Empanadas with homemade Empanada Dough are very popular with my friends and family. We enjoy them with all kinds of different fillings. I like to fill them with ground beef, shredded pork, or chilis and cheese. I’ve even made a chicken pot pie empanada! I like to make a batch or two at time, since we usually just eat a few and freeze the rest.
I typically make large empanadas to be eaten as a meal with a side salad, but you can make small ones as appetizers. This empanada dough works well when making dessert empanadas too. Of course, we love anything wrapped in dough!
Empanada Dough is easy to make
This recipe makes 12 large empanadas or 20 small empanadas. I like to make my empanada dough by hand since I prefer to feel the dough. You can make it in a food processor, if you like. The secret is to keep your butter cold. This will give you a flakey crust.
Add the water in small increments to the dough. You want the dough to just come together. You might not need all the water; it just depends on the humidity where you live.
Empanadas are classified as a type of hand pie
We tend to view empanadas as a type of South American fare, but many cultures have examples of food wrapped in dough. You can classify these various examples as hand pies. Many types of hand pies were created as a way that people could eat on the go; however, with one hand free you can even eat and work at the same time.
You may have heard of Italian calzones or Chinese bao buns, but there are many pastry wrapped treats. In the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, they make a form of empanada called the pasty. Think of them as being quite similar to the South American empanada, but they’re actually based on a Cornish recipe. In conclusion, I like to think good food knows no geographic boundaries.