I tuned into Kitchen Queens New Orleans and watched the owner of Gracious Bakery make her Artichoke Bacon Hand Pies. I knew I had most of the ingredients in my pantry/fridge and decided that it would be a good opportunity to try making pastry using my sourdough starter.
I took a basic pate brisee crust recipe and reduced the flour and water by the weight of the sourdough starter. If using 1 cup starter (8 oz or 227g), it means reducing the flour by a scant cup (4 oz or 113 g) and the water by ½ cup (4 oz or 113g). Easy peasy and using the food processor to cut in the butter makes it even more so.
You could certainly make the hand pies with a regular pastry crust (home-made or store bought) but I’m always chuffed to find something else my sourdough starter can do.
The crust turned out to be perfectly flaky. It is strong enough to stand up to a fully loaded hand pie and would be perfect for a base for a fruit pie or other savory/sweet delicious treat.
Sourdough Pastry Dough
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup unsalted butter, cut into slices and frozen
1 cup sourdough starter discard, chilled
In a food processor, pulse together the flour and salt. Place in the butter and pulse to cut it into the flour until coarse, pea-sized crumbs appear. Place the sourdough starter into the processor and pulse just until combined.
Dump the dough in a large bowl and bring it together with your hands. If it is very crumbly, add some ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time (2 tablespoons maximum). Push the dough together into a rough ball. Flatten into a disc, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate about 1 hour or up to overnight. The dough can even be frozen at this stage. Make sure it is wrapped well and defrost in the fridge overnight before using.
Remove dough from the refrigerator and let rest for a few minutes at room temperature so it will be soft enough to roll out. Lightly dust workspace surface with flour. Use even pressure to roll the dough out front to back. Give the dough a quarter turn to roll the pastry out into a circle with a thickness of approximately ¼-inch. Cut into individual pies with a larger cutter – traditionally over in Natchitoches, they used an old coffee can as a cutter. I’ve got a handy dandy set of empanada molds that Michelle gave me. You cut with one side and use the other to fill and seal.
You will want to make the filling while the dough chills so it can be cooling in the fridge before making the pies. To keep the pastry flaky, you do not want the butter in the dough to melt too early.
I recommend rinsing the canned artichokes to reduce the citric acid taste.
I substituted a sweet vidalia onion for the green onions and altered the cheeses a bit from the original recipe. I like the flavor of the mix of Parmesan, Romano, and Asiago cheese versus just plain Parmesan and a sharp cheddar is definitely a nice touch.
Artichoke Bacon Sourdough Hand Pies
1 medium onion, diced
6 slices cooked bacon, chopped
2 14-oz cans artichoke hearts, rinsed, drained and chopped
80 grams cream cheese (⅓ of the package)
100 grams shaved Parmesan, Romano, and Asiago cheese
100 grams sharp white cheddar cheese, grated
1/2 teaspoon salt
Pinch of cayenne pepper
In a large pot, sauté the diced onion until golden. Add in the chopped bacon and cook until crisp. Stir in the chopped artichoke hearts. Cook until heated through, then add the cream cheese in chunks. Stir until the cream cheese is melted and combined. Turn off the heat and add the Parmesan, Romano, and Asiago cheese, white cheddar cheese, salt and cayenne. Transfer the filling to a bowl and refrigerate for an hour.
Place a generous amount of filling in the center of each pastry round and fold the dough over the filling, pressing the edges to close. Crimp to seal the edges with a fork or the empanada mold. Refrigerate for an hour or until ready to eat. At this stage, you could also freeze the pies – wrap in plastic wrap and put in a zip top bag.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Combine 1 egg, 2 tablespoons of water and a pinch of salt to make an egg wash. Brush the tops of the formed hand pies with egg wash. Bake in a preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes until golden brown.
The savory filling from Megan Forman is delicious with all the flavors from the bacon, artichokes and cheese.