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Sfogliatelle


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#1 jmacnaughtan

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 10:23 AM

Hi,

Just back from Rome where I tried these amazing little pastries, the sfogliatelle ricce (lobster tails). I've never seen them sold outside of Italy, so I want to make my own. After looking at some recipes online and the pros doing them on youtube ( ), it looks like you need two people and a huge work area, or a pasta machine. I have neither of these.

So my question: would this work if I made standard puff pastry, rolled it out not too thin, then rolled it up and continued from there? All the stretching and greasing just seems to be another sort of lamination, but I thought I'd ask before potentially ruining a batch of puff.

Thanks,

James

#2 HungryC

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 10:39 AM

You can make a sort-of version with puff, but it won't have the same texture. In Neapolitan style sfogliatelle, the layers are completely separate (like phyllo), which is not at all the same texture as puff pastry. Assuming, of course, that we're talking about the same sort of pastry (pictured below).Posted Image

#3 jmacnaughtan

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 01:20 PM

I was worried about that. I've seen a few different techniques for preparing the dough, but was hoping for a shortcut... I'll try the traditional way, and see how it works. Apparently the lard is crucial to the texture- but one thing that is never mentioned: do you eggwash the pastry before cooking?

#4 HungryC

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 02:31 PM

There is a home kitchen sized recipe in Nick Malgieri's "Great Italian Desserts".

#5 Kerry Beal

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 06:59 PM

Pasta machines are often found for a very reasonable price in thrift stores.

#6 janeer

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 09:43 PM

These ARE good. I don't have experience making them--only eating them in Rhode Island.

#7 jmacnaughtan

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 12:50 AM

There is a home kitchen sized recipe in Nick Malgieri's "Great Italian Desserts".


I haven't heard of Malgieri. Have you tried his recipe?

Pasta machines are often found for a very reasonable price in thrift stores.


I've kept an eye out, but in France they seem to be pretty rare (thrift stores and pasta machines). The cheapest ones I've found are around 20-30€, which is more than I wanted to pay for a sfogliatelle experiment.

#8 annachan

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 02:07 AM

This is one of my all time favorite dessert. I'm not so sure puff pastry works either as I can't see it getting that nice crunch. As someone else mentioned, phyllo is closer in texture.

There is a bakery here that makes a shortcut version, and it's nowhere near the real thing.

#9 Kerry Beal

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 05:43 AM


There is a home kitchen sized recipe in Nick Malgieri's "Great Italian Desserts".


I haven't heard of Malgieri. Have you tried his recipe?

Pasta machines are often found for a very reasonable price in thrift stores.


I've kept an eye out, but in France they seem to be pretty rare (thrift stores and pasta machines). The cheapest ones I've found are around 20-30€, which is more than I wanted to pay for a sfogliatelle experiment.


Ah that does complicate things for sure - I've got a couple of extra lying around if you ever wander though Ontario. I'm no help to you at all - I have Malgieri around here somewhere - but can't find it this morning to send along the recipe and I'm headed out for a week in about an hour.

#10 HungryC

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 07:54 AM


There is a home kitchen sized recipe in Nick Malgieri's "Great Italian Desserts".

I haven't heard of Malgieri. Have you tried his recipe?

He's an excellent pastry chef and cookbook author. Here is his website: www.nickmalgieri.com
I haven't tried the recipe, but I've used many of his other recipes with great success.

#11 teonzo

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 08:20 AM

The results you get with shortcuts are really far from the original. Avoid at all cost puff pastry, they are two different beasts. Phyllo could give you something a bit similar, but nothing more.
To get the real stuff you need to use lard, both in the dough and to brush it between each coil. Different fats from lard give you a far from optimal result. The base dough must be really tough, so you need a strong mixer machine to get it, or to use a lot of strength (and time) to get it mixing with bare hands. Then you need to roll the dough extremely thin and without breaking it, you need to obtain a strip long from 8 to 10 metres (and you need a table as long where to put it). To roll it the best thing is a solid pasta machine, using a rolling pin would be a total nightmare. After rolling it you need to brush it with a lot of lard, this is mandatory for the final result (to get a crispy result and all the layers to be separated). Rolling it back to get the spiral is another difficult passage, it can seem simple but you need a lot of care and experience to get a uniform spiral and to avoid breaking the dough. Then you have to cut the spiral and form the sfogliatelle, this is another critical passage.
Sfogliatelle are one of the best things in Italian pastry, but they are also one of the most difficult to make. Such that nowadays there are really few pastry shops that still make their own sfogliatelle doughs, most shops use factory made dough.

If you really want to make sfogliatelle on your own then prepare yourself for a long odissey: the pasta machine and the long table are mandatory. Plus you need a lot of attempts, no matter how much skilled you are this dough takes a lot of time before being mastered.
My best suggestion would be to try to find the frozen ones and then cook them when you want. There are various factories that sell them to the professionals here in Italy, probably some of them have a distributor for France.
Otherwise you can try to contact some of the best professionals from Campania. For example Salvatore De Riso:
http://www.salderiso.it/
http://www.salderiso...tella_santarosa
he sells his products even outside Italy, so I suppose he can arrange to send some frozen sfogliatelle.



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#12 jmacnaughtan

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 05:07 AM

The results you get with shortcuts are really far from the original. Avoid at all cost puff pastry, they are two different beasts. Phyllo could give you something a bit similar, but nothing more.
To get the real stuff you need to use lard, both in the dough and to brush it between each coil. Different fats from lard give you a far from optimal result. The base dough must be really tough, so you need a strong mixer machine to get it, or to use a lot of strength (and time) to get it mixing with bare hands. Then you need to roll the dough extremely thin and without breaking it, you need to obtain a strip long from 8 to 10 metres (and you need a table as long where to put it). To roll it the best thing is a solid pasta machine, using a rolling pin would be a total nightmare. After rolling it you need to brush it with a lot of lard, this is mandatory for the final result (to get a crispy result and all the layers to be separated). Rolling it back to get the spiral is another difficult passage, it can seem simple but you need a lot of care and experience to get a uniform spiral and to avoid breaking the dough. Then you have to cut the spiral and form the sfogliatelle, this is another critical passage.
Sfogliatelle are one of the best things in Italian pastry, but they are also one of the most difficult to make. Such that nowadays there are really few pastry shops that still make their own sfogliatelle doughs, most shops use factory made dough.

If you really want to make sfogliatelle on your own then prepare yourself for a long odissey: the pasta machine and the long table are mandatory. Plus you need a lot of attempts, no matter how much skilled you are this dough takes a lot of time before being mastered.
My best suggestion would be to try to find the frozen ones and then cook them when you want. There are various factories that sell them to the professionals here in Italy, probably some of them have a distributor for France.
Otherwise you can try to contact some of the best professionals from Campania. For example Salvatore De Riso:
http://www.salderiso.it/
http://www.salderiso...tella_santarosa
he sells his products even outside Italy, so I suppose he can arrange to send some frozen sfogliatelle.



Teo


Wow, thanks for the input. An eight to ten meter table might be a little tricky, are you sure it's in meters and not feet? I've never worked in a pastry kitchen with that sort of workspace all together, let alone in the home. Would I be wrong in thinking that you could stretch it like a strudel dough? I noticed that every recipe calls for the dough to rest at least three hours, and one specifically advises to coat the dough ball in fat, exactly like a pâte à étirer.

It's tempting to give up and order the frozen ones, but after seeing the recipes I have to try at least once myself.

#13 teonzo

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 08:05 AM

Wow, thanks for the input. An eight to ten meter table might be a little tricky, are you sure it's in meters and not feet? I've never worked in a pastry kitchen with that sort of workspace all together, let alone in the home. Would I be wrong in thinking that you could stretch it like a strudel dough? I noticed that every recipe calls for the dough to rest at least three hours, and one specifically advises to coat the dough ball in fat, exactly like a pâte à étirer.

It's tempting to give up and order the frozen ones, but after seeing the recipes I have to try at least once myself.


It's in meters, I'm sure. Just look at the image above and try to count the coils: you need a really long strip to get the correct spiral.
The sfogliatelle dough is really different from the strudel one, it's much tougher. The strudel dough can be stretched with bare hands (tradition says to use just the knuckles under the cloth). To stretch the sfogliatelle dough you need a pasta machine or a rolling pin and a lot of strength and patience. Just for comparison, the sfogliatelle dough is tougher than standard pasta dough.
There are some shortcuts that suggest to use phyllo dough, you get a decent result but quite far from the original.
The great taste of the original sfogliatelle is due to the great flakiness of the dough, with all the coils that are separated from each other but still attached together with almost no air in between. To reach this you need to use the less water possible in the dough, so you need a really tough dough. And you need to roll it extremely thin. If you try to replicate the original then the problem is to roll the dough extremely thin, if you don't get that thinness then the result is more like a rock than a paper, you totally loose the pleasant qualities of this pastry.
The problem with this pastry is that there aren't middles: you get the correct (great) result or you get a disaster, there are no in-betweens. And the only way to achieve the qualities that make this a great pastry is to follow the original recipe.
I'm happy you liked sfogliatelle (I love them too) and being Italian it's nice to see you want to make them on your own. But, at the risk of sounding harsh, I have to warn you that it's one of the most difficult things to do in traditional Italian pastry, it's almost impossible to get it right before at least a dozen tries. If you want to make sfogliatelle and get an appreciable result then prepare yourself to a sort of odissey. Most artisans stopped making them and started to buy the factory made dough not just to save money, but mostly because it's a total PITA to make.



Teo
My new blog: http://www.teonzo.com/

#14 rlibkind

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 02:13 PM

You've got to be an extremely dedicated home baker to try this, it would appear. That's why I'm grateful to have always lived in large cities with a multitude of Italian pastry shops!
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#15 Jim D.

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 07:42 PM

I have to report that, so intrigued was I with sfogliatelle--and recalling that I have two friends staying in Rome for a while--I could not resist suggesting they look for this pastry. They immediately went out to the closest bakery and found it. But their report was decidedly mixed: the filling was great, but the pastry was tough. I couldn't believe that was the same pastry the original poster was referring to when he raved about sfogliatelle. So my friends went out the next day and found the pastry in a different shop. This sample was better, though still somewhat tough. I did notice in the comments from someone that the dough has to be "tough" to withstand all the stretching, but I didn't assume this meant tough tasting. Maybe what that same poster said is true, that most pastry shops don't make their own any more but purchase the dough (if not the entire pastry). Of course, when you stop and think about it, cold puff pastry can be very tough (perhaps sfogliatelle should be warm?). In any case, it was an interesting experiment. If the original poster reads this message, perhaps he can report at what bakery he found the wonderful pastry.

#16 rooftop1000

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 07:55 PM

This video doesnt have a recipe but it does show a novel technique for the home baker that doesnt have the space to roll out and roll up a full batch of dough





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#17 annachan

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 12:41 AM

I have to report that, so intrigued was I with sfogliatelle--and recalling that I have two friends staying in Rome for a while--I could not resist suggesting they look for this pastry. They immediately went out to the closest bakery and found it. But their report was decidedly mixed: the filling was great, but the pastry was tough. I couldn't believe that was the same pastry the original poster was referring to when he raved about sfogliatelle. So my friends went out the next day and found the pastry in a different shop. This sample was better, though still somewhat tough. I did notice in the comments from someone that the dough has to be "tough" to withstand all the stretching, but I didn't assume this meant tough tasting. Maybe what that same poster said is true, that most pastry shops don't make their own any more but purchase the dough (if not the entire pastry). Of course, when you stop and think about it, cold puff pastry can be very tough (perhaps sfogliatelle should be warm?). In any case, it was an interesting experiment. If the original poster reads this message, perhaps he can report at what bakery he found the wonderful pastry.


You are supposed to eat them when warm. I was told to heat it up before consuming. 20 seconds in the microwave will do. I never found any to be tough (except the shortcut one).

#18 Jim D.

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 02:18 PM

This video doesnt have a recipe but it does show a novel technique for the home baker that doesnt have the space to roll out and roll up a full batch of dough

tracey

Thanks for that video. It shows the pastry can be made in a normal kitchen. I wonder why they use melted lard instead of butter--seems to me butter would give a better flavor. Too bad there isn't a recipe, though--or maybe it's a good thing since the pastry maker makes the process look doable and I would probably have to try it.

#19 Jim D.

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 02:20 PM

You are supposed to eat them when warm. I was told to heat it up before consuming. 20 seconds in the microwave will do. I never found any to be tough (except the shortcut one).

I have let my friends in Rome know this important detail. So, when it's warm, is this pastry as good as it looks?

#20 annachan

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 01:29 AM


You are supposed to eat them when warm. I was told to heat it up before consuming. 20 seconds in the microwave will do. I never found any to be tough (except the shortcut one).

I have let my friends in Rome know this important detail. So, when it's warm, is this pastry as good as it looks?


They are divine! :wub:

#21 jmacnaughtan

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 02:26 AM


I have to report that, so intrigued was I with sfogliatelle--and recalling that I have two friends staying in Rome for a while--I could not resist suggesting they look for this pastry. They immediately went out to the closest bakery and found it. But their report was decidedly mixed: the filling was great, but the pastry was tough. I couldn't believe that was the same pastry the original poster was referring to when he raved about sfogliatelle. So my friends went out the next day and found the pastry in a different shop. This sample was better, though still somewhat tough. I did notice in the comments from someone that the dough has to be "tough" to withstand all the stretching, but I didn't assume this meant tough tasting. Maybe what that same poster said is true, that most pastry shops don't make their own any more but purchase the dough (if not the entire pastry). Of course, when you stop and think about it, cold puff pastry can be very tough (perhaps sfogliatelle should be warm?). In any case, it was an interesting experiment. If the original poster reads this message, perhaps he can report at what bakery he found the wonderful pastry.


You are supposed to eat them when warm. I was told to heat it up before consuming. 20 seconds in the microwave will do. I never found any to be tough (except the shortcut one).


Agreed. The first time I had them was in a café by Termini station, and it was cold and fairly tough, especially the thick dough at the end. The better ones I found were at il fornaio due and, surprisingly, at the Fiumincino airport café next to Obika.

The video technique looks good. I'll see if I can find a cheap pasta machine...