Recipe for Empanada Dough for Baking
Empanadas are delicious baked or fried pastries that originated in Spain and have since become popular in various Latin American countries. These savory treats are filled with a variety of ingredients, such as meat, cheese, or vegetables, encased in a flavorful dough. While the filling often steals the show, a perfect empanada dough is the foundation for a mouthwatering experience. In this article, we will guide you through a recipe for empanada dough for baking that will elevate your culinary skills and impress your family and friends.
To make the empanada dough, you will need the following ingredients:
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cubed
- 1 large egg
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup ice water
Follow these simple steps to prepare the empanada dough for baking:
Step 1: Mixing the dry ingredients
In a large mixing bowl, combine the all-purpose flour and salt. Stir them together until well combined. This will ensure that the salt is evenly distributed throughout the dough.
Step 2: Incorporating the butter
Add the cubed cold unsalted butter to the bowl. Using a pastry cutter or your fingertips, work the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs. The butter should be evenly distributed throughout the dough, with no large chunks remaining.
Step 3: Adding the wet ingredients
In a separate small bowl, beat the egg lightly with a fork. Pour the beaten egg into the flour-butter mixture. Begin mixing the dough together, using your hands or a wooden spoon.
Step 4: Binding the dough
Gradually add the ice water, a few tablespoons at a time, while continuing to mix the dough. The amount of water needed may vary depending on the humidity in your kitchen, so add it slowly until the dough comes together.
Step 5: Kneading the dough
Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead it gently for about 5 minutes. Kneading helps develop the gluten in the dough, ensuring a tender but firm texture.
Step 6: Resting the dough
Shape the dough into a smooth ball and wrap it tightly in plastic wrap. Allow it to rest in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. This resting time allows the gluten to relax and the dough to firm up, making it easier to roll out.
Step 7: Rolling out the dough
After the dough has chilled, remove it from the refrigerator. Divide it into smaller portions, depending on the size of empanadas you wish to make. Take one portion and roll it out on a floured surface with a rolling pin until it is roughly 1/8 inch thick.
Step 8: Filling and sealing the empanadas
Place your desired filling in the center of the rolled-out dough. Fold the dough over to encase the filling and press the edges together firmly to seal it. You can use a fork to create a decorative edge or simply crimp the dough with your fingers.
Step 9: Baking the empanadas
Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C). Arrange the filled empanadas on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Brush the tops of the empanadas with beaten egg or milk to give them a golden color when baked. Bake for approximately 20 to 25 minutes or until the crust turns golden brown.
Step 10: Enjoying the empanadas
Remove the empanadas from the oven and let them cool slightly before serving. These delightful pastries can be enjoyed hot or at room temperature, making them perfect for parties, picnics, or as a delightful snack any time of the day.
With this delectable recipe for empanada dough for baking, you can easily create mouthwatering empanadas in the comfort of your own kitchen. The doughs flaky and buttery texture perfectly complements any filling you choose, allowing you to experiment and cater to your taste preferences. So, gather your ingredients and start creating these delightful treats that will surely impress your loved ones.
Can I use whole wheat flour instead of all-purpose flour for a healthier alternative?
Absolutely! You can substitute whole wheat flour for all or part of the all-purpose flour for a healthier twist. Keep in mind that the texture may vary slightly, but the taste will still be delicious.
Can I make the dough ahead of time and freeze it for later use?
Yes, you can! Once you have prepared the dough, simply wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and place it in an airtight container or freezer bag. It can be stored in the freezer for up to three months.
What are some popular fillings for empanadas?
Empanadas can be filled with a wide range of ingredients including ground beef, chicken, cheese, spinach, mushrooms, or even sweet fillings like apple or Nutella. The possibilities are endless!
Can I fry the empanadas instead of baking them?
Absolutely! Traditionally, empanadas are fried, but baking provides a healthier alternative. However, if you prefer the crispy texture that frying offers, you can certainly fry them instead.
How can I prevent the empanadas from leaking filling during baking?
To prevent leakage, make sure the edges of the dough are tightly sealed before baking. You can also refrigerate the assembled empanadas for 15-30 minutes before baking to help them hold their shape.
Remember, the joy of creating empanadas lies not only in the delicious fillings but also in the perfectly baked empanada dough. So, put on your apron, follow this recipe, and enjoy the delightful flavors of homemade empanadas.