Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Perfect Empanada de Kaliskis Dough

Bago ang lahat, salamat po sa mga loyal na tagasubaybay na nakakaalalang magpipindot ng mga gugelads ko. :)

I had been experimenting with different recipes for this type of empanada which reminds me of my favorite empanadas in the Philippines I used to buy from Merced Bakedshop. I had no idea it was what some regions in the Philippines would call empanada de kaliskis. And I don't know how the consistency is in those regions, because apparently, they don't taste as good as they look like. However, as far as my tastebuds remember, the gorgeous scale-like appearance, flaky, yet very tender dough of empanadas that I bought from Merced Bakeshop then was what I would call as the perfect empanada crust.

I was browsing a Malaysian food blog sometime in September when I chanced upon the gorgeous layers of what looked like empanada, but they called it spiral (curry) puffs. More searches led me to other sites showing detailed photos of how to create the layers, and they called it in their native tongue as "karipap". Around December, I tried a recipe but it did not get my approval, so no empanadas for Christmas give-aways. That recipe had egg, but it resulted to chewy yet flaky dough which was not really tender for me, and the flavor was so-so. (I am not talking about the filling here; just the dough. Filling is easy enough to make and to adjust according to taste preference). It probably is the same recipe used by the ones featured by Market Manila here.

I got back to trying out such recipes this January when I chanced upon a Filipino blog post on empanada de kaliskis. This second recipe I tried left a very greasy feel to my mouth, albeit flaky and tender enough. While my kids liked them, it was not what I was looking for, so my search continued.

So, it took me a total of three recipes to finally settle for this one below which I would consider the closest to what I am craving for. The characteristic appearance and flaky layers are a result of overlapping water dough and oil dough. I am settling for this one, as this was not only easy to manipulate and fill (did not easily crack), it also had a seemingly good proportion of flour to lard (or shortening) that (1)-the oil dough did not easily leak out of the water dough despite repeated rolling/folding, (2)-the dough remained intact while filling and crimping, and (3)-the cooked empanada was not too fragile to handle. I am not sure if substituting shortening would give the same results, but I am very satisfied with the results I got using pork leaf lard (that I rendered myself) for the dough, then using pork lard from fat back (that I rendered too) for deep frying. (I know, it is cholesterolific, but hey, no trans-fat here!). One of these babies is enough to satisfy a hungry tummy during merienda.

Now like most Filipino goodies I have on my site, this recipe and method are here for the purpose of (1) satisfying my gluttony for punishment hunger for challenges, (2) satisfy my curiosity on how things are made, and (3) making use of leftovers. So I probably will not be making this too often (as is the case with siopao and hopia and monay and siomai and lumpia and the other labor-intensive, time-consuming recipes). I do hope, however, that some entrepreneur (especially in the Philippines) will find this helpful.

This post has two parts: dough and filling. Filling recipe way below.

The dough recipe here is courtesy of ch3rri-blossom for her flaky taro mooncake recipe. Although she cut both water and oil doughs into 4, I chose to make mine one whole piece, so as to have more open edges (her 4 pieces each cut into 3 led to the end slices having only one open end, so that the un-open end had the water dough covering the oil dough so less layering effect on that -- don't bother to try to understand this if it confuses you).

I did not bother to convert to cups. So get yourself some digital kitchen scale with grams/oz measurement. And please do not ask me for the conversions. I am sure you can use google for that purpose if you really want to try this.

Water Dough:

200 gm all purpose flour
1/2 tsp white vinegar
50 gm pork lard (or shortening)
30 gm sugar
100 gm water

Oil Dough:

180 gm all purpose flour
100 gm pork lard (or shortening)


1. For water dough, mix water, sugar, and vinegar. Mix in flour then add pork lard (or shortening). Knead to a soft dough. Wrap in plastic and let rest for at least 30 minutes.
2. For oil dough, use a food processor to blend well (use short bursts to make it crumb-looking).
3. Use a rolling pin to flatten water dough (please see slideshow below). Distribute oil dough on half of water dough. Cover the oil dough with the other half of water dough so the water dough completely envelopes oil dough. Leave as little of the water dough at the edges just so you can seal water dough nicely all around oil dough.
4. Flatten and pop any bubble, but seal tightly so oil dough does not leak out.
5. Fold into thirds (the ends of the long rectangle) then fold in two so you end up with a squarish form. Flatten again to make it rectangular then fold in two again to make it square.
6. Flatten again to make it rectangular, about 9x13, then roll like jelly roll to form a log using the longer side.
7. Tap the ends of the log to make them flatter before starting to slice.
8. Slice every 3/4" to 1 inch (or slice and fill one at a time).
9. Use your palm to initially flatten, then use the rolling pin. Flatten the edges more since those are going to be crimped/pleated (and therefore, if you make it thick at the start, pleating will make it thicker). The middle should be thick enough so it does not break open when you put the filling in.
10. Place about 1 tbsp of filling. Pinch the edges and pleat/crimp. See here for a demo.
11. Deep fry in 375 deg F oil for about 2 minutes, then drain on paper towel.

After frying two batches, I wrapped each individually then froze for future merienda use (or to add to the stock, possibly to cook when we have another gathering). For frozen ones, what I probably will do is to deep fry for two minutes and finish cooking the filling by placing them on a rack in a heated oven (350 deg F, partially open).

If you are interested in the filling, here's how I made it.
Roughly chop some turkey leftover meat (about 2 cups).
Dice potatoes and carrots; boil in chicken stock for 10 minutes. Drain.
Chop about 1/4 cup of raisins.
Heat up some turkey gravy (about 1 cup) then add the meat and veggies. Adjust taste with salt and pepper.
Cool completely (easier to scoop it up to fill the dough when it is chilled in the fridge first).


Tangled Noodle said...

This looks beautiful and tasty! If it took you several attempts to get it just the way you like (with all your skill), I'm not sure I'm ready to try this myself. But I'm going to bookmark this page for the future!

Anonymous said...

Wow, that's impressive Manang. Such talent! Dapat magbigay ka ng cooking classes!
I will bookmark this. It looks labour intensive but empanadas are worth every effort!

MaMely said...

Parang procedure ng hopia with the water dough and oil dough, ano? I can see how labor-intensive it is to make this, but you did good as always, Manang! I love the crispy crust.

ch3rri said...

That look yummy! Check out the ensaymada I made using your recipe...

Luz said...

Hi Manang,
This is the empanada crust that I really like,I hope I will have an energy to do this :) Ang tiyaga mo talaga, I'm proud of you.I do not have a pork lard, masarap din kaya kahit na shortening ang gamitin ko?Please advise.Thanks.

Nina said...

Did you try Betty q's dough recipe in the comment section of Market Manila blog linked in this entry? Using crisco or pork lard was supposed to give a flaky crust but I'm not really fan of flaky empanada because it's messy to eat.

oggi said...

Wow Manang, I admire your patience. The empanada kaliskis looks yummy. I agree that this is similar to making hopia.

BTW, I'll email you the recipe I have which is more complicated than this one.

Confession Nook said...

Hi Manang!

I made this dough for the March Kulinarya Challenge. I used shortening but not crisco, local brand here in Davao as it was the only one available in the didn't combine well when I folded/knead it, i flattened the disc not on the other side kasi ngdidisintegrate sya, so I didn't achieve the "kaliskis" look but when you bite into the empanada you can see the layers...parang hopia..which is still lovely and i love the taste and texture..I will be making this again till I get the kaliskis maybe using a different brand?.. or pork lard like what you used. =)

Thanks for sharing!

Bien said...

Thanks for posting this recipe. Your blog is really very helpful.

I tried making it today and my empanadas did not quite look like yours.

As soon as I put them in the cooking oil, the outer layer disintegrated and the flour just floated around. The oil soon became very "cloudy" and it would not cook the rest.

My water dough was not very strong. It looked rough as compared to yours on the slideshow. The oil dough kept on "leaking" out.

What do you think I am doing wrong?


Manang said...

Could it be that the water dough was not kneaded enough? Or not protected by plastic wrap while letting it rest for 30 minutes (so that it dried out)? Or the resting time was not enough?
Re oil dough...short bursts (1-second pressing on the button then rest, then press again, and so on), only to mix in food processor. If too long a burst (like 3 secs), the shortening dissolves (due to friction heat) and becomes oil. The resulting consistency will be like paste instead of crumb.

Bien said...

Thanks for the quick reply.

Yeah, I had a feeling my water dough needed more kneading. I guess I was afraid to "over-knead" it that is why I stopped short of kneading it properly. But when I watch some YouTube videos of puff pastry making, I saw how they "aggressively" kneaded their base dough.

As for the oil dough, I used a (manual) dough blender to cut in the shortening. I don't have a food processor and I did not want to us my VitaMIx.

What could be the reason for the oil not cooking the latter batches? Could it the canola oil that I used? I think something went wrong with the frying. The empanada absorbed a lot of the oil.

I really want to try this again (and again) until I get it right.

Manang said...

Bien, sometimes I use my gloved hands to "cut" the shortening. I found out it is a better way of coming up with crumbly texture rather than two knives or some other manual tools. Also, don't forget that extra sprinkling of flour sometimes is needed to knead properly, and later on to help manipulate the dough.
I also made mistakes before with such awful consistencies I did not even try to roll the dough into logs. It went to trash right away.

Manang said...

also, I used real pork lard in deep frying (I have read this is the best to use, second is shortening).

oggi said...

I made empanada kaliskis today using a different recipe. I should have watched your slides before making. Yours looks really good. I'll try to roll the dough thinner next time.

Anonymous said...

I would love to try this recipe, looks the real empanada I knew. It seems a lot of work but you'll surely get praises!

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