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Empanada Gallega with curried chicken filling. Daring Bakers

How now  brown cow © Cookaroo
Finally! After three months of trying (and not!) I have managed to post a Daring Baker's challenge on time. The last time when we were to make the choux swans, my swans were so ugly, so ugly, that even ugly duckling would have gotten a superiority complex. The time before that, I was only able to complete one part of the challenge - meaning we had to make two kinds of crackers and I only landed up making one.

But this time, when I was really NOT going to do the challenge, I met up with Deeba and Himanshu - both DB enthusiasts - at Cafe G. Deeba asked me whether I'd seen this month's challenge. I hadn't. She promptly proceeded to hand Himanshu and me boxes of dry active yeast, telling us that she'd made hers and even gave me a sneak peek.

I was so kicked. And then when I read up on the challenge. 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!

What’s an empanada you ask? It's a Portugese stuffed bread that is baked or fried. Like our karanjee but has yeast in it. Sweet, savoury or anything you feel like can be filled in it. Patri said we should try whatever shapes we felt like, so I tried two - One to make a giant Empanada and two, make tiny pie-shaped ones. 

Call me a giant © Cookaroo
Unfortunately I do not have photos of both of the big and small ones together, because well, I was stupid. I should have put the bigger one first, because by the time it baked, the husband had polished off 5 of the smaller ones, so ya, I really didn't have much of a choice.

I decided to do a curried filing, only because I have this whole lot of Bolst's curry powder lying around and wanted to use it as much as I could. This doesn't make the filling like a typical Indian curry, but like a British-Indian curry. Peas and potatoes to give it more depth and textures.

I never realised that making empanadas - both the dough and the filling - could be that simple. I used the dough recipe that had whole wheat in it and I didn't dry up the filling as mentioned in the challenge. Instead I left it a little creamy, because I wanted it to dry up in the oven. I loved how the dough didn't feel heavy or cakey and that it tasted just like bread.

The egg wash helped it colour up beautifully. In fact when the husband saw it, he was like I love this shiny brown colour, makes it look so appetising, and then promptly proceeded to pop a really hot piece into his mouth.

Will I make this again? Yes! Yes and YES! I have to. I must. Because they were light and simple and easy on the stomach (ofcourse that had to do with the filling) but I am dying to make a sweet one as well. (I will soon). All in all, I am glad I didn't shirk from the challenge. So thank you Deeba, for egging me on.

Pie me a river © Cookaroo
Emapanada Gallega filled with curried chicken and potatoes

Wheat flour Empanada from  La Empanada Gallega

150 grams all-purpose flour
100 grams whole wheat flour
1/2 cup (120 ml) warm water
1/4 cup less 1 tablespoon (50 ml) of olive oil
1 1/2 tsp  dry yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 egg, whisked for the egg wash

  1. Shift the flour into a bowl, make a well in the middle and add all the ingredients (you should break the fresh yeast as much as possible).
  2. Mix with a wooden spoon until all the ingredients have been incorporated
  3. Turn dough onto your counter and knead for 8 minutes
  4. Make a ball and allow to rise covered with a cloth for about half an hour before using.
  5. Once risen, turn the dough back into a floured counter and cut it in half. Cover one half with the napkin to prevent drying.
  6. 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.
  7. . 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

Curried chicken and potatoes filling 
2 potaoes, peeled and diced 
75 grams peas
2 tsp butter
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chicken stock
1/4 cup milk
1 tablespoon flour
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 tsp dried parsley
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1/2 tsp chilli flakes
1/2 a chicken stock cube
2 chicken breast, poached in a liquid with garlic, onions, peppercorns, cloves and a bay leaf.

1. Peel and dice the potatoes. Boil then along with the peas until done.
2. Meanwhile poach the chicken. Poaching should take about 10 to 12 minutes. Drain. Shred once cool  Set aside
3. Chop onions and garlic. Saute in butter and add the flour and curry powder, add the chicken stock and milk and whisk. Add the stock cube. herbs, chilli flakes salt and pepper. 
4. Throw in the potatoes and peas. Add the shredded chicken.Stir and check for seasoning. Let the filling be creamy but not liquidy so that the bottom of the empanadas do not get soggy.
1. Roll the dough thin, cut into circles and press it into a tart tin. 
2. Fill with 3 tblsps of the filling.
3. Roll again to cut the top part of the pastry. Press down and roll the edges
4. Decorate as needed and brush egg wash on top
5. Bake  for 25 minutes to 30 minutes, till the tops are brown and the bottom layer is cooked through
6. Let it rest for 10 minutes before yanking out of its tin.

Bitten smitten © Cookaroo

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  1. You egg me on, and I'll do the same. Next month it's your 'egging' turn LOL! So glad that all this 'egging' brought out such pretty and yummy pies. Also wonderful you used whole wheat dough {I never even saw it; just grabbed the first dough recipe...UFF!}, and that you left the filling a little moist or rather creamy. ♥♥♥ both the big & small, but especially the small. I am amazed that you made them and blogged about them the same day! WoW!! WTG lovely lady!

    1. Yes!! October's challenge toh I love, so I will definitely do that

  2. Wow I ma impressed. Looking and drooling

  3. Looks delicious, great job on the challenge

  4. Very beautiful ones :) Great job on the challenge.

  5. So nice to have a friend to nudge you to bake .. always exciting especially when the end result is fab!!
    I like the filling too... never tried chicken and potatoes but looks real good!

  6. Great, look really appetizing. Loved the shape of these empanadas

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  7. What lovely empanadas! The crust looks glossy and khasta, and the filling sounds super delicious.

  8. Your little empanadas look so tempting, no wonder your husband ate them :-) The filling sounds great, hope I had access to good curry powder to try it... Not very usual here in Spain, but I'll have to give it a try in some gourmet store.

    Sorry we didn't get a sneak peak into the big empanada, but hey, that way you'll have to make another one soon, hehehehe.


  9. Yum - the filling sounds delicious and they look beautiful!