I learned the basics of making empanadas from my Argentinian grandmother, who used to make them from scratch.
Empanadas Taste So Much Better With Homemade Dough!
Empanada discs are sold ready-made in many grocery stores in the United States, but I find the taste to be far from that of authentic empanadas.
In Argentina, the store-bought discs actually taste good, but that's because empanadas are a traditional Argentine food. Even so, even Argentines will say that the empanadas will taste much better when you make the dough from scratch!
This simple recipe for empanada dough can be used for baked or fried empanadas. I prefer to bake them, because they're healthier that way.
If you follow these directions for making empanada dough, you will have soft and pliable dough that will be easy to work with. That's important because there's nothing more frustrating than having to work with hard dough and trying to figure out how to make it softer but not too soft.
Pay special attention to the directions on how to measure the flour in this recipe. It really does matter and will save you a lof of grief.
Where Did Empanadas Come From?
No one seems to know for sure where empanadas originally came from. Many think they originated in Argentina; others say Spain. Regardless of their origin, empanadas are considered a traditional food in many South American countries. Each country prepares them slightly differently, and in Argentina they are made differently even across the various provinces.
How to Properly Measure the Flour
Measuring the flour properly is extremely important. When you measure the flour, do not pack it into the measuring cup. Follow these simple directions for soft and kneadable dough:
- Sift the flour: Place a large bowl under the sifter and pour the flour into the sifter. Shake the sifter and allow the flour to fall into the bowl.
- Use a spoon to fill the measuring cup: Once you have the sifted flour in the bowl, use a soup spoon to gently scoop the sifted flour from the bowl into a dry measuring cup. Do not pack it in! Just gently allow it to fall from the spoon into the measuring cup.
- Scrape off the extra flour: After your measuring cup is filled with flour, gently scrape off the extra on the top with a knife. Do not pack it down. Simply take a knife and run it across the top of the measuring cup so that any extra flour falls off.
|Prep time||Ready in||Yields|
Makes 12 empanada discs
- 2 cups white all-purpose flour, sifted
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons cane sugar
- 6 tablespoons Crisco
- 1 egg yolk, large
- 1/2 cup warm water
- In a large bowl, combine the sifted flour, salt and sugar until well blended.
- Add the Crisco to the flour mix and combine well with your hands until the dough is nice and crumbly.
- In a separate small bowl, whisk the egg yolk and warm water together until they form a smooth liquid.
- Make a hole in the middle of the flour mix, and pour the egg mixture into it. Use your hands to combine the ingredients together to create the dough.
- Transfer the dough to a lightly floured flat surface and knead it until it is soft and pliable. It shouldn't take more than a few minutes.
- Divide the dough into 12 small balls of equal size.
- Use a rolling pin or a wine bottle sprinkled with flour (to prevent sticking), to roll each ball of dough until it is about 1/4 cm or 1/10 inch thick to create the empanada shells. You can use a circular mold to cut out the discs if you want, but it's not necessary.
- As you create each disc, you can stack them on a plate, separated by a piece of wax paper so they don't stick together.
Read More From Delishably
Use the Dough to Make Empanadas!
Once you make the empanada dough, you will of course want to use it to make empanadas.
The more extensively you travel across South America, the more different kinds of empanada fillings you're sure to find.
You can get creative and fill the empanada discs with anything you like, such as spinach and cheese, tuna salad, or even chicken.
© 2022 Madeleine Clays