Las Empanadas

Want to get on board the burgeoning American food trend that is sweeping Australia? Here is a simple recipe for stuffed bread or pastry, which can be either baked or fried, that will have your customers saying “muchas gracias!”

There are two types of dough, depending on whether the empanada is baked or fried.Each recipe will make 20 rounds of dough, 14cm across.

Allow about 30 minutes preparation time and two hours resting time.

Serves

Makes 20

Preparation time

30 minutes

Resting time

2 hours

WHAT TO DO

Classic dough (for baking)

1. Cut 325g of unsalted butter into small cubes. Sift 1kg of plain (all-purpose) flour into a large bowl. Add 25g of salt and the cubes of butter.

2. Rub the butter into the flour and salt with your hands until you have a sandy texture with no lumps.

3. Add 350ml of water and combine with the flour mixture using your hands. Add a little more water if necessary. Knead the dough on a lightly floured work surface for 10-15 minutes.

4. Form into a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for two hours.

Puffed dough (for frying)

1. Combine 1kg of plain (all purpose) flour with 25g of salt in a bowl.

2. Add 160ml of sunflower oil and 350ml of water, then mix with a wooden spoon.

3. Turn out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead for 10-15 minutes until smooth. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for two hours.

The edging

After sealing the empanada, you can give it whatever look you like, based on the traditional decorations or not. Here are some repulgue (traditional empanada edges) used by Clásico Argentino.

Choriempa (1): Place a sausage on the round of dough and fold the edges inward. Carefully wrap the sausage in the dough

Pastelito (2): Place a square of dough on the work surface. Place a portion of filling in the middle. Place a second square of dough on top, offsetting the corners relative to the first square, so you make an 8-pointed star. Pinch together the corners of the bottom square.

Humita (3): Once the empanada has been shaped into a half-moon, pinch the edge in five places to make a decoration with five points.

Pollo (4): Once the empanada has been shaped into a half-moon, seal the edges using a fork: mark the dough in five places to make a striped decoration.

Cordero (5): Once the empanada has been shaped into a half-moon, make waves in the edge with your fingers.

Jamon y queso (6): Once the empanada has been shaped into a half-moon and the edges are well sealed, bring the two points towards each other and join them together.

Puerro (7): Once the empanada has been shaped into a half-moon and the edges are well sealed, gather the two points together and join them while keeping the edging quite flat, so your empanada is almost circular.

Carne (8): Once the empanada has been shaped into a half-moon and the edges are well sealed, fold the edges over themselves 13 consecutive times, from one end to the other (see illustrations below). The ‘carne’ decoration is the most classic edging, the ‘pollo’ one is the easiest to do. You will encounter still more decorations at Clasico Argentino. These are the most common ones.


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