Thursday, March 18, 2010

Caribbean Pineapple Pork Empanadas ... And a bread question

I know, I know, I know... I made these Spanish/Portuguese influenced "hot pockets" meat stuffed bread just last week (click HERE)... Kind of.

This time I used left over Pork (instead of chicken) from yesterday's Caribbean Spiral cut PORK LOIN - Mango/Pineapple/Coconut Stuffing.  But this time I also made a more appropriate bread dough.  I used the recipe for the versatile MOOMIE BUNS that is sweeping the internet.  Here's a cut and pasting of the recipe from when i first discovered this gift from the god's...

� 1 c water 
� 2 tbsp butter or margarine
� 1 egg
� 3 1/4 c. flour
� 1/4 c. sugar
� 1 tsp salt
� 3 tsp instant yeast

� Place all ingredients in your bread machine. Select dough. Allow to run cycle.
 � Dump out onto lightly floured surface. Divide into 8 pieces. With each piece, slap into a bun shape. Usually 4 or 5 slaps will do it. Place on greased cookie sheets or your bun pans, cover; rise about 30 to 40 minutes. Bake in preheated 375 degree oven for 12 to 15 minutes til golden. Cool on wire racks. 

The recipe above is the "classic" 
Moomie recipe (I believe, as it is the one I see reprinted most of the time). The site I found that might be the original Moomie site (clouded in mystery, it is rumored she raises goats, so I like this legend and chose not to delve deeper... But I am digressing again).

But, here in paradise, i have neither a bread machine, nor a mixer.  So I mixed by hand...

OK, not to spoil the ending, but these worked great, and I will get back to the recipe, but for all you real master bakers out there, I have a question...

I am near the equator... it is in the 80's when I bake.  It is very humid.  OK, do any of those factors affect the bread I am making from scratch?  Last couple of times I have made bread, the dough takes a LOT more water to get elastic, and even then it is still not what I am used to.  just not as smooth.  We have a nice comfortable cross breeze, so I don't turn on the air conditioner.  would it really be that simple to make the bread more like Kansas dough?  the dough is dry and crumbly when made to the recipe measurements.  I end up adding about 2-$ more water whenever I make bread, and even then it is still not as elastic.  What can/should I be doing???

OK, back to the empanadas...

These worked well with the pizza dough type bread I used last week, but even better with the Moomie buns recipe.  I made 12 smaller ones this time, each using 2 heaping TBS of stuffing.  Here's what I did to the stuffing...

1 pound of the Caribbean Spiral cut PORK LOIN - Mango/Pineapple/Coconut Stuffing, left over from yesterday.  I just diced it up, stuffing, meat and all...

BUT, if you read the post yesterday, i was not quite happy with the taste.  So, I added...

1 cup of minced pineapple
1/2 cup crumbled Feta Cheese
2 TBS Coconut Rum

And I simmered that together and allowed to reduce till all the liquid was reduced.

I preheated the oven to 350 degrees.  I divided the dough into 12 pieces (and allowed it to rise, as instructed.  Then, I formed each piece into an oval.

I did an egg wash on the edges, added the stuffing and sealed the edges, and washed the tops with an additional coating of egg wash.  They baked for 16 minutes, the last two I added a just a sprinkling of Asiago cheese.

And these worked GREAT!  A sweet meat stuffed bread, very convenient for Jackie to take for lunch.  this is what i had in mind when I made the original stuffed loin.  It does not always have to be spiced hot.  A nice change of pace.  The extra pineapple really sweetened the meat up well.



  1. Wah, this look so yummy, very similar to Malaysia's "Curry puff"..

  2. Dave, how are you measuring the flour? Do you scoop or spoon? Try cutting back on the flour rather than adding more water. Your bread will rise faster in a hot and humid environment, if you need a slower rise stick the dough in the fridge. Your empanadas look fantastic, by the way.

  3. Dude there is no such thing as too many empanadas! I love how you always follow through with your recipes on how to use them in leftovers. Great tips for the rest of us!

  4. Warmer, humid climate should aid the yeast..water quality and taste varies everywhere, and are you using a different flour brand now? I have no answers, just questions..

  5. Can't help you with your issue, I'm afraid. I've always baked in the northeast. If you're having a problem with too many empanadas however, I could be persuaded to come to the tropics and help you out. Heh.

  6. These do look amazing. They look almost like the chinese pork buns you get out in restaurants. Soft, moist and delicious.

  7. I love pork empanadas or hell, any meat pies.

    Can't help ya on the dough questions, I'm light years behind you in the bread category.

  8. These look good; never thought of using Moomie's buns for empanadas.

    Can't help you with the bread question. As Chris said, you are light years ahead of me.

  9. Dave turn on the air conditioning, read this article and start over. Happy bread baking!

  10. I wish I had an answer for you regarding your bread issues...I haven't run into those problems before....but hey! your empanadas look great!

  11. The bread question baffles me too because I've always read that less water is needed when humidity is high. My only other consideration is that since you're not able to use your bread machine or mixer, perhaps you could try mixing the dough then letting it rest for 15 minutes or so before starting to kneed it by hand, allowing the flour some time to absorb the liquid before working with it.

  12. I really like this idea for using up leftovers. They look delicious!

  13. You are really on a roll, cher! These look wonderful and delish!! I would love one, right now!
    My posts are still not updating!!

  14. Hi Dave... So many questions arose along with your bread... Like my question for you... you mentioned a "cross breeze" you aren't putting your bread in the breeze to rise are you? Tuck that bread away where the air is still... I agree with other comments... the humidity is good for bread... just not breezes.
    Those look fantastic and I bed they freeze well too!

  15. Wow these look SO tasty! I'm impressed you made you own dough when it's that hot too!