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Empanada Dough The Easy Way

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Empanada dough, the thought alone might feel like a daunting task. But what if I tell you that shouldn't be that way?

How to make empanada dough the easy way. By hand or with a kitchen machine. Done in no time for tasty sweet or savory empanadas. Visit thetortiliachannel.com for the recipes. #thetortiliachannel #empanadadough #empanadadoughrecipe #howtomakeempandadough

That it can be quite easy to make yourself and create the best base for your sweet and savory empanada recipes. So are you ready to learn how to make empanada dough? Let’s get started!

How to make empanada dough the easy way. By hand or with a kitchen machine. Done in no time for tasty sweet or savory empanadas. Visit thetortiliachannel.com for the recipes. #thetortiliachannel #empanadadough #empanadadoughrecipe #howtomakeempandadough

What Is An Empanada?

Empanada originates from the Spanish word empanar which means covered by bread dough. That is just what we are doing with this recipe for empanadas dough.

An empanada is a baked or fried turnover consisting of a filling that is covered with pastry that is common in Latin America and the Filipinos.

The filling mostly of meat, cheese, fish, pork, apples, pineapples, or other ingredients, that are baked in the oven or fried in oil.

I first encountered empanadas in Spain in the local bakery shops that have long oval empanadas with savory fillings like:

However, the empanada is a world recipe as you can find in many countries and regions like North and South America, Europe like Spain and Italy but also Cape Verde and the Philippines.

Most likely this recipe traveled from Spain all across the globe.

Empanadas are also known as:

  • Hand pies
  • Turnovers
  • Galician pie or empanada gallega – this is a rectangular pie

Homemade Empanada Dough

Making homemade empanada dough is really easy. You can make it quite easy by hand but it is even easier if you have a kitchen machine.

In both cases, it does not require a lot of kneading which is a good thing. You can make it with a sweet or a savory filling.

If you have leftovers dough? Great, use it with your favorite filling. When you make this easy dough recipe you can adjust the dough to your liking.

So add some spices and herbs to enhance the taste of the crust or make it sweet if you want to turn it into a sweet dessert.

You can make an empanada shell using a plate or lid. I have an empanada cutter that I can use to cut a disc and to fold an empanada.

Of course, you can fold an empanada by hand which is how it should be done but these empanada shapes work really well.

How to make empanada dough the easy way. By hand or with a kitchen machine. Done in no time for tasty sweet or savory empanadas. Visit thetortiliachannel.com for the recipes. #thetortiliachannel #empanadadough #empanadadoughrecipe #howtomakeempandadough

If you want to see how you can make empanada dough the easy way at home, take a look at the instruction video.

It shows you step-by-step instructions so you can easily follow along and make this recipe for empanadas dough.

It is really super easy to make especially with a kitchen machine.

Empanada Dough Ingredients

This flaky empanada dough recipe has a lot of similarities to pastry dough. One of the main ingredients is butter.

If you would want to make it vegan you could try vegan butter but be aware that vegan butter contains more water than regular butter.

Empanada dough ingredients contain the following items:

  • All-purpose flour
  • Butter
  • Egg
  • Salt
  • Water

How to make empanada dough the easy way. By hand or with a kitchen machine. Done in no time for tasty sweet or savory empanadas. Visit thetortiliachannel.com for the recipes. #thetortiliachannel #empanadadough #empanadadoughrecipe #howtomakeempandadough

How To Make Empanada Dough

To make empanada dough for baking start with flour and salt. I use a kitchen machine and pulse the salt through the flour.

Then take the butter and slice it into small pieces about 15 pieces of butter. Again pulse the kitchen machine to combine the flour and butter.

You get a crumbly structure.

Whisk the egg in a separate bowl. Now it is time to add the beaten egg and drizzle the water in a steady stream while the kitchen machine pulses.

At this point, you will get a consistent flaky dough. Take the dough out of the kitchen machine and wrap it in foil.

Let it rest in the refrigerator for an hour. Then you can use it to make your empanadas.

You can leave it in the fridge if you plan on using it within a day or two or store it in the freezer.

When you are ready to use the dough divide it in half. Roll the dough into a rectangle of about ¼ inch thick (a bit over ½ centimeter).

Take a small plate, an empanada cutter, or a large cookie cutter ring to cut the discs.

If they are too thick flatten the empanada discs with your rolling pin.

That is it, your empanada dough is ready to use.

Sweet apple empanadas made with homemade empanada dough and apple pie filling. Visit the tortillachannel.com #thetortiliachannel #sweetempanadas #sweetappleempandas

How Long Should You Bake Filled Empanadas?

When you have made your empanadas and brushed them with egg wash all you have to do is preheat your oven to 400℉.

Bake for 20-25 minutes and your empanadas should be golden brown else leave them in for another 5 minutes.

Freeze Empanada Dough

Empanada dough freezes really well so you have two options after making the dough:

  • Freeze dough – cut the desired amount of dough, put it in plastic wrap, and store in the freezer
  • Freeze shells – cut the desired amount of dough. Roll the dough and cut empanada discs with a plate or empanada shape. When storing the discs, separate the empanada shells with some baking paper

When you want to use the shells, thaw about 15 minutes before use. If you flatten the complete dough it will take at least 45 minutes to thaw.

You can store the dough in the fridge but not for more than 24 hours. If you need more time cut the dough into portions and freeze.

How to make empanada dough the easy way. By hand or with a kitchen machine. Done in no time for tasty sweet or savory empanadas. Visit thetortiliachannel.com for the recipes. #thetortiliachannel #empanadadough #empanadadoughrecipe #howtomakeempandadough

How Big Is An Empanada?

Traditionally, an empanada is six inches in diameter. When you use these empanada press or empanada mold you get 5 different sizes 6.1 inches, 4.7 inches, 3.7 inches, 3 inches, and 2.7 inches.

You can make them any size you want or adjust to the tools you are using like:

  • Empanada cutter
  • Cookie-cutter
  • Small plate
  • Biscuit cutter
  • Coffee lid
  • Circular cutter

If you want to make a mini or small version also known as empanaditas they measure three inches in diameter.

Can I Make This Empanada Dough Gluten-Free?

When you want to substitute all-purpose flour for gluten-free flour take a look at this gluten-free empanada dough recipe.

Making gluten-free empanada dough requires some additional ingredients like xanthan gum, cream cheese, and apple cider vinegar. 

More Empanada Recipes

If you make your own dough take a look at this recipe to fill it:

Empanadillas de bonita are Spanish empanadas filled with tuna. A Spanish tapas recipe that you can eat for lunch or before dinner. Visit thetortiliachannel.com for the full recipe #thetortiliachannel #empanadillas #empanadillasdebonita #spanishempanadas #empanadas #tapas #snack

Have fun making this homemade recipe for empanadas dough. I hope you love it as much as I do!

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How to make empanada dough the easy way. By hand or with a kitchen machine. Done in no time for tasty sweet or savory empanadas. Visit thetortiliachannel.com for the recipes. #thetortiliachannel #empanadadough #empanadadoughrecipe #howtomakeempandadough

How To Make Empanada Dough

Serves: 13 Prep Time: 5 minutes Cooking Time: 0 minutes

Want to learn how to make homemade empanada dough? Try this easy empanada dough recipe. You can make it by hand or with a kitchen machine.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup/170 gram cold butter (note 1)
  • ¼ cup to ½ cup of water (note 2)
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

Instructions

  1. Combine flour and salt in kitchen machine pulse twice to combine flour and salt
  2. Cut the butter in 15 small pieces. Add to the flour and pulse the kitchen machine to combine. You get a crumbly structure
  3. Add the beaten egg and drizzle the water in a steady stream while the kitchen machine pulses. It will turn into a consistent flaky dough
  4. Take the dough out of the kitchen machine and wrap it in foil. Rest in the fridge for 1 hour
  5. Leave it in the fridge if you plan on using it within a day or two or store it in the freezer. If you are ready to use it, divide the dough in half and roll the dough into a rectangle of about ¼ inch thick (a bit over ½ centimeter)
  6. Cut the empanadas using a small plate, empanada cutter or large cookie cutter

Notes

Note 1 - Use unsalted butter in this recipe Note 2 - If the dough is too dry after adding ¼ cup of water you can add more water. Add 1 teaspoon at a time until the dough is neither wet or dry

Nutrition facts

Calories: 204; Fat: 11g; Carbs: 22g; Protein; 3.5g;

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45 Comments

  • Reply
    Erin
    October 28, 2019 at 1:07 am

    Looks easy, but how long do you bake the filled empanadas?

    • Reply
      Mireille
      October 28, 2019 at 6:29 am

      That is a very good question Erin, thanks for that. You bake the filled empanadas for 20-25 minutes at 400℉. Your empanadas should be golden brown.

      • Reply
        Erin
        October 30, 2019 at 12:05 am

        Thank you! I am making tonight.

  • Reply
    MaryEllen
    October 30, 2019 at 10:41 pm

    How thinly do you roll out the dough?

    • Reply
      Mireille
      October 31, 2019 at 6:29 am

      MaryEllen,

      I roll the dough to about 1/4 of inch (a bit over half a centimeter).

    • Reply
      Sophia sangki
      August 26, 2020 at 11:28 pm

      Can i use shortening instead of butter?

      • Reply
        Mireille
        August 27, 2020 at 9:13 pm

        You can but it can have an effect on the texture of the dough. It might not be as flacky as when you use butter, something to be aware of.

  • Reply
    Carla
    January 27, 2020 at 8:28 pm

    Do you beat the egg before adding to the mixture?

    • Reply
      Mireille
      January 27, 2020 at 9:18 pm

      Hi Carla,

      Correct, I beat the egg and add it to the dough. You can also see it in the video when I add the beaten egg.

  • Reply
    Alex
    February 1, 2020 at 3:44 am

    How long should you fry them for?

  • Reply
    Jonie
    February 25, 2020 at 11:30 pm

    The next day after I make a desert type empanada (with pineapple or apple filing), the empanadas are “soggy” and soft, not firm like the previous day. Does my filing have too much moisture, or is there something that I can add to the dough to keep it firm longer after baking?

    • Reply
      Mireille
      February 26, 2020 at 9:01 am

      Hi Jonie,

      Sorry to hear your empanadas were “soggy” the next day. It can indeed be that your filling holds a lot of moisture. My apple filling has the consistency of a thick puree and is not runny. I do not know what type of consistency your filling had.

      What you can do is put the filling in a sieve first before using it, that way any excess moisture can drain from your filling and will not end up in your empanadas.

      After baking I let leftover empanadas cool and either store them in the fridge if I want to eat them the next day or store them in the freezer. In all cases, I warm the empanadas again in the oven before serving this will revive the empanadas and firm them up. Hope this helps.

  • Reply
    Nancy
    March 1, 2020 at 3:24 pm

    What if you dont have a “kitchen machine” to make the dough??

    • Reply
      Mireille
      March 1, 2020 at 3:44 pm

      Nancy,

      You can make them by hand and use a wooden spoon en your hands to make the dough. Add the butter to the flour and first stir with a wooden spoon and try to break up the dough and combine it into a dough. When you have a crumbly texture and then add as described in the recipe using your hands to knead it into a dough.

      It will take a bit more effort to do it by hand but you can make it without a kitchen machine. Hope this helps.

  • Reply
    Maria T
    April 1, 2020 at 9:35 pm

    Do you brush melted butter or something else on the empanadas before you bake them they look so shiny
    Or is that just the butter

    • Reply
      Mireille
      April 1, 2020 at 9:51 pm

      Maria,

      When I bake my empanadas in the oven I brush them with egg wash.

  • Reply
    Carolina
    April 20, 2020 at 4:20 am

    I’m sorry but I don’t know what a kitchen machine is, is it a food processor, mixer or blender?
    Thank you

    • Reply
      Mireille
      April 20, 2020 at 8:27 am

      Caroline,

      No problem it is a food processor. You can also see it in the recipe video.

  • Reply
    Kerry
    April 21, 2020 at 12:18 am

    I don’t have any all purpose flour, do you think bread flour work?

    • Reply
      Mireille
      April 21, 2020 at 10:46 am

      Kerry,

      I never made empanada dough with bread flour. It contains more gluten than all-purpose flour but if that is what you got I would try it.
      Let us know how it turned out.

  • Reply
    Marina
    May 9, 2020 at 6:22 pm

    Can you sub gluten free all purpose flour for regular?

    • Reply
      Mireille
      May 10, 2020 at 10:32 am

      Marina,

      I’m sorry but I have not tried this recipe with gluten-free all-purpose flour so I can’t say if it would work. But I can imagine it to work so why not give it a try. Would love to know how it turns out.

  • Reply
    sherry
    May 30, 2020 at 7:04 pm

    Can I use a stand mixer with a dough hook for this?

    • Reply
      Mireille
      May 30, 2020 at 8:01 pm

      Sherry,

      I never make empanada dough with a stand mixer but I do not see any reason why it wouldn’t work with a stand mixer.

    • Reply
      Rose
      July 19, 2020 at 7:39 pm

      Before I try your recipe what size disc should they be?
      3,4,5,6 inches?
      Thank you

      • Reply
        Mireille
        July 20, 2020 at 10:10 am

        Rose,

        Traditionally the size of an empanada is 6 inch but you can make them any size you want.

  • Reply
    Kim
    July 28, 2020 at 7:12 am

    Would this recipe work with a Nutri Ninja blender?

    • Reply
      Mireille
      July 28, 2020 at 11:26 am

      Kim,

      I do not have a Nutri Ninja blender so I can’t say if it will work. If you can make bread dough in this blender it should not be a problem to make empanada dough. If it is a blender to make smoothies with, I do not think it will work.

  • Reply
    patricia
    August 17, 2020 at 11:34 pm

    Buen día las cantidades del huevo harina y mantequilla cuales son??? Gracias

    • Reply
      Mireille
      August 18, 2020 at 11:37 am

      Patricia,

      You can find the amounts per ingredient in the recipe.

  • Reply
    Hannah
    August 19, 2020 at 3:55 pm

    I find the fastest way to make empanada is by using a small tortilla presser. It’s sooo fast and easy. I would weigh my dough and make a tiny ball and flatten it in the presser

    • Reply
      Mireille
      August 20, 2020 at 8:56 am

      Thanks Hannah,

      Using a tortilla press is a great way to make empanada shells.

  • Reply
    Shannon Daniels
    August 21, 2020 at 10:26 pm

    Could you possibly include a picture of your kitchen machine? I wonder if any of us have anything similar to whatever it is you’re referencing. Thank you.

    • Reply
      Mireille
      August 22, 2020 at 8:46 am

      Shannon you can see my food processor in the recipe video. I use a Philips food processor similar to a Kenwood or Magimix food proceesor

  • Reply
    Alyssa
    September 2, 2020 at 10:14 pm

    Would you knead the dough after in a kitchenaid mixer if you have one , it so for how long ?

    • Reply
      Mireille
      September 3, 2020 at 9:07 am

      Hi Alyssa,

      If you make the dough in a food processor I would not knead the dough after in a Kitchenaid mixer.
      You can make the empanada dough in a Kitchenaid mixer. It works the same as a food processor so as soon as the dough comes together and forms into a ball and comes away from the side of the bowl your dough is done. You can take it out of the bowl and wrap in cling film to rest in the fridge.
      Does this answer your question?

  • Reply
    Leah
    November 9, 2020 at 11:28 pm

    Hi! Thanks for the great recipe. If i leave the dough in the fridge overnight should I let it warm up for and certain amount of time before rolling it out?

    • Reply
      Mireille
      November 10, 2020 at 8:25 am

      Hi Leah,

      Thank you for your comment. I do not let the dough warm-up when I take it out of the fridge. If your fridge is really cold and it is not possible to roll out the dough leave it on the kitchen counter for 5 minutes and try to roll it out. Hope this helps.

  • Reply
    Pat
    December 21, 2020 at 10:55 pm

    If I have a tortilla press, can I just make little balls out of the dough?

    • Reply
      Mireille
      December 22, 2020 at 3:54 pm

      Pat,

      You can indeed use a tortilla press to make empanada rounds. Just put the empanada balls in between parchment paper so it won’t stick to the press.

  • Reply
    Cathy
    December 30, 2020 at 7:51 pm

    About how many 4″ empanadas will one dough recipe make?

    • Reply
      Mireille
      December 31, 2020 at 5:44 pm

      Hi Cathy,

      Depending on how thick you roll the dough you should be able to make between 10 and 13

  • Reply
    Karen
    September 19, 2021 at 3:11 am

    I made this exactly the way the video showed. I thought it was never going be puffy the way it felt & handled. But it puffed up beautifully! Only problem I had was my own fault….I filled them too full….more is not better!
    Thanks! Is there other things this dough could be used for?

    • Reply
      Mireille
      September 19, 2021 at 9:12 am

      Karen,

      Glad to hear the empanadas puffed up. Indeed adding too much filling can cause issues. If you search empanadas here, you can find a lot different fillings you can make and turn them in breakfast empanadas, sweet empanadas, etc.

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