Baking | Empanada Gallega … Daring Bakers at their best!

“I celebrate food every day, it’s sustains us and forms who we are.”
John-Bryan Hopkins

Empanada Gallega It was the 27th and my mind was singing Empanada Gallegaonly that procrastinating got the better of me this time around. It’s the Daring Baker time of the month, and this time I got deluged with work. Not that I didn’t do the challenge; I didn’t draft the post in time. From Filled Pate a Choux Swans last month to savoury pies in September, the journey gets more delicious every month.

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!

Empanada GallegaI was instantly attracted to the origin and inspiration behind these charming little pies. The story so beautifully and poetically narrated by Patri, it played in my mind as a film. In her words …Empanada GallegaEmpanada Gallega

My grandparents lived in a country house that my great-grandfather built a hundred years ago. It is in the northwest of Spain, right on top of Portugal, in the region called Galicia. Back in the 70s, the kitchen was the place of gathering, talking, reading… and there was always something cooking on the iron stove, be it a pot of caldo (a hearty soup), or a stew, or a cake in the oven. When I think back to those days, I can smell the sweetness of burnt wood or coal, the almost “chocolate” scent that rose up to your nostrils when you opened the door, the warmth of the air when coming in from a cool, windy and wet August morning…

Empanada Gallega  I knew instantly that I would be making these! The dough was ready in next to no time. I made the whole recipe for dough and have to say there was a LOT of dough! {I substituted a little bit of plain flour with whole wheat}. You can make one large pie, or many small ones. The dough lasted 3 days {keeps well in the fridge}. On day three I made Turkish pizzas with it. Wonderful stuff!

An empanada{or empada, in Portuguese} is a stuffed bread or pastry baked or fried in many countries in Western Europe, Latin America, and parts of Southeast Asia. The name comes from the Galician, Portuguese and Spanish verb empanar, meaning to wrap or coat in bread.

Empanada GallegaIt’s an easy dough to use, and the recipe is interesting. You roll out the dough and use it like a pastry dough for pie, a larger portion for the bottom. Place it in your baking dish with a rim {step by step here}. Top with filling and cover with a smaller portion of rolled out dough and seam the edges. The amount of dough you use it up to you entirely. Since I’m trying {read desperately} to cut back on carbs these days, I rolled the dough really thin. It worked like a charm!Empanada GallegaAs Patri says, Empanada is the kind of food that makes one go back to childhood. A bread-like dough that surrounds a vegetable frittata with anything you can imagine, from sardines to beef. Or filled with sugar, butter and fruit. Warm or cold, it was simple, pretty, and delicious.Empanada GallegaThe amazing thing is that almost every region in the world has an empanada sort of preparation whether it be the curry puff from Malaysia, samosa and  gujiya from India, calzones from Italy, meat pies from Ghana, börek from Turkey, kibbeh from Lebanon … and plenty more! {‘Plenty’ reminds me of Ottolenghis new book ‘Jerusalem‘ that Shulie just shouted out about! Another winner, another cookbook on the wishlist. Sigh} Empanada GallegaI made a portion of lamb filled empanada galettas  as well {with the same lamb filling from the Lamb Purslane Pides aka Turkish pizza}. This is a handy basic empanada recipe and makes for great food on the go. Make one large empanada galletta or small ones, even petit work well in a muffin tray maybe, or in ramekins.Empanada Gallega

Do stop by here and check out some the amazing empanada galletas that will make you instantly crave pie! Thank you Patri for sharing your delicious childhood memories and recipe with us. Thank you as always Lisa of La Mia Cucina and Ivonne of Cream Puffs in Venice for hosting this fab kitchen!!


Recipe: Empanada Gallega your picture

Summary: A bread-like dough that surrounds a filling with just about anything you can imagine, from mushrooms, mince and cheese. Or filled with sugar, butter and fruit. Warm or cold, it’s simple, pretty, and delicious.

Servings: 10 {makes a 40cmx30cm square empanada / a 35cm diameter round empanada or 8-10 4″ round pies like I made.} Minimally adapted from here

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

  • Empanada Gallega Dough
  • 650g plain flour
  • 100g whole wheat flour
  • 480ml lukewarm water
  • 17g / 1 1/4 tbsp instant yeast
  • 10g / 2tsp salt
  • 60ml oil
  • 1 large egg for wash
  • Filling
  • 500g chicken mince
  • 100g / 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, chopped fine
  • 1-2 tbsp dried herbs , or fresh
  • 1 tsp chili flakes
  • 4 small eggplants, chopped fine
  • 200g mushrooms, chopped fine
  • 1tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 200gm mozzarella, grated
  • 2 tsp olive oil


  1. Empanada Gallega Dough
  2. Sift both flour into a big bowl and make a well in the middle. Rub the yeast in with your fingers.
  3. In a small bowl, mix the water and the salt.
  4. Now, using your fingers or a wooden spoon, start adding the water and mixing it with the flour-yeast mixture. Keep on working with your fingers or spoon until you have added enough water and all the flour has been incorporated and you have a messy ball of dough.
  5. On a clean counter top, knead the dough for approximately 10 minutes
  6. Stand mixer
  7. Mix the ingredients with the paddle attachment until mixed and then switch to a dough hook and knead on low for about 6 minutes.
  8. Thermomix
  9. Place all ingredients in TM bowl and mix on speed 6 for 30 seconds, then knead for 5 minutes.
  10. Clean and oil the big bowl you used for mixing and place the kneaded dough in it. Cover it with a napkin or piece of linen and keep it in a warm, draught-free place for approximately 40 to 50 minutes.
  11. Once risen, turn the dough back into a floured counter and cut it in half. Cover one half with the napkin to prevent drying.
  12. Spread the other half of the dough using a rolling pin. You can use a piece of wax paper over the counter, it will make it easier to move the dough around. Depending on the shape of your oven pan or cookie sheet, you will make a rectangle or a round.
  13. Now, the thinness of the dough will depend on your choice of filling and how much bread you like in every bite. For your first time, make it about 3mm thin (about 1/10th of an inch) and then adjust from that in the next ones you make.
  14. Sprinkle a little grated cheese over the bottom. Place the filling, making sure it is cold and that all the base is covered. Sprinkle a wee bit more cheese if you like. {Using a hot filling will make the bottom layer of the empanada become soggy. Be careful to avoid adding too much oil from the filling, try to make it as “dry” as possible.}
  15. Start preheating your oven to moderate 180ºC.
  16. I lined the bases on my ramekins with parchment paper to be on the safer side.
  17. Take the other half of the dough and spread it out to the same or less thinness of the base. You can use a piece of wax paper for this too. Take into account that this “top” dough needs to be smaller around than the bottom, as it only needs to cover the filling.
  18. If not using wax paper, move carefully the top to cover the filling. If using wax paper, transfer the dough, turn upside down, cover the filling and gently peel off the wax paper.
  19. Using your fingers, join bottom and top dough, when you have gone all the way around, start pinching top and bottom together with your thumb and index finger and turning them half way in, that way you end up with a rope-like border.
  20. When you are finished, make a 1 inch hole in the middle of the top layer, {or stamp out shapes with a tiny cookie cutter}. This will help hot air exit the empanada while it’s baking without breaking the cover.
  21. In a small bowl, beat an egg and add a tbsp of cold water. With the pastry brush, paint the top of the empanada with the egg wash.
  22. Place the empanada in the oven and bake for about 25 minutes for small pies and 45 minutes for a large one. Check that the bottom part is done.
  23. Let the pies cool on a cooling rack for about 20-30 minutes before trying to dislodge from pie tins/ramekins. Gently run a butterknife along the edges to ease them out.
  24. Filling
  25. Heat the olive oil in a wok and add the onions, garlic and red chili flakes {and dried herbs if using}. Sauté  over low heat until the garlic is fragrant.
  26. Add the chicken mince and roast on high flame till the mince its light golden, no longer pink {5-7 minutes}.
  27. Next add the chopped eggplant and mushrooms and sauté again over high heat until most the liquid has disappeared and the mince is quite dry.
  28. Season with salt and pepper, drizzle in the Worcestershire sauce and add fresh herbs if using. Give it all a good stir, stir until quite dry so the pastry doesn’t get soggy.  Cool completely before using as filling.
  29. Note: This makes a good chicken mince samosa filling too.


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Also find me on The Rabid Baker, The Times of India

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About me: I am a freelance food writer, recipe developer and photographer. Food is my passion - baking, cooking, developing recipes, making recipes healthier, using fresh seasonal produce and local products, keeping a check on my carbon footprint and being a responsible foodie! I enjoy food styling, food photography, recipe development and product reviews. I express this through my food photographs which I style and the recipes I blog. My strength lies in 'Doing Food From Scratch'; it must taste as good as it looks, and be healthy too. Baking in India, often my biggest challenge is the non-availability of baking ingredients, and this has now become a platform to get creative on. I enjoy cooking immensely as well.


  • They’re almost too pretty to eat. Love that you made individual ones. I think I have those same custard dishes. I’m going to have to starting using them in more ways. Wish I’d made time to do the DB challenge this month. Looks scrumptious!
    Barbara @ Barbara Bakes´s last blog post ..Chocolate Cheesecake CakeMy Profile

    • 3 years ago

      You are sweet GF! Done with the son’s wedding? All good? Can’t imagine you didn’t give the challenge a go. Let’s see what next month brings up! This is one group I love being a part of. Hugs!!

  • 3 years ago

    sooooooooooooo pretttttttyyyyyyyyy. i as wem just doing mine :) i love the filling as well
    Ruchira´s last blog post ..Hot chocolate brownies. One pot.My Profile

    • 3 years ago

      Oh what fun. You are a busy daring baker dahlin’! I had fun with these. Anything petite or individual makes me feel very creative. ♥ playing around with DB challenges.

  • 3 years ago

    They look gorgeous! Deliciously done!
    Ansh´s last blog post ..Lamb Apricot Stew – Indian InspiredMy Profile

  • 3 years ago

    Charming pies indeed! Love that these are made with yeast dough and the dough can be refrigerated. Cutting down on the carbs? Why? Envy you for baking so extensively, yet being in shape! My baking shows on me :((
    Suma Rowjee´s last blog post ..Bengali Rasmalai / Angoori Rasmalai – A Guest Post By Sayantani MahapatraMy Profile

    • 3 years ago

      Cutting down on carbs with hub in mind. I eat very small portions anyway. Now inspired by peeps on FB, even take the dog out at 6 every morning. Not sure how long it’ll last, but am trying. LOL!! You are in Daring Bakers from October right? FUN!!

  • simran kamath
    3 years ago

    These are perfect…….the individual servings…the filling is ingenious…using chicken and veggies(perfect for my veggie hating son)…….and last but not the least…you look why the carb cutting?

    • 3 years ago

      Simran, you are too gfenerous with your sweet words. Taking a bow! Cutting down on carbs with hub in mind, and all that the papers talk about these days. Old age=slow metabolism!! LOL

  • 3 years ago

    I love the way they look !!!
    Can’t wait to try the single serves…. :-)
    Cheers !!
    The Backyard Baker´s last blog post ..THE DARING BAKERS’ September 2012 Challenge: EMPANADA GALLEGAMy Profile

  • 3 years ago

    It has a very rustic feel to it. I really want to try this one.
    indugetscooking´s last blog post ..Vada PavMy Profile

  • 3 years ago

    Oh, wonderful! Those mini-pies look amazing. I love that filling. Tasty!



  • Kaajal Pradhan lamba
    3 years ago

    Deeba , your posts are always a delight to go through :). Inviting pic and lovely write up …am gonna try this soon, looks like something my daughter will def. like 😛

    • 3 years ago

      Kaajal, I am touched that you stopped by. Thank you!

  • 3 years ago

    These are not empanadas as I am used to which are half moon or even triangular in shape. They look as beautiful as the probably taste.
    belllii´s last blog post ..Calgary-Style Ginger Fried Chicken with Snow Peas and PeppersMy Profile

  • 3 years ago

    Lovely ones Deeba.. I too love individual ones:) Urs looks cute and u always rock.

  • 3 years ago

    Promises and pie-crusts are meant to be broken.
    Can we get some pie crusts to break the coming weekend. :-)
    They look so delicious. Almost licked my lappy. So hungry.
    Rituparna´s last blog post ..Congo Bars – Secret Recipe Club – September 2012 – The More Than Occasional BakerMy Profile

  • 3 years ago

    Gorgeous empanadas! They look delicious, and the filling sounds spectacular!
    Jenni´s last blog post ..Fall Spice Play-doughMy Profile

  • I love all the variations that can be made with this dough and the possibilities for fillings are endless!
    Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen´s last blog post ..Chocolate Dipped Nut BitesMy Profile

  • 3 years ago

    ah Deeba your empanada gallega look absolutely amazing!!
    gloria´s last blog post ..Oreos and lemon mousseMy Profile

  • 3 years ago

    Wow, Deeba, you ar such a creative DB!!! You made so many versions, all of them yummy and gorgeous. Best regards and congratulations on a beautifully done challenge!
    Patri´s last blog post ..September Daring Bakers Challenge – Empanada GallegaMy Profile

  • As always a wonderful job on this challenge Deeba
    I love the idea of chicken and eggplant for a filling. I need to try that soon
    Sawsan (Chef in disguise)´s last blog post ..Empanada GallegaMy Profile

  • 3 years ago

    Vindee, I am so impressed that you are still doing the Daring Bakers. I think they kicked me out a couple years ago. I love empanadas but have not made in little pans, which would be easier (in my opinion) to make. I love the chicken and eggplant – definitely adding these to my list of much makes this winter! Perfect for a chilly night at home.
    Denise´s last blog post ..Steamed ClamsMy Profile

  • Neev
    3 years ago

    Love the look of your empanadas. We ate lots of curry puffs as kids in Malaysia.
    We use to have a curry puff press, might try maiking them the way you did. There are called Karipap and the version with a oil dough is called Karipap Pusing.
    Refer to my posting below.
    Neev´s last blog post ..Karipap PusingMy Profile

  • 3 years ago

    They look so wicked 😉
    Beautiful wicked…
    sangeeta khanna´s last blog post ..Roghan josh recipe with sun dried Apricots…My Profile

  • 3 years ago

    The empanadas look absolutely delish.I have been a silent reader all this while. I love all your posts,the clicks,the write ups and last but not the least the recipes.A lot of hardwork shows in your presentation.You are a great inspiration for new bloggers like me.Love to see more of your wonderful creations.
    Sonali´s last blog post ..Potol-aloo Posto (Pointed-gourd and potato in Khus-khus paste)My Profile

  • 3 years ago

    Loving these! Totally delicious, and great photos! :)
    sara´s last blog post ..Sweet Potato-Pulled Pork HashMy Profile

  • beautiful version of the classic empanadas…and delicious filling
    Himanshu @ The White Ramekins´s last blog post ..Daring Bakers | Empanadas…go veggieMy Profile

  • 3 years ago

    These look absolutely stunning! Love the little smiley face that one of them is making :-)

  • 3 years ago

    Been thinking about trying a yeasted galette for ages, your beautiful empanadas are nudging me towards the kitchen. Love that burnished crust.
    Tadka Pasta´s last blog post ..Floored by Flowery FrittersMy Profile

  • I am trying not to salivate looking at all of the deliciousness going on here!
    Kiran @´s last blog post ..Whole Wheat Sunflower Seed BreadMy Profile

  • 3 years ago

    Beautiful! I love the shape and wow love the filling! This is actually something my family would love. Your styling is beautiful, too, sistah!
    Jamie´s last blog post ..LEMON PECAN ALMOND QUICK BREADMy Profile

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