The Spanish word for bread is “pan”. ”Empanar” is a verb form that means “to bread”. Emapanada is the past-participle, “breaded”.
It’s basically a single-serving turnover. It can be filled with sweet foods like fruits, sugars, and syrups, or savory foods like meats, cheeses, and oils. They originated in northwest Spain, in a region known as Galicia. Today they are most popular in Spanish-speaking countries across Europe and South America. As reported by Foodimentary
This recipe produces a sweet dough that contrasts perfectly with savory fillings. Empanada dough is less flaky than pie crust (although you can substitute frozen pie crust dough in a pinch) – it has a tender texture that soaks up the filling.
This dough can be used for baked or fried empanandas. If you are going to fry the empanadas, omit the egg yolk and roll the dough out slightly thinner (less than 1/4″ thickness).
4 cups flour
1-2 teaspoons salt
2-3 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons butter, chilled
12 tablespoons lard or vegetable shortening, chilled
3/4 – 1 cup water
2 egg yolks
Sift the flour into a bowl. Stir in the salt and the sugar.
Blend the butter and shortening (or lard) into the flour mixture with a pastry cutter or with two knives, until fairly well blended.
Whisk the egg yolks wiht 3/4 cups water. Stir in the 1/2 cup of water/egg mixture, a little at a time until the dough starts to come together smoothly. Keep kneading the dough, adding more water/egg a little bit at a time as necessary (you made need a few tablespoons extra of water), until the dough is smooth. The dough will seem a bit shaggy until it has thoroughly chilled.
Cover the dough with saran wrap and refrigerate for about an hour. (Dough can also be kept overnight (or a couple of days) in the refrigerator) Dough should be soft and smooth, and not elastic – if you poke a hole in it with your finger, the indentation should remain.
Turn dough out onto a floured surface, and roll into desired thickness.
Makes enough dough for 10-12 large empanadas.
If you want to make small appetizer-size empanadas and want to deep fry them instead of bake them, thinly rolled out pie crust does work well. Sometimes puff pastry (masa hojaldre) can also be used for baked empanadas, as in this recipe for ham and cheese empanadas.” – Marian Blazes, Guide to South American Food
The recipe came from About.com