in many other parts of the world people simply call it Meat Pies.
For the dough I followed Patri’s grandma’s recipe however made my own filling with chicken mince.
The recipe below serves 10. However I halved the recipe.
5-1/3 cups (1280 ml) (750 gm) bread flour
2 cups (480 ml) of lukewarm water (about 85°F/30ºC), approximately
1 tbsp (15 gm) dry yeast or (1 oz) (30 gm) fresh yeast
2 tsps (10 ml) (11 gm) salt
4 tbsps (60 ml) oil (you can use oil from the pan where you have cooked the filling)
1 large egg, for egg wash
1. Measure out all the ingredients.
2. Shift the flour into a big bowl and make a well in the middle. Rub the yeast in with your
3. In a small bowl, mix the water and the salt.
4. Now, using your fingers or a wooden spoon, start adding the water and mixing it with the
flour-yeast mixture. Keep on working with your fingers or spoon until you have added enough water and all the flour has been incorporated and you have a messy ball of dough.
5. On a clean counter top, knead the dough for approximately 10 minutes
6. You could do all the above using a stand mixer, in that case mix the ingredients with the
paddle attachment until mixed and then switch to a dough hook and knead on low for about 6 minutes.
7. Clean and oil the big bowl you used for mixing and place the kneaded dough in it. Cover it with a napkin or piece of linen and keep it in a warm, draught-free place for approximately 40 to 50 minutes.
Before rise After the rise
8. Once risen, turn the dough back into a floured counter and cut it in half. Cover one half with the napkin to prevent drying.
9. Spread the other half of the dough using a rolling pin. You can use a piece of wax paper over the counter, it will make it easier to move the dough around. Depending on the shape of your oven pan or cookie sheet, you will make a rectangle or a round.
10. Now, the thinness of the dough will depend on your choice of filling and how much bread you like in every bite. For your first time, make it about 3mm thin (about 1/10th of an inch) and then adjust from that in the next ones you make.
Ingredients For the Filling:
1 kg Chicken Mince
2 Onions finely chopped
6-8 cloves of Garlic crushed
1 inch piece of ginger finely chopped
2 tbsp Refined Oil
2 tbsp Soy Sauce
2 tsp Brown Sugar
Salt and Pepper to taste
4 tbsp of Tomato Puree
The filling ready for the Empanada
Direction for the Filling
1. Heat oil in a pan.
2. Saute` onions, ginger and garlic.
3. Add the chicken mince.
4. Saute` till the chicken changes colour.
5. Add the soy sauce and the tomato puree.
6. Add the sugar.
7. Saute` for another minute or two to make sure all ingredients are perfectly incorporated. And cover and cook on low flame for about 15 minutes.
8. Check for seasoning and adjust according to your taste.
9. Cook it open till the meat look dry enough. We do not want a very watery filling or it will make the dough soggy.
10. Let the filling cool down completely before assembling.
Assembling the Empanada
1. Lightly flour or line with wax paper your pan or tray.
2. Cover the base and sides with the dough. Using the rolling pin or a knife, cut the extra dough.
3. Place the filling, making sure it is cold and that all the base is covered. Using a hot filling will make the bottom layer of the empanada become soggy. Be careful to avoid adding too much oil from the filling, try to make it as “dry” as possible.
4. Start preheating your oven to moderate 350°F/180ºC/gas mark 4.
5. Take the other half of the dough and spread it out to the same or less thinness of the base. You can use a piece of wax paper for this too. Take into account that this “top” dough needs to be smaller around than the bottom, as it only needs to cover the filling.
6. If not using wax paper, move carefully the top to cover the filling. If using wax paper, transfer the dough, turn upside down, cover the filling and gently peel off the wax paper.
7. Using your fingers, join bottom and top dough, when you have gone all the way around, start pinching top and bottom together with your thumb and index finger and turning them half way in, that way you end up with a rope-like border.
To see how it is done you could watch the video at http://youtu.be/CNpB7HkTdDk
8. When you are finished, make a 1 inch hole in the middle of the top layer. This will help hot air exit the empanada while it’s baking without breaking the cover.
Using a fork, prick the top layer or, using scissors, make snips that go all the way through the layers.
9. In a small bowl, beat an egg and add a tbsp of cold water. With the pastry brush, paint the top of the empanada with the egg wash.
10. Bake at 180 degree C for 45 minutes. Serve warm.
Happy Baking !!