After mixing your dough and making the balls, use a piece of plastic wrap under and on top of the dough it makes it easier to handle. Your dough should be soft and pliant. Not wet or dry. Place whatever you are using for a press on top of the plastic and press down hard to flatten. Of course if you have a tortilla press this goes a bit faster.
Keep pressing until fairly thin. Now you have your base for the filling or you can fry these as a tortilla. There are many recipes online for Empanada filling or you can use leftovers like I did. I shred my leftover meat and mash with cooked potatoes, onions, cabbage, carrots, garlic, seasonings and whatever broth I have available to make the sauce and a bit of tomato paste. Cook until thick and cool.
I overload my empanadas because we like them full.
The problem with over filling is that your dough is fragile and will tear if you have to stretch it to seal.
If that happens pull a bit of dough from a ball, flatten and seal any holes carefully
Or for larger empanadas, lay them on their side, brush with egg wash, crimp them with a fork or your fingers and slice 3 slits on the top for steam to escape. Brush with egg wash and bake!
Gluten Free Masa Empanadas or Tortillas
- 2 cups of gluten free Masa Harina (Bob's Red Mill Masa Harina is GF and non GMO)
- 1 1/2 cups warm gluten free chicken or vegetable broth or water, as needed
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2-3 tablespoons canola oil ( for the pan if frying pies)
- 2-3 cups of cooked and cooled filling ( cooked and shredded chicken, ground beef, leftovers, fruit filling or cheese)
- Option: for flaky crusted fruit or meat pies-reduce water/broth to 6 tablespoons and cut in 2/3 cup gluten free shortening.
- Option: Add one tablespoon cane sugar for sweet dough.
- egg wash for seal and crust
- These can be baked, steamed, or deep or pan fried.
- In a large bowl, mix the masa harina, salt, and just enough warm chicken stock or water to form a ball. You don't want the dough wet. You can also do this in your stand mixer.
- Knead dough until smooth and pliable for several minutes. Let rest covered for 15 min.
- Divide the dough into palm sized balls.
- Place one ball of dough between two pieces of lightly greased plastic wrap and press down using a heavy skillet, dish or glass with a flat bottom that is the size that you want the pie or tortilla to become or use a tortilla press if you have one.
- Remove the top piece of plastic and spoon the filling onto the masa dough, leaving enough room to seal the edges.
- Press the sides together and pinch to seal or lay them on one side and brush with egg wash. Press with your fingers to seal and then crimp edges with a fork. Seal any holes. Brush with egg wash again if you like a dark crust. For sweet pies, sprinkle with a little sugar.
- I bake my larger Empandas at 350 degrees F. on a greased or lined baking sheet for apx 20 minutes or until brown and bubbly.
- Plain tortillas can be fried flat in a hot dry cast iron pan for a minute or until edges just dry on each side and then kept warm in damp towels until serving.