The Hornazo de Salamanca is a pastry of superlatives, a kind of empanada with a filling of cured meats, marinated meat and hard-boiled egg, wrapped in a rather thick, fat-enriched bread dough. A varied elaboration in different areas of Spain at the time of Holy Week, which in Salamanca has a vehement expression and a centuries-old tradition, without downplaying the importance of the hornazos from Andalusia, Castile-La Mancha and other provinces of Castile and León. We all like them because we have good teeth.
The abundance of eggs in the sweet and savory confectionery of Holy Week is due to the fact that eggs, being considered meat, could not be eaten during Lent, but the poor chickens kept laying; alien to people’s religious motives. The eggs were boiled to preserve them and eaten after Easter.
There is an association of Salamanca confectioners with a guarantee mark for their hornazos, which stipulates that Salamanca hornazos must have a minimum filling percentage of 40% in relation to their total weight and that the quantities of marinated sirloin, chorizo, ham or shoulder and hard-boiled meats Eggs are placed on it Provisions for the use of the Hornazo de Salamanca guarantee mark, a document that you refer to in many media in Salamanca and in the Castilla y León community (but which I could not find online). In any case, the definition of the guarantee or quality mark of the Agricultural Technological Institute of the Junta de Castilla y León seems rather lax (and also of voluntary application).
In the city of Salamanca, it is a tradition to consume bushels of hornazos on the so-called Monday of the Water, a holiday celebrated on the Monday after Easter Monday when families go to the countryside for a spectacular picnic. The origin of this festival with roots in the 16th century is not quite so innocent, which can be traced back to the custom of students and other people from poor backgrounds to wait on the banks of the River Tormes on such a Monday for the prostitutes banished there on the opposite bank during Lent, and that on that day they crossed the river back to the city. The event was celebrated with a big party, where the city’s gastronomic specialties should not be missing. Among other things.
We were inspired by the recipe of pastry chef Rocío Arroyo; We have replaced the traditional fat in the dough, namely lard, with olive oil. The pastelón dough, as we have already indicated, is a fermented bread dough and well made and not very thickly laminated so it is not heavy, it is fantastic. There are those who put the marinated pork loin already cooked and those who put it raw; We prefer to make it raw because we find the result to be juicier. It’s not mandatory to make the extra layer of surface mesh, but it’s nice. Be careful: there is a sweet hornazo made in Alba de Tormes; The sweet spot is in the dough to die for.
The one who makes the dough, nothing more.
For an oven of approx. 35 x 25 cm
- 500 g flour or bread flour
- 80 grams of white wine
- 100 grams of water
- 50 grams of olive oil
- 5 g freeze-dried baker’s yeast (15 g fresh yeast)
- 1 egg
- 10 grams of salt
- 600 g marinated pork belly, in fillets
- 150g Salamanca sausage
- 4 boiled eggs
- 100 grams of Serrano ham
Weigh out all the ingredients of the dough. Put everything together in a bowl and mix until you get a homogeneous mass (mixing and kneading works perfectly in a food processor). Knead until the dough is reasonably fine, shape into a ball, cover and let rise until it has doubled in volume.
Preheat the oven to 220C so it’s hot when we’re done assembling.
To assemble the hornazo with the lattice, divide the total dough into 2/5 dough for the base, 2/5 dough for the lid, and 1/5 for the lattice. If you don’t make the lattice, divide the dough into two equal parts.
Roll out the dough for the base on a floured table with a rolling pin to a size of approx. 30 × 40 cm and place on baking paper on a baking sheet. Lay the filling by first placing the ham and then the raw marinated loin to finish with the chorizo cut into pieces or slices and the boiled eggs halved.
Roll out the portion of dough for the lid in more or less the same amount and place it on top of the filling, transferring to the rolling pin and matching the edges to the bottom.
When the lattice is ready, stretch the appropriate part until it’s slightly longer than the hornazo – about 50cm – and about half the width of the cake. Make incisions with a knife, make line cuts and overlap the cuts every two lines. Gently take the dough and stretch it so that the cuts open; Place it on top of the hornazo lid and stretch it to the edges in width and height.
Roll up the edges of the pastry and flatten them to seal the cake. Beat the egg and paint the whole hornazo. Make a few holes in the dough to allow steam to escape.
Place the hornazo in the oven on the tray, lower the temperature to 195°C in the lower third of the oven and bake for 35 minutes on ups and downs. If it’s not golden enough at the end of that time, cook for another 10 minutes (five minutes if we’re using convection air).
Remove from the oven and, if there is a grate, place the hornazo on the grate on the paper itself while it cools; this makes the base drier.
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