Empanada dough the thought alone might feel like a daunting task. But what if I tell you that shouldn’t be that way?
That it can be quite easy to make yourself and create the best base for your sweet and savory empanada recipes. So are you ready to learn how to make empanada dough? Let’s get started!
What is an empanada?
Empanada originates from the Spanish word empanar which means covered by bread dough. That is just what we are doing with this recipe for empanadas dough.
An empanada is a baked or fried turnover consisting of a filling that is covered with pastry that is common in Latin America and the Filipinos.
The filling mostly of meat, cheese, fish, pork, apples, pineapples, or other ingredients, that are baked in the oven or fried in oil.
I first encountered empanadas in Spain in the local bakery shops that have long oval empanadas with savory fillings like:
However, the empanada is a world recipe as you can find in many countries and regions like North and South America, Europe like Spain and Italy but also Cape Verde and the Philippines.
Most likely this recipe traveled from Spain all across the globe.
Empanadas are also known as:
- Hand pies
- Galician pie or empanada gallega – this is a rectangular pie
Homemade empanada dough
Making homemade empanada dough is really easy. You can make it quite easy by hand but it is even easier if you have a kitchen machine.
In both cases, it does not require a lot of kneading which is a good thing. You can make it with a sweet or a savory filling.
If you have leftovers? Great, use it to make an empanada filling. When making easy empanada dough you can adjust the dough to your liking.
So add some spices and herbs to enhance the taste of the crust or make it sweet if you want to turn it into a sweet dessert.
You can make an empanada shell using a plate or lid. I have an empanada cutter that I can use to cut a disc and to fold an empanada.
Of course, you can fold an empanada by hand which is how it should be done but these empanada shapes work really well.
Empanada dough ingredients
This flaky empanada dough recipe has a lot of similarities to pastry dough. One of the main ingredients is butter.
If you would want to make it vegan you could try vegan butter but be aware that vegan butter contains more water than regular butter.
Empanada dough ingredients contain the following items:
- All-purpose flour
How to make empanada dough
To make empanada dough for baking start with the flour and salt. I use a kitchen machine and pulse the salt through the flour.
Then take the butter and slice it into small pieces about 15 pieces of butter. Again pulse the kitchen machine to combine the flour and butter.
You get a crumbly structure.
Whisk the egg in a separate bowl. Now it is time to add the beaten egg and drizzle the water in a steady stream while the kitchen machine pulses.
At this point, you will get a consistent flaky dough. Take the dough out of the kitchen machine and wrap it in foil.
Let it rest in the refrigerator for an hour. Then you can use it to make your empanadas.
You can leave it in the fridge if you plan on using it within a day or two or store it in the freezer.
If you are ready to use the dough to make the empanadas divide the dough in half. Roll the dough into a rectangle of about ¼ inch thick (a bit over ½ centimeter).
Take a small plate, an empanada cutter or a large cookie cutter ring to cut the empanada discs.
If they are too thick flatten the empanada discs with your rolling pin.
That is it, your empanada dough is ready to use.
How long should you bake filled empanadas?
When you have made your empanadas and brushed them with egg wash all you have to do is preheat your oven to 400℉.
Bake for 20-25 minutes and your empanadas should be golden brown else leave them in for another 5 minutes.
Freeze empanada dough
Empanada dough freezes really well so you have to options after making the dough:
- Freeze dough – cut the desired amount of dough, wrap in plastic and store in the freezer
- Freeze empanada shells – cut the desired amount of empanada dough. Roll the dough and cut empanada discs with a plate or empanada shape. When storing the discs, separate the empanada shells with some baking paper
When you want to use the empanada shells, thaw about 15 minutes before use. If you flatten the complete dough it will take at least 45 minutes to thaw.
If you make your own dough take a look at this recipe to fill it:
- Beef empanadas – make this easy beef filling to create your own beef empanadas. These freezes really well so you can make a batch and eat when desired
- Sweet empanadas – great for dessert or a sweet snack
- Spanish empanadillas de bonito – Spanish empanadas with tuna
See how to make easy empanada dough
If you want to see how you can make empanada dough the easy way at home, take a look at the instruction video.
It shows you step by step instructions so you can easily follow along and make this recipe for empanadas dough.
It is really super easy to make especially with a kitchen machine.
Have fun making this homemade recipe for empanadas dough!
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Want to learn how to make homemade empanada dough? Try this easy empanada dough recipe. You can make it by hand or with a kitchen machine.
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup/170 gram cold butter (note 1)
- ¼ cup to ½ cup of water (note 2)
- 1 egg
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Combine flour and salt in kitchen machine pulse twice to combine flour and salt
- Cut the butter in 15 small pieces. Add to the flour and pulse the kitchen machine to combine. You get a crumbly structure
- Add the beaten egg and drizzle the water in a steady stream while the kitchen machine pulses. It will turn into a consistent flaky dough
- Take the dough out of the kitchen machine and wrap it in foil. Rest in the fridge for 1 hour
- Leave it in the fridge if you plan on using it within a day or two or store it in the freezer. If you are ready to use it, divide the dough in half and roll the dough into a rectangle of about ¼ inch thick (a bit over ½ centimeter)
- Cut the empanadas using a small plate, empanada cutter or large cookie cutter
Note 1 - Use unsalted butter in this recipe Note 2 - If the dough is to dry after adding ¼ cup of water you can add more water. Add 1 tsp at a time until the dough is neither wet or dry
Calories: 204; Fat: 11g; Carbs: 22g; Protein; 3.5g;