Thursday, September 27, 2012

Apple Em-pie-nada!

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!

 Guys, I am so excited! I've been eyeing it up for a while, but I finally decided to join Daring Bakers. I love a good challenge, and baking in a dorm + Daring Bakers = extra challenge. Fun fact - besides the actual baking, I made this whole recipe on the floor of my room. Just put down some newspaper and it was all good.

So let's get to the recipe itself: empanada gallega! I vaguely knew what an empanada was before the challenge. Very vaguely. Sort of like a calzone? Or a hand pie? It's kind of both, actually. The word empanada basically means stuffed bread. The gallega refers to Galicia, its region of origin. Additionally, an empanada gallega is HUGE. Typically not a cute lil' pocket or one of those Taco Bell disgraces.

I knew immediately that I wanted mine to be filled with a fresh apple-y filling. I even took a trip to the orchard to buy some local fruit! But then...they had Honeycrisps...and I ate them all. So I just had to buy more. No worries! The contrast of soft bread and crisp apples was lovely and quite unlike anything I've ever had. Try it out if you're hungry for a unique fall snack! 

 Apple Empanada
by Asi Son Los Cosas and me!

5-1/3 cups (1280 ml) (750 gm) bread flour
2 cups (480 ml) of lukewarm water (about 85°F/30ºC), approximately
1 satchel (1 tablespoon) (15 gm) dry yeast or (1 oz) (30 gm) fresh yeast
1/4 cup sugar
4 tablespoons (60 ml) oil

Sift the flour into a big bowl and make a well in the middle. Rub the yeast in with your fingers.
In a small bowl, mix the water and the salt.
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.
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, draft-free place for approximately 40 to 50 minutes.

In the meantime, make the filling!

4-5 large apples, peeled and chopped
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
3 Tbsp butter, chopped into chunks
a few tablespoons water

In a medium bowl....mix everything together. Yep.  Back to the dough.

 Preheat oven to 350F

Once risen, turn the dough back into a floured counter and cut it in half. Cover one half with the napkin to prevent drying. Spread the other half of the dough using a rolling pin. You can use a piece of wax paper over the counter, it will make it easier to move the dough around. Depending on the shape of your oven pan or cookie sheet, you will make a rectangle or a round. I made mine in a 9x13 rectangle. 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. If you haven’t used wax paper, either lightly flour or line with wax paper your pan or tray.
Cover the base and sides with the dough. Using the rolling pin or a knife, cut the extra dough off.
Place your filling on top of this layer of dough.

Take the other half of the dough and spread it out to the same or less thinness of the base. You can use a piece of wax paper for this too. Take into account that this “top” dough needs to be smaller around than the bottom, as it only needs to cover the filling. If not using wax paper, move carefully the top to cover the filling. If using wax paper, transfer the dough, turn upside down, cover the filling and gently peel off the wax paper. Using your fingers, join bottom and top dough (you can crimp it and make it all nice if you want). When you are finished, make a 1 inch hole in the middle of the top layer. This will help hot air exit the empanada while it’s baking without breaking the cover. You can use left-over dough to decorate the empanada, using rounds, bows, lines… let your imagination flow and make it pretty!

Using a fork, prick the top layer or, using scissors, make snips that go all the way through the top layer. In a small bowl, beat an egg and add a tbsp of cold water. With the pastry brush, paint the top of the empanada with the egg wash. Place the empanada in the oven and bake for about 45 minutes (or more like 30, if you have a crazy oven like me), until golden brown. Make sure the bottom is cooked!



  1. Looks so delicious! Great job on the challenge.

  2. Welcome to the Daring Bakers. And I think you deserve extra daring points for making this on the floor of your room :) It looks delicious - job very well done! :)

    1. Haha, thank you. Maybe I should try a different daring baking environment each month.

  3. haha, love the new name for the empanada :o) Looks beautiful! A great first challenge! Welcome to the DBs!

  4. ROFL! You did a great job, in your dorm kitchen! That scores x2!! Congratulations on a beautiful challenge, welcome to the DBs!!!

  5. Thanks guys! My mother would like me to clarify that I didn't actually knead dough or chop anything directly on the floor, but rather but my bowls and cutting board and such on top of the newspaper.

  6. Wow - that looks and sounds absolutely delicious!

  7. I have tons of apples just picked from an orchard in Ohio-your creation looks amazing!

  8. This crust looks amazing! I will have to remember this recipe the next time I have a hankering for apple pie! :) Thanks for linking up with Pearls + Girls for National Pie Day!!!

    1. Thanks! I had no idea Pie Day was in January before this...I always assumed Pie Day was the same as Pi Day...3/14 :)


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