The Little Young Lady with an Empanada

Ha ha, I don’t know why but when I saw “Empanadas” appear as our monthly “Daring Baker’s” challenge tunes of The Beach Boys came to mind.

My month started in France, followed by Italy, with some of Dubai thrown in at the end. Retuning home just over a week ago I first faced jet-lag (it’s a long way from England to Australia) shortly followed by some surgery on my foot – ouch! Needless so say, any challenge this month would have been met with a lack of enthusiasm, the Empanadas only saving grace was it was ‘Mexican’ and would cater to the taste of Miss 8 (who if you count mince meat in a taco shell as ‘Mexican’ loves the stuff).

I figured I would just do something easy and not too adventurous this month as I wasn’t really in any physical state to tackle the kitchen.  It was also more likely to be eaten by Miss Picky 8 at least if left to the basics. After sending hubby out for some yeast that I knew I didn’t have, I wasn’t in the kitchen long before I realised the only flour I had was self-raising.  Oh well ….it will just be more puffy! With my foot propped up and my assistant Miss 8 by my side we began our first joint challenge.

I’m not into kneading much and certainly wasn’t after 9 weeks trekking around Europe.  Fortunately I have a great Kenwood so with a very basic recipe we threw all our dough ingredients in and let it do the work for us. I followed a basic recipe and let it mix with the dough hook for 5 minutes. Although it didn’t seem as springy as I would usually like we placed it in the bowl to rise and went on to create our filling.

We often eat Cottage Pie in this house, so thought I would make a similar filling.  Some onion, mince, chopped beans and carrot, seasoned with some Worcestershire sauce and finally bound with a gravy-like sauce of flour and beef stock.  We still kept it fairly dry with the gravy to a minimum. We spread it on a tray to cool quickly in the fridge and got back to the dough.

Here’s where it became a family affair. Along with kneading I also wasn’t really up to rolling out dough either (not really something you can do sitting down). Miss 8’s spaghetti arms wouldn’t be much chop so hubby was called in to assist. Keen to avoid as much dirty dishes as possible we made individual empanadas using small disposable baking dishes. These worked a treat. A thin layer of dough on the bottom, we then filled them with the base mixture, Miss 8 added some tinned spaghetti to hers, I added mushroom to mine and hubby just went for the basic mix …everybody’s happy! We placed our layer of pastry dough on top, used our small cookie cutters to ‘I.D.’ our own empanada and into the oven they went.

Our Aussie Empanada

The result, something which somewhat resembled a meat pie. I found it interesting how our bases didn’t rise but the top puffed up amazingly.  Perhaps it was our extra self-raising ingredient that helped it along! We ‘Aussiefied ‘them at the table with some tomato sauce. It was a nice meal but I’m not so sure I will make them again from scratch, my love of sweets is too strong, perhaps a dessert version next time.

Empanada Dough


4 cups (600 gm) plain flour
1 cup (250 ml) warm water
½ cup (125 ml) of  oil
2 satchels (16 gm) dry yeast
1 teaspoon (5 ml) salt
1 teaspoon sweet paprika


  1. Add the flour into a bowl, make a well in the middle and add all the ingredients.
  2. Mix with a wooden spoon until all the ingredients have been incorporated
  3. Turn dough onto your counter and knead for 8 minutes or alternatively mix with a dough hook for 5 minutes.
  4. Make a ball and allow to rise covered with a cloth for about half an hour before using.



500g beef mince
1 onion, finely chopped
1 teaspoon garlic
1 cup finely chopped steamed veges
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons plain flour
beef stock – just enough to make a thick sauce


  1. Saute the onion and garlic then add the mince and brown well
  2. Add the veges and Worcestershire sauce
  3. Stir in the flour then add enough beef stock to make a thick sauce, it will thicken slightly as it cooks and reduces
  4. Allow to cool before using in the empanada. To make empanada line a baking dish with a layer of dough, fill with filling of choice then top with a layer of pastry dough. We glazed with an egg before baking. Baking time was approximately half an hour in a moderate over …it will depend on how big the empanada is 🙂
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12 Responses to The Little Young Lady with an Empanada

  1. Angie says:

    I’d eat it!

    • The Saucy Sampler says:

      It was a pretty easy dough to make if you have a mixer that will do all the hard work of kneading. As a project with kids it can be kinda fun …they can do the kneading perhaps (just it will take longer as they tend not to work it as hard) and watching the dough rise etc. Especially if the paprika is omitted and the salt reduced it could be used for a sweet dish also – caramlised apples perhaps?

  2. Great job on the challenge

  3. marilyne_k says:

    It looks lovely! I’m also willing to try a sweet version at some point.

  4. Well done on the challenge……looks great !! Cheers !!

  5. Francijn says:

    What a nice little empanada pies!

    • The Saucy Sampler says:

      It definitely worked well making individual ones to suit each family members tastes ..and they were yummy!

  6. Patri says:

    Wow, after so much travel and surgery, I would NOT have made anything, I’d order a pizza instead! 🙂 So I’m really honored that you tried, even if the result didn’t appeal much to you. Congratulations on the challenge!!

    • The Saucy Sampler says:

      Thanks 🙂 …I’m just too much of a lover of sweeties I think!!! The whole point of this is a challenge right? Thanks for pushing me out of my comfort zone!!!

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