Friday, September 28, 2012

DB: Empanada Gallega

Patri of the blog, Asi Son Los Cosas, was our September 2012 Daring Bakers’ hostess and she decided to tempt us with one of her family’s favorite recipes for Empanadas! We were given two dough recipes to choose from and encouraged to fill our Empanadas as creatively as we wished!

I had a blast with this challenge.  This time the filling I used was just a basic ham and cheese mixture but it was delicious.  It was like a hot, gooey ham sandwich encased in a flaky and delicious pastry.  There are so many options for fillings, both sweet and savory, I can't wait to make more.  For this challange I made a large empanada but these would be perfect made into individual, smaller empanadas.  The individual empanadas would be perfect for parties or gatherings and easily customizable to suit any taste, as well as have a variety of options for your guests!

Empanada Gallega
Ingredients:

For the dough-
5 1/3 Cups bread flour
2 Cups water, lukewarm
1 Tbsp dry yeast
2 Tsp salt
4 Tbsp oil
1 large egg, for egg wash

For the filling-
1/2 Pound honey ham, roughly chopped
1/4 Pound peppered ham, roughly chopped
1/2 Pound Gruyere cheese, shredded
1/4 Pound Provolone cheese, shredded

Directions:

In a large bowl combine flour and dry yeast and whisk together, make a well in the center of the flour mixture.  In a small bowl combine water and salt and stir to combine.  Gradually start adding the water mixture to the flour mixture and stir using a wooden spoon.  Keeping working the dough, adding water until the dough has come together and is beginning to form a messy ball.  Turn the dough out on a well floured surface and knead for about 10 minutes. 

Spray a large, clean bowl with non-stick cooking spray and place the dough in the prepared bowl.  Cover with a towel and place in a warm area and allow to rise for 45-50 minutes. 

Once the dough is risen, doubled in size, turn out on floured surface and cut in half.  Place one half back in the bowl and cover.  Roll dough out into desired shape, I made a rectangle, and roll it to an 1/8 of an inch in thickness. 

Preheat oven to 350.  Place a rectangular baking stone in the oven and allow to heat for about 10 minutes.

Place the rolled dough on the heated stone. Evenly spread the hams and cheeses over the dough, leaving about 1 inch free space around the sides. 

Roll the other half of the dough to the same thickness of the bottom layer of dough.  Making the top layer slightly small than the bottom layer.  Place the rolled dough over the filling.  Using your fingers, pinch together the bottom and top layer of dough, folding the pieces over half way to result in a rope-like border.

Once the dough is sealed, cut a 1 inch hole in the center to allow the heat to escape.  Using a fork, lightly poke holes over the entire top layer of dough.  Make egg wash by combining 1 tablespoon of water with the egg, stir to combine.  Using a pastry brush, brush the top of the pastry with the egg wash.  Place the empanada in the oven and bake for 45 minutes, making sure the bottom layer is completely baked.  Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes and serve.

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