How To Bake Empanadas
Derived from the word, “Empanar” which means to wrap, Empanadas have become one of the most popular delicacies across the globe. Empanadas are prepared by folding the dough around the stuffing, which can range from meat, cheese, vegetables, or fruits. The crescent shaped stuffed pastry can be either fried or baked. Read on these simple steps of how to bake Empanadas and try some in your kitchen too.
All purpose flour – This is used for preparing the dough foe Empanadas. You will need about 3 ½ cup to make empanadas for 4 people.
Salt – This is added to enhance the taste, use about 1 teaspoon for 3 1/2 cup of flour.
Cold butter – Use 1 cup, cut into cubes to add to the flour for that tenderness in the empanada dough wrappers.
Eggs – Add about 2 eggs to the empanada dough for the required moisture and binding.
Cold water – About 2/3 cups, will give the needed moisture to the dough.
White vinegar – 2 tablespoons for added flavor.
Ground beef, turkey, or chicken – 1lb, this will be the main constituent of the filling. choose from your favorite stuffing oe experiment by mixing two or more ingredients together.
Hard boiled eggs – These will also constitute a part of the filing. You will need about 4-6 of them.
Green olives – 1 cup, will enhance the flavor when added to the filling.
Raisins – a handful for added taste
Large onions – 1-2
Garlic – You can add about 3 cloves for desired taste
Ground cumin – 2-3 tablespoon
Chilli powder – 1 teaspoon, you can increase or decrease the quantity based on your preferance.
Sugar – 2 teaspoon added to the filling will balance out the taste and provide the required sweetness.
Salt and Pepper – Add this for the seasoning in the filling.
For the dough:
1 Thoroughly sift the flour as this will be the major ingredient for the dough.
2 In a large bowl, add the sifted flour and mix in salt as at this stage salt can be incorporated well.
3 Add in the butter pieces and lightly work into the flour using your fingertips. This is done to achieve the correct texture.
4 In a bowl, add in the eggs, water, and vinegar and blend thoroughly.
5 Gradually fold in the flour into the egg mixture using a spatula making sure there are no lumps and it forms a smooth dough.
6 Transfer the mixture to a lightly floured surface and knead gently using the heels of your hand. This is required to bring the dough together.
7 Cover and keep aside in a cool place for 1-2 hours.This will give the dough the required stiffness and will be easy to work on.
8 Roll out the dough to about 1/8th inch thickness and cut into circles of about 4-6 inch diameter.
For the filling.
9 In a large saucepan, heat the oil well.
10 Add in, minced onion and garlic and cook until the onion is transparent. Do not let the onions turn brown.
11 Add in the ground meat and mix using a spatula until the meat is broken. Cook well until lightly browned.
12 Add in cumin, chili powder, and sugar for adding to the flavor of the filling.
13 Finely chop the hard-boiled eggs and cut the stuffed olives into half, since these are to be used in the filling, you can roughly chop the eggs.
14 Gradually mix the eggs and olives in to the meat mixture.
15 Preheat the oven 15 minutes before baking to the mentioned temperature or to 400 degrees Fahrenheit which is also a suitable temperature to bake empanadas.
16 Place 2-3 tablespoons of the filling in the centre of each circle and slightly moist the outer perimeter of the dough so that the edges can be sealed well
17 Fold over the dough to form a semi circle and flute the edges neatly. You can also choose to pinch and seal the edges to avoid the filling from coming out.
18 Arrange the Empanadas on a greased cookie sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes.
There is one thing that is simply great about the Empanadas that you can experiment with innumerable variety of fillings and manage to get a new taste each time. Go on and try all the possible fillings with these simple steps of how to bake Empanadas and be a culinary champion.
Image Courtesy: wikipedia.org