Galician Flat Pies

Today we are going to look at a very traditional dish from the North Western corner of Spain, the Galician Flat Pie or the Empanada.

The thing about an empanada is that once you have got the concept just right and you've managed to get the texture and the flour correct for the crust then you can add almost anything to it that you like. It really is one of the most versatile things going and is as it was originally designed, a meal in itself.

So the ingredients we would need would be as follows:

20 g of fresh yeast or 1 teaspoon of easy blend dried (active dry) yeast.
350 g of strong white flour.
125 g of corn meal,, "masa harina" or finely ground "polenta".
½ tbsp salt
Generous 1/3 cup of white wine.
50 g of lard or vegetable fat.
8 tablespoons of olive oil
1 medium egg, lightly beaten
Water to bind the dough
1 medium egg, lightly beaten to seal and glaze the Empanada.

Again the name of the game here is preparation. Take the yeast with about three tablespoons of hand-hot water and mix it all together to a paste. Take the flour and corn meal and pour into a large bowl and add the salt, the wine, the lard the olive oil, the egg and the yeast paste and add enough water to make it all come together into a soft but not too sticky dough.

Still this mixture well and then start to pull it together with your hands. If there is any dried flower left in the bowl and add a touch more to bring it all together. The thing to remember here is if the dough is too dry it would be too difficult to roll out thinly later on.

Take the dough and knead it together for a couple of minutes until it is smooth and well mixed. Then take the dough put it back into a bowl and cover with cling film or plastic wrap. The important bit here is that you should let the dough rise for at least an hour or until it has doubled in size.

Decide upon what filling you want to include within the empanada and bring everything together. Take out half of your dough and roll it out until it's about approximately 5 mm thick. Oil your baking sheet and lay this dough on top of it.

Next add your filling and spread the filling evenly leaving about a 2 cm margin around the age of the dough. Brush the edge of the dough with a little beaten egg.

Take the rest of you at the road at approximately the same size as your original piece and lay this on top of your filling. Take the top and the bottom pieces of dough and start to pinch the edges together and then twist the dough over to make a rope like texture around the edge.

Take the remainder of your beaten egg and brush this all over the empanada and then take a fork and pierce the top of the empanada all over with little holes.

Leave the empanada to rest for about 10 minutes and then leak this in a halt often for between 20 to 30 minutes or depending on your oven the crust is really crisp and golden.

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