Friday, February 27, 2015

Galician Empanada Vegetariana | Baking Partners Spanish Feb Challenge

Originally from Galicia in Spain, Empanada is a stuffed bread or pastry baked or fried. Popular in several Spanish speaking countries, its name comes from the word "Empanar" which means to wrap or coat in bread in Galician, Portugues and Spanish languages.

Its consists of  thin bread dough made of wheat and corn flour (makkai ka aatta, not cornstarch) and stuffed with seafood, meat or even a mixture of vegetables called "zaragallada". It is a part of Galician identity though it is baked all over Spain. 

This time for Baking Partners Challenge by Swathi, Empanada was the chosen one by Marisa of ThermoFan. We were given the options of meat and vegetable fillings and obviously I went for vegetarian one. But I didn't go for zaragallada filling but just sauteed curried vegetables.

Luke warm water: 100 ml + 75 ml
Sugar: 1/2 tsp
Instant yeast: 1 tsp
All Purpose Flour: 250 g
Olive oil: 1 tbsp
Salt: 1 tsp

Zaragallada Filling:
Olive oil
Sweet onions, leek
Garlic cloves
tomatoes red pepper 'zucchini
salt & pepper : to taste

Dissolve yeast and sugar into 100ml water mix well and let it stand until frothy.

In a big bowl, sift flour and salt together. Make a well and add in the ueast mix, 1 tbsp of oil and remaining water a little at a  time until we get a little sticky but elastic dough (dough starts to get sticky and is moist but not wet)

Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface. Knead gently and increse the kneading to get a smooth and elastic dough. let it rest halfway through and then knead faster.

I unknowingly added all the water and ended up with a sticky dough. I had to add another 6-8 tbsp of flour to get a smooth and elastic dough. Make sure you add remaining water in tablespoons only if needed.

Form a ball and place in a floured bowl, cover with a wrap and let it ferment for 30 to 45 minutes or until doubled in size.

Meanwhile keep the filling ready. You can make the zaragallada filling previous night and drain out the liquid overnight. I had prepared the filling in the morning and made sure it was dry. I just sauteed veggies adding curry powder.

When ready, gently deflate the dough- mine was sticky -, turn onto a floured counter, divide into half and  roll out each piece into a long rectangle within butter paper or transparent sheets sprinkled with flour- as it might get stuck to the paper or sheet.

You can roll out as thin as possible and if the dough shrinks while rolling out, rest it for 10 minutes or so before continuing the process.

Carefully transfer one rectangle onto the baking dish or tray. You can go for any shape though its traditionally rectangular.

Once a dough rectangle is on the baking sheet, fill it up with the filling prepared leaving an inch at the edges. Cover it with the other rectangle and seal the edges. You can use your fingers or even fork tines to seal the edges.You can nicely shape the rectangle or circle and decorate it with leftover dough pieces. You can go for smaller portions and even crescent shape.

The dough is not good in freezing and its better to use it up.

Once the empanada is ready brush it with egg wash(I went for milk )  and bake it in a preheated oven at 350F/180C for 30-35 minutes until the edges are brown and the top starts browning.

Take out and serve warm or at room temperature when it tastes best.

The bread turned out excellent and was filling. You can experiment with different fillings and turn it out differently each time. You can even use half wheat flour and make it more healthy.

Lets see how others made their empanadas!. Hop over to Swathi's post.


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