Thursday, August 21, 2014

Hornazo de Salamanca

Coming from the north of England I am a big fan of all things to do with pastry. Pies, pasties, sausage rolls, the lot. Coming to Salamanca for the summer I wasn't expecting to find many good places to get my pastry fix (there isn't a Greggs on every other corner as in England!) However was pleasantly surprised to discover 'Hornazos', Salamanca's version of a pasty. Hornazo to Salamanca is what Cornish pasties are to Cornwall. You can find pastry shops all over the city selling both hornazos and empanadas (another type of Spanish filled pastry). Traditionally hornazo contains pork loin, spicy chorizo sausage and hard boiled eggs, but you can now find many different versions, such as ham and cheese, tuna and smoked salmon and cream cheese.

Hornazo is traditionally eaten in Salamanca on Easter Monday, or 'Lunes de Aguas' (Monday of the waters). The name of this festival supposedly comes from a twisting of the word 'enagua', meaning petticoat, which is historically what the prostitutes used to wear under their dresses. The story goes that during lent the prostitutes of the town were sent to the other side of the Tormes river, so as not to temp or distract the men of the city during the religious festivities. On the 'Monday of the waters', the students of the town threw a party on the banks of the river to welcome back the women, and cooked and ate hornazo as part of the celebrations.
Nowadays you can buy hornazo all over the city, and other parts of Spain have their own variations of the dish as well. Here is a recipe so you can try and make the traditional pie at home!

  •  200 ml olive oil
  • 150ml white wine
  • 100ml water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 40-42g of fresh baker's yeast (or 3 packets of dry baker's yeast)
  • 900g bread flour
  • Filling (the proportions of which you can alter to your taste preferences):
  • Boiled egg
  • Jamón serrano
  • Pork loin steaks or saddle
  • Chorizo


  • In a bowl lightly heat the water and slowly crumble in the yeast until smooth.
  • In another bowl mix the oil, wine, salt and the sugar. Add the water and yeast mix. If using dry yeast  mix with the flour.
  • Add the lightly beaten eggs and continue to mix.
  • Add half the flour and mix. Add the remaining flour saving a little. Form a ball with the dough and add the rest of the flour as needed if the dough sticks to your fingers.
  • Knead for about 10 minutes on a floured surface.
  • Divide the dough into two parts. Put half in a greased bowl and cover with cling film and leave to stand for around 30 minutes or until the mixture has doubled in size.
  • Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius.
  • Roll out half of the dough with a rolling pin and place on a baking tray lined with baking paper.
  • Add the filling on top in layers, first the chorizo, then the jamón, on top the pork loin which you need to lightly sear in a frying pan, and finally the sliced boiled eggs.
  • Cover this with the other part of the dough, rolled out into a flat surface. Trim any excess dough and pinch seal the edges. Use any excess dough for decoration.
  • Cut a small hole in the centre of the pastry to allow any vapour to escape and brush the top with beaten eggs.
  • Bake for 30 minutes until golden and repaint the top with the left over beaten eggs as soon as you take it out of the oven to make it shiny.
  • Leave to cool on a wire rack.
  • Enjoy!

If you do come to Salamanca, why not give this local dish a try? Many places sell pieces cut to size, or if you like you can buy a large one for a group of people. Hopefully you will enjoy it as much as I do!

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