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 couldn't convince anyone to try Patri's traditional empanada filling of salted cod and raisins, so we tried a few different fillings to see what would be delicious. I went international and tried fillings from a few different cultures - an Italian-style filling with chicken, tomato sauce and Italian seasoning, and a Mexican-style with corn, chicken, black beans and salsa. They were both delicious but the empanada dough was what really stood out. These are not the empanadas I'm familiar with, as they are baked instead of fried and typically made like a big casserole instead of minis (we did the latter, though). They're worth the effort, though. Thank you Patri, for introducing us to something so new and unique!
Below are the recipes for the basic empanada dough, a corn and wheat empanada dough, and Patri's empanada Gallega de bacalao con pasas.
3 1/2 cups (500g) all-purpose or bread flour
1 cup (240 ml) warm water
1/2 cup less 1 tablespoon (100 ml) of liquid fat - oil or melted butter
1 tablespoon dry yeast or 1 oz. fresh yeast.
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1. Sift the flour into a bowl, make a well in the middle and add all the ingredients.
2. Mix with a wooden spoon until all the ingredients have been incorporated.
3. Turn the dough onto your counter and knead for 8 minutes.
4. Make a ball and allow to rise covered with a cloth for about half an hour.
Corn and Wheat Empanada Dough¨
2 3/4 cups (14 oz) corn flour
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup (250 ml) warm water
2 teaspoons active dry yeast or 4/5 oz (25 gm) fresh yeast
1 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup lard, butter or margarine
1. Mix flours together in a large bowl. Make a well in the middle and add the water, fat and yeast.
2. Use a wooden spoon to mix the ingredients and turn the dough onto the counter, kneading until the dough is soft and not sticky. Add more water or flour as needed.
3. Shape the dough into a ball, cover it with a cloth and allow to rise in a warm place for approximately 1 hour.
4. Oil a pan, place a sheet of roil or parchment paper on the bottom, and spread half the dough out flat- it will be difficult to spread, so use your hands and have lots of patience. Remember that if the dough is not spread out thin enough, it will take a longer time to cook and be chewy after it is cooked.
5. Fill the empanada.
6. At this point you can either spread the other half the same way as the top, or use your fingers to spread small pieces of dough as thin as possible, and then joined together to cover.
7. Using a fork, cut through the top dough layer to mark the portions and ease in cutting after it is baked..
Empanada Gallega de bacalao con pasas
1 portion empanada dough
1 large or 2 medium onions, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
3/4 cup olive oil
300 gm (10.5 oz) salted cod, washed and cleaned, diced
100 gm (3 1/2 oz) raisins
100 gm (3 1/2 oz) cured ham or bacon, diced
1. Heat the oil in a skillet and add the onion and garlic. Cook over medium heat until the onion is transparent but not brown.
2. When vegetables are cooked, turn off the heat. Add the saffron, raisins and ham.
3. Add salt as needed
4. Allow to cool until the filling reaches room temperature (at least a half hour).
Assembling the Empanada:
1. Lightly flour a pan or tray, or line with parchment paper.
2. Cover the base and sides with dough. Using the rolling pin or a knife, cut the extra dough.
3. Place the cold filling over the dough in the pan.
4. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
5. Take the other half of the dough and spread it out until it is the same size as the pan, to cover the filling.
6. Carefully place the dough on top of the filling. Using your fingers, join the bottom and top dough all the way around, pinching like a pie crust.
7. Make a one-inch hole in the middle of the top layer to help hot air exit the empanada while it's baking.
8. Use leftover dough to decorate the empanada :)
9. Cover the crust with an egg wash made of 1 beaten egg and a tbsp of cold water.
10. Bake for 45 minutes, or until fully cooked through.