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! The dough recipe is her grandmother’s and I couldn’t wait to start thinking of ways to fill it.
I was a little surprised by this recipe because when I think of empanadas I think of the hand held dough pockets. It turns out many different countries have variations on the empanada. This version has a yeast dough for the crust and the top and it is then filled with almost anything imaginable!
Because I was stuck on a Mexican theme, I decided to fill my empanada with beef, black beans, rice, vegetables, and tons of spices. The dough was smooth and easy to roll out. I was worried about my filling being too moist when I put it into the dough but it ended up working perfectly. The crust was thick but soft and it paired wonderfully with the spicy, fragrant Mexican filling. I loved that I could pick up the empanada by the bread and eat it with my hands.
I really wanted to try this stuffed with apples and cinnamon but I didn’t get around to it. I do plan on trying a sweet empanada soon though. It’s super easy to use this dough recipe with any combination of fillings.
Empanadas (dough recipe from Patri’s grandmother, filling is my own)
For the dough:
3 1/2 c. flour
1 c. warm water
1/3 c. vegetable oil
1 T. dry yeast
1 t. salt
1 t. paprika
For the filling:
1 lb. lean ground beef
1 T. olive oil
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1/2 green bell pepper, diced
1 c. rice, cooked
1 c. black beans, drained and rinsed
1 (5 oz) can green chilies
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1 T. cumin
1 t. chili powder
1 t. salt
1 t. black pepper
2 t. garlic powder
1/2 t. red pepper
1 t. paprika
1/2 t. ground ancho
1 t. cocoa powder
1. Place the flour in a large bowl making a well in the center of it. Add in the remaining dough ingredients and mix well with a wooden spoon.
2. Turn the dough onto a table and knead for 8 minutes.
3. Make the dough into a ball and allow to rise, covered, for 45 minutes.
4. While the dough is rising make the filling. In a large skillet over medium high heat, brown the beef.
5. Once the beef is browned add in the olive oil, red pepper, green pepper, green chilies, tomatoes, and onion. Saute for 4-5 minutes or until the vegetables have softened.
6. Add the rice, black beans, and remaining spices to the mixture in the pan. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally to incorporate the spices.
7. Remove the filling from heat, transfer to a large bowl, and refrigerate until ready to use.
8. Once the dough has risen, turn it out onto a table. Cut the dough in half. Cover one half to prevent drying.
9. Place the dough on a large piece of waxed paper. Roll the dough with a rolling pin until it is a thin rectangle.
10. Gently pick up the waxed paper and turn it over on top of a 9 x 9 square pan.
11. Fill the dough with your cooled filling.
12. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
13. Take the other half of your dough and roll it out on top of a piece of waxed paper. Gently pick up the waxed paper and place it on top of the filling.
14. Using your fingers, join the top and bottom doughs together, pinching to seal in the filling.
15. Make a hole in the center of the top dough to vent the steam during cooking.
16. Use any remaining dough to make decorations for the top of the empanada.
17. In a small ball beat an egg and one tablespoon of water. Brush over top of the empanada.
18. Bake for 45 minutes or until golden brown. Make sure the bottom dough has cooked through and let cool for 5 minutes before cutting.