Adding to light lunches and dinners, I bring you this new proposal to make caprese empanadas with whole wheat spinach dough. A very simple meal, easy to make and with just a few ingredients you will have something tasty and fresh to eat.
These empanadas called canastitas because of the way in which the dough is closed (basket shape), are very simple to make. Although these take a little more work because the dough is made homemade and is not bought in the market. But I leave this to your decision in case you don’t feel like making the dough.
This is super colorful and full of flavor recipe. It has a combination of ingredients that makes it varied and rich in nutrients. A great idea to add a plus to these doughs to make them more nutritious. This way, each meal is used to the maximum to enrich them and benefit us even more.
Also, this kind of recipe is a great idea for when it costs so much for your children to eat fruits and vegetables. So to achieve this, meals can be combined in this way. Introducing the vegetables little by little in a fun, tasty and eye-catching way.
Let’s talk about the recipe:
In this opportunity to make these caprese empanadas with whole wheat dough, a whole wheat spinach dough was used, which is very easy to make. It takes an extra step compared to the classic but it is not complicated so do not panic! It can be prepared the day before if it is preferred.
The way to use spinach in this recipe is raw and pureed. Although if you want to use cooked spinach you can also. But to take into account, the chosen cooking method has to be one that the spinach does not absorb more water than they have. Sautéing them for a few minutes in a pan with the water that remains from the washing is a very good option.
To puree with raw spinach, I used the hand blender. For a better grind I added 1 or 2 tablespoons of water to facilitate the process. Due to this extra contribution of liquid, when adding the amount of water provided for in the recipe, do it gradually until you get a united but not too wet dough. Then the butter is added, which will also add moisture to the dough.
Other ingredients are those used for any caprese empanada, tomato, cheese and basil. In this recipe any tomato you have is used, round, cherry, whichever you like best. The cheese can be creamy or mozzarella, depending on what you want to spend. And I always recommend using basil fresh.
The fat used in this opportunity is butter, which makes soft empanadas that do not dry out during cooking. Its quantity is small compared to other doughs, just enough to have optimal results. If you want to use oil you can do it but you should know that you will get crisper results. Beef tallow can be used to make a dough similar to that made with butter, but slightly different in taste.
Assembling the caprese empanadas:
The first thing that is done is the dough and once it is ready, it is left to rest for a few minutes to relax. Then I recommend dividing the dough into equal portions, letting them rest covered in the refrigerator until the moment of assembly (you can also make the caps empanadas, separate them with plastic spacers and have them ready when assembling)
With the quantities given in this recipe, a dozen and a half caprese empanadas with whole wheat dough (18 baskets empanadas) were made. If the data serves and you want to be more precise, the dough was divided into 18 buns of 40 grams / 1.41 oz each (size of a traditional cap empanada). Although this may vary if you do not have a scale and it is done by eye.
When assembling the caps empanadas, first squeeze the dough ball with your fingers and thus maintain its round shape, then roll out with a rolling pin (it doesn’t have to be perfect, with your fingers you can stretch the dough if it is a little deformed).
If you have a machine to stretch pasta and save yourself all this individual work, you can also do it that way (with a round cutter, cut the caps empanadas). But it is always good to consider other options to have or acquire tools to use in your recipes. This time I made them manually because I made few empanadas and it wasn’t worth cleaning my pasta machine afterwards.
The shape of the empanadas canastitas can be made by closing the ends or not, choose the way that works best for you. Besides, you can also give it the shape before and then fill. This is the decision of each one and how it is easier to do. If you have excess flour and it is difficult to close, just wet the edge of the cap empanada with water to make it stick (not too much because it is a very wet dough).
They are cooked in an oven at medium high temperature, they are not toasted too much so they do not remain hard or burn. If you like your empanadas well browned, it is recommended to paint them with egg or browning mix (egg plus milk) before baking.
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- Whole wheat flour 420 g / 14.82 oz / 3 ½ cups
- Spinach 150 g / 5.29 oz
- Water 80 ml / 5 ½ tbsp
- Butter 40 g / 1.41 oz / 1 tbsp
- Salt 1 tsp
- Large tomatoes 2
- Mozzarella cheese 350 g / 12.35 oz
- Basil c / n
- In a bowl place the whole wheat flour, the salt and the spinach puree.
- Add the water little by little until all the ingredients are combined.
- Add the butter at room temperature. Knead until the butter is well integrated, achieving an elastic, soft and smooth dough. Cover and let rest in the refrigerator.
- Divide the dough into 18 equal parts about 40 grams / 1.41 oz each, cover so they do not dry out. Take a dough roll, sprinkle with flour if necessary, press with the fingers and then roll out in a round shape with the help of a rolling pin.
- Option 1: Cut the tomatoes and the cheese into cubes. Place a little of both in the center of the empanada dough, close in the shape of a basket. Option 2: make a basket shape with the dough and then add the ingredients.
- Bake at medium high heat for 20 minutes or until the dough begins to brown. Basil can be added before or after cooking.