Even the least skilled baker can pull off these hot-from-the-oven breads and pastries. Why? We offer easier techniques and store-bought shortcuts for that comforting, old-world flavour with half the fuss. Discover a new favourite below!


Empanadas

These scrumptious stuffed pastries are loved throughout Latin and South America and get their name from empanar, meaning “to coat with bread.”

Novice bakers will have no trouble with this dough made from a handful of ingredients and then cut out into circles.

TIP! Avoid overfilling the empanadas, as this will cause them to leak or burst while baking. Also, make sure the filling doesn’t spread to the edges, as it will prevent the empanadas from being sealed properly.

Wow friends and family with these Beef Empanadas, perfect for parties and potlucks. Or for a sensational treat, try cream cheese-filled Blackberry and Chocolate Empanadas.


Panzerotti

The name of this savoury Italian turnover is thought to have originated from the word pancia, or “stomach” – allegedly because of its shape, but maybe because it’s just so filling! Either way, you can’t go wrong with fluffy dough wrapped around your favourite pizza ingredients and baked to perfection.

Fill up your family’s pance with our easy Pork & Vegetable Pizza Pockets, using Compliments Pizza Dough as your pastry.

TIP! Dough feeling too sticky? Dust your rolling pin and surface with some flour to make it more manageable to work with.


Pastillas

A centuries-old classic hailing from Morocco, these irresistible meat-filled pastries have their origins shrouded in mystery. But after just you’ll see why pastillas’ sweet-salty-spicy filling wrapped in crispy dough has stood the test of time.

We gave the classic a vegetarian twist with our Portobello Mushroom & Spring Vegetable Pastillas, and took a shortcut with packaged phyllo dough for the crust.

TIP! Ensure the filling is completely cooled before stuffing the phyllo sheets. Otherwise, the heat from the stuffing will steam and render the dough soggy.


Strudel

German for “whirlpool” because of the many layers of dough wrapped around their filling, strudels can be either savoury or sweet.

Instead of labouring over traditional strudel dough for hours and rolling it multiple times around the filling, our Mushroom & Asparagus Strudel places its entire stuffing in the centre of buttered phyllo sheets that you roll over only once.

TIP! Don’t worry if a sheet of dough breaks. Patch it up by layering another buttered sheet of phyllo over top.


Parcels

Parcels are loosely defined as just about any filling bundled in puff pastry. Little parcels are as fun to make as they are to eat: simply drop your filling into a square of packaged puff pastry, pull opposite corners up and around the filling and bake until golden.

TIP! Puff pastry is best handled in a cooler environment. If you feel the dough getting limp, just return it to the refrigerator for some time to firm up. Try it out with our Peach & Blackberry Parcels.


Baklava

These crispy, nutty, honey-drenched sweets are so good that half a dozen cultures across eastern Europe and the Middle East claim them as their national dessert!

Our Fruit ‘n’ Nut Baklava has a Canadian twist, using trail mix in the filling layered in a baking pan between buttered sheets of prepared phyllo pastry. It’s akin to building a sweet lasagna.

TIP! To prevent the phyllo sheets from drying out, keep them wrapped in a damp kitchen towel while you work.


Tarte Tatin

Legend has it this recipe was born when two sisters from rural France made an upside-down apple tart by mistake and fed it to a group of hungry hunters. Whether it was a mistake or stroke of brilliance, a tarte tatin combines ease of preparation with a fun dramatic finish: fillings are sautéed in an oven-proof skillet, then topped with pastry and baked. Once cooled, the dish is artfully inverted onto a serving platter. Voila! Try it out with our Roasted Tomato & Goat Cheese Tarte Tatin made with easy-to-use prepared puff pastry.

TIP! When using frozen puff pastry, make sure it’s fully thawed in the refrigerator before you roll it out — otherwise it will crack.