Daring Bakers do Empanadas

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!

This was an interesting challenge for me.  I had heard of empanadas but, I had never had one or seen one for that matter.   So I had to do a little research to see what I was getting myself into.

An empanada  is a stuffed bread or pastry that is either baked or fried.  Empanadas are made by folding dough around stuffing, which usually consists of a variety of meat, cheese, vegetables or fruits.  Instantly what I thought of was ‘pizza pockets’, same kind of thing.

It was manditory that we use one of the dough recipes provided and we were able to use any filling we wanted.  When I was researching what exactly and empanada was, I found many different ideas.  There was ham and cheese, pizza,  etc, BUT, I decided to go with something a little more traditional as I had never made them before.  I did a savory one and (of course) a sweet version.


Dough Recipe

5-1/3 cups bread flour (I used all purpose)
2 cups  of lukewarm water (about 85°F/30ºC), approximately
1 satchel (1 tablespoon) (15 gm) dry yeast
2 teaspoons  salt
4 tablespoons  oil
1 large egg, for egg wash


1.  Shift the flour into a big bowl

2. make a well in the middle. Rub the yeast in with your fingers.

3. In a small bowl, mix the water and the salt.

4. Now, using your fingers or a wooden spoon, start adding the water and mixing it with the flour-yeast mixture. Keep on working with your fingers or spoon until you have added enough water and all the flour has been incorporated and you have a messy ball of dough. On a clean counter top, knead the dough for approximately 10 minutes
You could do all the above using a stand mixer, in that case mix the ingredients with the paddle attachment until mixed and then switch to a dough hook and knead on low for about 6 minutes.

5. Clean and oil the big bowl you used for mixing and place the kneaded dough in it. Cover it with a napkin or piece of linen and keep it in a warm, draught-free place for approximately 40 to 50 minutes.

Now is a good time to start your fillings!

I chose to do a Beef recipe.  I used the recipe shown here, that I found when looking up how to make empanadas

Groud Beef Empanadas

  • ¾ cup ground beef
  • 1 tsp oregeno
  • ¾ tsp ground pepper
  • 1 tsp pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • ¾ tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • ½ cup green peppers
  • 1 cup onions
  • 3 tbsp oil
  • 8 oz tomato sauce
  • 2 medium potatoes, chopped


1. Mix dry spices with ground beef and set aside

2. In a large pan heat oil, cook, peppers, onions and garlic until golden

3. Add tomatoe sacue and bring to a boil

4. Add meat mixture, Cook 15 mintues on medium low

5. When everything starts to bubble cover

6. Cook 15 mintues then add potatoes

7. Cover again and cook an additional 15 minutes

8. Stir

9. Cook on low for 15 minutes more – stir every 5 mintues until potatoes are tender

10. Cover and set aside to cool – approximitly 15-20 minutes

Preparing the Empanadas

1. Once risen, turn the dough back into a floured counter and cut it in half. Cover one half with the napkin to prevent drying.

2. Spread the other half of the dough using a rolling pin.  Depending on the shape of your oven pan or cookie sheet, you will make a rectangle or a round. **I made mine into individual pockets**
Now, the thinness of the dough will depend on your choice of filling and how much bread you like in every bite. For your first time, make it about 3mm thin (about 1/10th of an inch) and then adjust from that in the next ones you make.

3. Cut circles depending on the size you want – this pot lid worked perfect

4. Add filling.  For this size I added a generous 1/4 cup of filling – was just perfect

5.  Fold over and press with a fork to prevent leaks

6. Brush with egg wash and bake at 375 F for 15 – 20 minutes

7. Bake until golden brown

This recipe was delicious!  I really liked the bread, it had a nice textrue.  It wasn’t like a ‘pastry’ like I was expecting, more like a cross between bread and pizza dough.  The filling was fantastic!  The spices in the beef gave them a hint of heat that left your mouth warm but not too hot.  I love the soft texture of the potatoes with in the pocket.  I prefered them as they cooled to room temperature.  The bread seemed to soften from the steam of the meat inside.  They did not go soggie as I expected, but became the texture of a bun.  They were rather crunchy right out of the oven.  As good as these were I will probably not make them again.  They were quite a lot of work. But I will be making the filling again, perhaps for tacos or wraps!

I decided to make a second filling, I had to make a sweet version, more of a baking challenge.  The savoury is more of a Daring Cooks Challenge, to me.  I decided to go with Apple Empanada’s .

Apple Empanadas

  • 2 apples
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1/3 cup caramel sauce
  • Raisins


1. In a large pan add water, apples, sugar and cinnamon.

2. Cook on medium until apples are tender and water has evaporated

3. Add caramel sauce and raisins

4. Simmer and stir until thickened

Set aside to cool

5. Follow steps 1-7 Preparing Empanadas above

Not sure why but all the apple ones opened, more like ‘Clams’

The apples ones were ‘ok’.  Because I HATE making dough I just used the left over from the savory empanadas, so it was kind of like eating an apple sandwich.  The filling was amazing, but I should have put forth the effort and made a sweet dough, it was very blah… I will not make these again.

Thank you to Patri from Asi Son Las Cosas for pushing me out of my confort zone in this great challenge!


6 thoughts on “Daring Bakers do Empanadas

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