I have an obsession with Empanadas! My goal is to create an empanada with every gluten free or grainless dough possible! If that's not a challenge in itself, let's also try to make it light in calories??!! 😁😳 Well here it is! A baked empanada that doesn't sacrifice a damn bit of flavor! Only 4 weight watchers points for one empanada. When I was a little girl and my grandma made empanadas we would be standing around the stove waiting for it to come out of the fryer. I don't think they ever made it to a plate on the table. Those little pockets of fried dough with all kinds of fillings had us all fighting to be first on line. The best part of an empanada was that we could run outside with our meals in hand without skipping a beat!
Of course when I was diagnosed with Celiac, I thought I would never again be able to savor these little hand held meals to go. Whenever I see food trucks or food stands that read "hand held artisan food" I feel like someone punched me in the gut! I hate that we can't really enjoy those luxuries because our options are so limited. Over time I have tried many different flours and I have to say it is definitely a challenge. Some doughs just can't hold up to an empanada especially not one with less calories. This gluten free dough was perfect! I don't normally buy Cup4Cup since I usually get good results with Trader Joe's all purpose flour but I bought a bag recently and thought I would give it a try. I am really glad I did! It worked nicely but there are still a few key tips that you will need even with a good dough.
First off, this is how you're supposed to cut the discs for the empanadas. However, I am not a trained baker and couldn't get my discs at the same thickness. So I went a different route, I weighed the ball of dough and broke it up into 12 equal pieces and then used an empanada press to get equal thickness on each discs. I still rolled it a bit after pressing it to get it even a little flatter. Notice in the pic I use plastic food wrap to press the dough. This dough has good texture but using the plastic wrap is very helpful, especially for sealing the empanada. Also, if you don't have a scale to measure in grams, get one! It will save you so much time and money! It is a more precise way to measure, especially when you are baking. I will include the measurements in cups but if you don't get the same results you'll know why..... get the scale!
So I put the empanada disks down and then added the shredded meat to each of the discs, then began sealing them. This was NOT the best way to make them. The dough dried up a bit and I had trouble sealing the empanadas. Because the dough is more pliable while it is warm, I recommend working on one empanada at a time. So cover the other dough in a bowl with a damp towel covering the bowl while you are working on each one.
As you can see my empanadas are not perfect, I think I could've used 1.5 Tbsp of meat instead of 2 Tbsp. but I like them a little overstuffed and I don't need them to be perfect. They were so delicious!
I made a side of ranch sauce as a dip, mostly for the pictures because when I eat buffalo wings, I never dip them in any sauce. However, I really liked the sauce with the empanadas! It's a quick sauce but it works very nicely!
Buffalo Chicken Empanadas
- 244g of Cup4Cup (1 cup + 1 tbsp)
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp organic cane sugar
- 1 envelope quick rise yeast
- 1 egg, room temp
- 2 tsp coconut oil
- 1/2 cup light buttermilk
- 1 egg yolk
- 1/2 tbsp water
2 tsp ghee
1/2 small onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
8 oz cooked shredded chicken
1/2 cup buffalo sauce
Preheat oven to 400 degrees
prepare a pan, lined with parchment paper
You should make the chicken first because the chicken needs to be refrigerated and cooled before you begin working, otherwise it will make your empanadas soggy. It's even better if you make the chicken the day before. Cook and shred your chicken.
In a pan, add 2 tsp ghee and saute the onion and garlic for about 2 min. add the chicken, broth and Franks hot sauce and simmer another 5 min. set aside. refrigerate till cool
Now for the dough
In a large bowl mix all of the dry ingredients. In a smaller bowl whisk egg, buttermilk and oil
Make a well in the middle of the dry flour ingredients and pour the wet ingredients. With your hands begin to mix the dough until you form a nice ball. The dough should have a nice play dough like feel. If its too sticky add a little bit more flour, if its too dry and cracking add a bit more milk.
Roll it into a ball and let it sit for just a few minutes. Since we used the quick yeast you don't need to let it sit for 2 hours. You can begin making your empanadas.
I divided the dough into 12 equal sized balls and used an empanada press, then used a rolling pin to flatten it out a little more. It really comes together quickly.
Using plastic wrap, cover one side of the empanada press, then add one of the balls and cover with another piece of plastic and press. Now leaving the plastic on the dough use the rolling pin to flatten a little more.
Uncover the empanada, add 2 tbsp of cold buffalo chicken and using the plastic, fold the empanada over and use your fingers to seal the empanada. Just press around the edges with the plastic still on. Remove from plastic making sure you have a nice seal. If the dough opens up a little don't worry it's an easy fix, just wet your fingers a bit to fix. Repeat till all of your empanadas are stuffed
Very gently place your empanada on the parchment lined tray.
In another bowl, whisk the egg yolk and water and brush the empanadas
Bake for 14 minutes. I once left them for 16 min and I noticed they began to open up in the back, so watch them carefully
Let cool and serve with celery, carrots and a little ranch dressing 🙌 Click here to see my quick and easy Ranch Dip recipe
Yields: Servings 12, Serving size: 1 empanada, Smart Points: 4, Calories: 128.4, Total Fat: 2.6, Saturated Fat: 1.5g, Cholesterol: 29.4mg, Sodium: 446.4, Carbohydrate: 18.1g, Fiber: .1g, Sugar: 1.3g, Protein: 6.5g