An easier, quicker, lighter, no butter baked empanada perfect to combine with your favorite sweet or savory fillings.
'Tis the season.
I've got a lot of requests over the years for baked empanadas, for some reason it always stayed in the back of the queue, but I wanted to try something different: This dough is made with oil, instead of butter. I don't mind butter, but some readers do.
Most importantly, these are quite easy to make.
Through trial and error (3 errors to be exact, you don't want to know how those turned out) I managed to get a firm, elastic, and quite crunchy dough.
About this recipe
I am in love; I found that unlike deep-fried empanadas these do not get soggy and flat after a few minutes. Hours later (like 7 hours) I popped the last 8 of these in the oven, reheated them, and served them to my family for dinner. They were nearly as good and firm as when they came out of the oven the first time.
On the downside, this is not the flaky, crumbly dough that results from deep frying the empanadas, nor the buttery ones made traditionally with butter. But they are good in their own right and so much easier to work with, never mind that I hate deep frying with the fury of a thousand Santo Domingo drivers at peak hour.
These were absolutely fun to make (I made some with flower cutouts for my kid) but for this season, holly and berries.
This dough has the great advantage that – unlike butter – it is easier to work with in a hot kitchen (which is all the time in our country). Another advantage of this dough is that it has a neutral flavor, so you can use whatever filling you like, sweet or savory.
[Recipe + Video] Easier, No Butter Baked Empanadas
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- 2 cup all-purpose flour, a bit more may be needed
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ cup milk, a bit more may be needed (see notes)
- 1 egg
- Mixing the dough: In a mixing bowl mix flour, salt, and baking soda. Add ¼ cup of oil and ¼ cup of milk. Mix until all the ingredients are well incorporated.Knead lightly until the dough is smooth and elastic (about a minute). If the dough is too dry add more milk by teaspoons. If the dough is too shaggy add more flour by the tablespoons. It's best if the dough is just a bit on the dry side.Wrap in plastic film and let it rest at room temperature for an hour.
- Make the egg wash: Whisk the egg until it is well-mixed.
- Form the empanadas: Remove dough from the film and divide the ball into halves, then again until you have 16 balls.Roll out a ball with a rolling pin until it is about 3/32" thick (about 2 mm). Add a tablespoon of the filling in the center and fold over. Cut into a half-disk (3.5" diameter) with a cup or whatever you have. Remove the excess dough. Press the edges with a fork and place it on a greased baking tray.Repeat with the rest of the dough.
- Baking: Brush the empanadas with the egg wash, and bake in preheated oven at 450 °F [235 °C] for 15-20 minutes, or until they are golden brown.Remove from the oven and cool for a couple of minutes on a wire rack.
Tips and Notes
Vegan baked empanadasFor a vegan empanada, use your favorite milk substitute, but substitute baking powder for the baking soda. Instead of egg, paint with a mixture of a teaspoon of sugar, half a tablespoon of oil, and a tablespoon of the milk substitute you use. Be mindful that the golden color won't be as intense as with an egg wash.
To decorateWhat to do with the leftover dough? Use cookie cutters to cut leaves, flowers, or whatever is appropriate for the occasion. Place them on the empanada after you brush them with the egg, then brush the decoration with egg too. Also super helpful to cover small holes in the pasties if they occur during the process.
StoringThese cannot be stored after they have been assembled. If you need to make some preparations beforehand is best to cook the filling and prepare the dough and leave the assembly and baking for the last minute. Or bake and then re-heat them in the oven (never the microwave!).
Nutritional information is calculated automatically based on ingredients listed. Please consult your doctor if you need precise nutritional information.