Empanadas are a favorite snack in our family, and they taste delicious no matter what they look like. But I've seen those rows and rows of perfect empanadas in bakeries, and I can't help but aspire to attractive empanadas that don't leak, break, or collapse in the oven. I've made lots of empanadas, and at least one in every batch still explodes in the oven. But through practice I've learned some tips and techniques that will make your empanada preparation go more smoothly.
The braided seal of an empanada is called the repulgue. A quick search of youtube with the terms "empanada" and "repulgue" will turn up numerous homemade videos of people demonstrating how to fold/braid the edges of empanadas . Some of these videos are quite instructive (and entertaining), but also frustrating. I've watched these expert women's fingers fly as they fold perfect repulgues, making it look so simple, but then when I go to do it myself, something goes awry. So be forewarned - making perfect empanadas is a skill that takes much time and practice. The good news is that even ugly empanadas taste good!