moveable feast: empanada dough

empanada dough resting; flour and measuring cups everywhere

Yesterday I made three different empanada fillings; the second step in any great empanada caper is making the dough. I'm a big fan of Terry Hope Romero's empanada recipes, so all credit where credit is due. You can find a more complete and  helpful list of instructions on her site. If you've ever had an interest in vegan Latin cooking, I highly recommend Viva Vegan!

richer wheat dough
makes 12

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1⁄2 tsp baking powder 

  • 6 TBSP chilled nonhydrogenated vegan margarine 
  • 4 TBSP chilled nonhydrogenated vegan shortening
  • 3⁄4 cup cold water, or more as needed

Whisk together the flour, salt and baking  powder in a large mixing bowl. With a pastry cutter or two forks cut in the shortening and margarine. Add in the water slowly and mix with your hand until a dough forms. Knead for a few minutes until all the dough is incorporated. Divide into two disks, place in a plastic bag and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.

Small kitchen method: after the dough has fully chilled, divide each disk into 6 equal portions and quickly roll into balls. Press between waxed paper in a tortilla press to form a circle. The circles should be slightly less than 1/2 inch thick. Roll thinner if need be. Stack in between sheets of waxed paper and chill until ready to form the empanadas.


You may be tempted to skip either chilling step. Don't! You'll wind up with a sticky icky mess.

My small kitchen method for making the individual empanada circles is not in the slightest bit traditional, but I have found it easier than rolling out and cutting with limited counter space.

When rolling out and cutting the circles , I use a small bowl as a guide - and please use a butter knife, not a sharp knife! My kitchen and I learned this the hard way. 

A dough scraper comes in handier than I ever thought for lifting the dough circles if they are sticking.

richer wheat empanada dough: cut, not pressed