Daring Bakers - Empanada Gallega with Cod

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!

This challenge was a wondeful appeal to my culture. I'm Portuguese and my family lives in the North, very close to Galiza (where this recipe comes from). However, empanadas are not traditional in the northern region and we've never tried it in the family.

For the filling I had to use salted cod. It is one of the main ingredients in the Portuguese cuisine. The result was very tasty and I'll try it again.

  Empanada Gallega with Cod

Servings: I prepared half the recipe indicated below and was a well served meal for two. It could also be a light snack for four.

Dough Ingredients:

5-1/3 cups (1280 ml) (750 gm) bread flour
2 cups (480 ml) of lukewarm water (about 85°F/30ºC), approximately
1 satchel (1 tablespoon) (15 gm) dry yeast or (1 oz) (30 gm) fresh yeast
2 teaspoons (10 ml) (11 gm) salt
4 tablespoons (60 ml) oil (you can use oil from the pan where you have cooked the filling)
1 large egg, for egg wash

Dough Directions:

  1. Measure out all the ingredients.
  2. Shift the 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. You could do all the above using a stand mixer, in that case mix the ingredients with the paddle attachment until mixed and then switch to a dough hook and knead on low for about 6 minutes.
  7. 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.
  8. Once risen, turn the dough back into a floured counter and cut it in half. Cover one half with the napkin to prevent drying.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.  

Filling Ingredients

2 chopped onions
2 garlic cloves
Olive oil
300 gm (10½ oz) salted cod, washed and cleaned (you put it in fresh water 24 hours before, change the water four times)
Chopped cilantro

Filling Directions:

  1. Finely chop the onion and garlic.
  2. Heat the oil in a skillet and add the onion and garlic, fry over medium heat until the onion is transparent
  3. When fully cooked add chopped olives.
  4. Cut cod in small pieces, and add. Stir everything together.
  5. Add salt as needed and some fresh chopped cilantro.
  6. Taste and adjust seasoning
  7. Allow to cool for at least half an hour before filling the empanada.

Assembling the empanada:

  1. If you haven’t used wax paper, either lightly flour or line with wax paper your pan or tray.
  2. Cover the base and sides with the dough. Using the rolling pin or a knife, cut the extra dough.
  3. Place the filling, making sure it is cold and that all the base is covered. 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.
  4. Start preheating your oven to moderate 350°F/180ºC/gas mark 4.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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. As a picture is worth a thousand words, please watch this video to see how it is done: http://youtu.be/CNpB7HkTdDk
  8. When you are finished, make a 1 inch hole in the middle of the top layer. This will help hot air exit the empanada while it’s baking without breaking the cover.
  9. You can use left-over dough to decorate the empanada, using rounds, bows, lines… let your imagination flow and make it pretty!
  10. Using a fork, prick the top layer or, using scissors, make snips that go all the way through the top layer.
  11. 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. 
  12. Place the empanada in the oven and bake for about 45 minutes. Check that the bottom part is done.

Storage and Freezing Instructions/Tips:

Empanadas are better eaten the day of baking, but will stay fresh for a day more if stored in a cool place (for instance, in a cold oven or in a cupboard) uncovered or covered with foil. You may use plastic wrap but the dough will become a little gummy. If the filling is fish or sea-food, and the weather is hot, you might stick the completely cooled left overs in the fridge, though the dough will become gummy. You can always re-heat it in a hot oven for about 5 minutes.

4 comentários:

What's for dessert? disse...

Interesting filling, great job!

Renata disse...

Imagino a delícia desta empanada com bacalhau. Certamente teria escolhido este recheio se tivessa acesso ao bacalhau salgado aqui na Coréia. Espetacular!

shelley c. disse...

So great that this challenge was something so local and familiar to you - and you did a wonderful job!! Love that you did the salt cod filling. Great job!

UFRV disse...

Preciosa empanada. Ojalá tuviera acceso a bacalao del bueno (del que tenéis ahí en el norte de Portugal) aquí en Madrid. Felicidades y un abrazo!