Super Easy and Savory Baked Empanada Dough Recipe

Baked empanada dough made by hand is one of the most glorious things you can do to relieve stress. Yes, it sounds weird, but getting your hands messy as you combine flour, butter and salt into crumbly bits is very therapeutic. You could use a food processor, but it’s not quite as satisfying, although much quicker.

Similar to pie crust dough, this simple homemade empanada dough is easy to make, but can be finicky if you try to cut too many corners. You are looking for a flaky crust once these Latin American pockets are baked to a nice golden brown.

Empanada dough

Bake or FRy Empanadas

I prefer to bake whenever possible, instead of making fried empanadas. Baked empanadas still taste amazing and you don’t have all of those calories that come with frying.

There is also less chance that I will burn myself. I like to have the boys help me in the kitchen, and by baking this savory pie dough the kids can help throughout the entire empanada making process.

Doubling Your Baked empanada Dough

Personally, I like to double this empanada dough recipe, as empanadas can be time consuming to make, from empanada filling to rolling out the dough and baking each tray.

I’ve even been known to quadruple this recipe, but you should always split the ingredients into two large bowls. 18 cups of flour and 8 sticks of butter is a lot to work with when combining everything by hand.

Empanada dough

Baked empanada Dough ingredients

  • 4 ½ cup flour
  • 3 tsp salt
  • 1 cup of butter (2 sticks- chilled)
  • 2/3 cup of water
  • 2 tbsp white vinegar
  • 2 large eggs

Egg Wash Instructions

Whisk together1 egg plus 1 egg yolk with 1 tablespoon of water. Using a pastry brush, brush the tops of your raw empanadas after folding the dough over filling, crimping shut and placing on a baking sheet, but BEFORE you put the empanadas in the oven to bake.

Mojo Pork Empanadas

Baked Empanada dough instructions

  1. Sift flour and salt into a large bowl.
  2. Cut chilled butter into cubes. Add to flour.
  3. Crumble together flour mix and butter until well combined (little lumps are normal).
  4. Whisk together egg, vinegar and water in a separate small bowl.
  5. Add wet ingredients to butter flour mixture, using your fingers or a fork to combine.
  6. Knead the dough (push with your palms and then fold in half) four times.
  7. Break dough into two balls and wrap each in plastic wrap
  8. Refrigerate dough for at least 30 minutes to chill (will be easier to roll out, but if you are in a rush, you can use dough right away).
  9. Separate chilled dough into 2-3 tbsp balls.
  10. Roll each small dough ball with a rolling pin on a flour dusted surface. Alternately, you can use a tortilla press, like this one that we use, which will speed up the process a ton. You will want to place parchment paper rounds between each empanada shell to keep the dough separated once flattened.
  11. Fill empanada shells by placing about 1 tbsp of filling into the center of your baked empanada dough (as you get better at making empanadas, you can really stuff them, but to start, go small so your empanadas don’t burst open).
  12. Fold dough in half over the empanada filling, creating a semi-circle.
  13. Pinch the edges to seal and then use a fork to crimp the empanada shut or you can try the empanada curl/ braid sealing technique known as repulgue. TIP: You can put a little egg white on your finger to act as glue when you seal the empanada edge, but you must do this quickly so your empanada dough doesn’t get soggy.
  14. Transfer your empanada to the parchment lined baking sheet.
  15. Brush the tops of your baked empanadas with your egg wash.
  16. Bake at 375-400 degrees (depending on your oven) for 20-25 minutes, until the tops are golden brown.
Vegetarian Empanadas

Empanada Filling Ideas

Whether you like meat or vegetarian empanadas, we have quite a few recipes for you to try, including:

Pizza Empanadas: While not traditional, if you have very picky eaters in your house, you can mix a little pasta sauce into a bowl of shredded mozzarella cheese and use that as your empanada dough filling. Sometimes we chop up pepperoni to put inside our pizza empanadas too. You just don’t want a soggy filling. Plain ole slices of mozzarella with a pasta sauce dip is a hit in our house too.

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Yield: 16-18

Baked Empanada Dough

Baked Empanada dough

This easy baked empanada dough will have you whipping up flaky pastry pouches once a week to feed your entire family. All you need to figure out is which filling to spoon into each circle of dough!

Prep Time 20 minutes
Additional Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 4 ½ cup flour
  • 3 tsp salt
  • 1 cup of butter (2 sticks- chilled)
  • 2/3 cup of water
  • 2 tbsp white vinegar
  • 2 large eggs

Instructions

  1. Sift flour and salt into a large bowl.
  2. Cut chilled butter into cubes. Add to flour.
  3. Crumble together flour mix and butter until well combined (little lumps are normal).
  4. Whisk together egg, vinegar and water in a separate small bowl.
  5. Add wet ingredients to butter flour mixture, using your fingers or a fork to combine.
  6. Knead the dough (push with your palms and then fold in half) four times.
  7. Break dough into two balls and wrap each in plastic wrap
  8. Refrigerate dough for at least 30 minutes to chill (will be easier to roll out, but if you are in a rush, you can use dough right away).
  9. Separate chilled dough into 2-3 tbsp balls.
  10. Roll each small dough ball with a rolling pin on a flour dusted surface. Alternately, you can use a tortilla press, like this one that we use, which will speed up the process a ton. You will want to place parchment paper rounds between each empanada shell to keep the dough separated once flattened.
  11. Fill empanada shells by placing about 1 tbsp of filling into the center of your baked empanada dough (as you get better at making empanadas, you can really stuff them, but to start, go small so your empanadas don't burst open).
  12. Fold dough in half over the empanada filling, creating a semi-circle.
  13. Pinch the edges to seal and then use a fork to crimp the empanada shut or you can try the empanada curl/ braid sealing technique known as repulgue. TIP: You can put a little egg white on your finger to act as glue when you seal the empanada edge, but you must do this quickly so your empanada dough doesn't get soggy.
  14. Transfer your empanada to the parchment lined baking sheet.
  15. Brush the tops of your baked empanadas with your egg wash.
  16. Bake at 375-400 degrees (depending on your oven) for 20-25 minutes, until the tops are golden brown.


Egg Wash Instructions

Whisk together1 egg plus 1 egg yolk with 1 tablespoon of water. Using a pastry brush, brush the tops of your raw empanadas after folding the dough over filling, crimping shut and placing on a baking sheet, but BEFORE you put the empanadas in the oven to bake.

Notes

This recipe does NOT work with Gluten-Free 1-to-1 flour.

FILLING IDEAS:

Pizza Empanadas: While not traditional, if you have very picky eaters in your house, you can mix a little pasta sauce into a bowl of shredded mozzarella cheese and use that as your empanada dough filling. Sometimes we chop up pepperoni to put inside our pizza empanadas too. You just don't want a soggy filling. Plain ole slices of mozzarella with a pasta sauce dip is a hit in our house too.

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