Empanada Dough

by Chef Daniel Morduchowicz

As an Argentine, empanadas are in my blood. They are everywhere in the Spanish speaking world but it is in Argentina where they exploded

- Chef Daniel Morduchowicz


Tapa, main course or appetizer
Total Servings
8 medium size tapas, 4 regular size
Calories Per Serving
158 for a medium sized empanada, 316 for a regular sized empanada
Prep Time
20 minutes
Cook Time
This is just the dough, it does not get pre-cooked
Total Time
20 minutes


  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup water
  • 3.5 tbsp butter
  • 2 tsp kosher salt


Easy and quick empanada dough
  • Cut the butter into 1/4 inch cubes
  • Mix flour with salt.
  • Mix the butter into the dough, using your finger tips to press both together. Keep doing this until the butter is more or less distributed.
  • Add water and mix well using your palms and fingers to bring everything together.
  • Knead using the following motion: stretch the dough a little bit with the palm of one hand. Roll towards you into a ball, turn 90 degrees and repeat several times until the dough is uniform and elastic.
  • Allow to rest for 15 minutes.
  • Roll the dough to about 1/8 inch.
  • Cut the roll using a disc of the appropriate size (5 inch for regular size empanada, 3.5 for cocktail size.)
  • Place in the refrigerator until ready to use.
Laminated, crispy outside and soft inside empanada dough
This version of dough is admittedly much more laborious and time consuming. But the results are extraordinary. The first time I made it I could not believe how good the empanadas were. I use this dough when I have a very special occasion, such as creating a multi-course tasting menu where each piece needs to stand up to the excellence of the rest.
  • Roll the butter between two sheets of parchment paper until very thin. Place in the freezer and allow to get very cold.
  • Mix the flour with the salt, followed by the water. Mix well and press together. Using the palm of your hand press the dough forward so it stretches a bit. Roll back towards you and rotate 90 degrees.
  • Repeat this kneading motion for no more than 3 minutes. Kneading longer will cause the dough to become too tough, making the next steps difficult.
  • Stretch the dough to about 1/16th of an inch, trying to keep it in rectangular form.
  • Fold the dough in three parts, like a business letter.
  • Stretch again, and fold again.
  • Repeat this procedure for a total of 6 times.
  • If the dough gets difficult to roll, cover very well with plastic wrap and allow it to rest for as long as necessary in your fridge.
  • After the 6th fold, roll the dough out one more time. Bring out the butter from the freezer and place in the middle of the rolled out dough. Bring the bottom third of the dough over the butter. Fold the top third of the dough over the whole “envelope”.
  • It is important to keep the dough cold. If at any time the butter begins to melt, make sure to wrap the dough tightly again and place in the refrigetator.
  • Repeat the procedure 2 more times.
  • Stretch the dough to about 1/8 of an inch.
  • Cut into the desired size and store in the refrigerator for a total of 2 days.
  • If you want to keep it longer, make sure to put parchment paper in between the discs and wrap tightly before placing in the freezer. It can keep there for 2 months. If you have access to a vacuum sealer, this would be a good time to use it.
  • If frozen, make sure it is full thawed before attempting to form your empanadas.


  • Most Argentines buy their empanada dough, available in every food market in Argentina.
  • The second version of the  dough was developed by Chef Daniel Morduchowicz to produce a crispy exterior and a very soft, supple interior.
  • The proportions are 4 flour, 2 water and 1 butter.
  • Empanadas are crimped with different styles to indicate what is inside. Everybody has their own interpretation, with some traditions usually respected
  • Play around with the stuffing ingredients and create your own version. Take these recipes only as a guide towards your own creative ways to make this dish.

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This flan, because it is cooked so gently, is really smooth and has a wonderful mouthfeel.

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