Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Strudel(a), how dough works


Recommended Posts

Hello friends,

I have an old (4th generation min) recipe for strudel. It is wonderful, but...

But it calls for things I have never seen in other doughs, and really becomes different.

First and most important, you need to knead it just a little and then smash it on a hard surface again and again, why? what is this agressive throwing on the table doing?

Second, when you finish, you do not let it cool for half an hour in the fridge, and not under cling film or wet towel, you need to heat a pot and then flip it over the dough (so you have the dough on the table and it is hidden under the upsidedown pot). why is that? what is the purpose of the heat?

and third... it can strech like nothing I have ever seen, I strech it by hand untill it is transparent, a bit more than 9 in a pasta machine, and strech it to the size of a whole table from just half a litter size piece.

ideas?

Link to post
Share on other sites

The smashing/throwing is another way to activate the gluten, but one that allows it to form in long chains rather than short ones - this is what gives the dough its enormous elasticity. Kneading would promote short-chain gluten formation, which is not what you want in strudel dough. Doughs of this type are what I'd call milhojaldre (thousand leaf pastry) and they do belong to a very different process. Phyllo dough is produced in a similar manner.

The heat is to quickly relax the gluten quickly, and it's part of what's allowing you to get the dough out so fine that it's translucent like parchment paper (something that strudel demands).

  • Like 1

Elizabeth Campbell, baking 10,000 feet up at 1° South latitude.

My eG Food Blog (2011)My eG Foodblog (2012)

Link to post
Share on other sites

it can strech like nothing I have ever seen, I strech it by hand untill it is transparent, a bit more than 9 in a pasta machine, and strech it to the size of a whole table from just half a litter size piece.

I would love to see photos of this process.

  • Like 1


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would love the recipe as well. I only tried this twice long ago and just went back to phyllo. I did feel somewhat empowered making my own dough ;)

I have no idea where the recipe came from:

3/4 cup warmish water and 1/2 an egg, 1/4 tsp vinegar, 1T melted butter, 1/4 t salt, 1-1/4 cups AP flour/ The instruction was to knead and slap till elastic, cover 1/2 hr to rest in warm spot, roll out and start the stretching process. It was noted to let the weight of the dough pull itself and to trim the thick edges with scissors.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Actually, I would love the recipe...

Me too. I've done it before (years ago) with the recipe from Bernard Clayton's The Complete Book of Pastry, Sweet and Savory with good success but recipes with a lineage always interest me. Strudel dough is definitely an exercise in patience but it's so cool watching that little ball of dough stretch to bigger than the work table and, after you trim the thick edges off, the ball of dough the trimmings make looks almost as big as the one you started with.

It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

Link to post
Share on other sites

My knish dough is basically a strudel dough (though for strudel we'd dust it with bread crumbs before rolling. The original recipe I worked from called for slapping the dough on the table 100 times but that just didn't make sense in a commercial kitchen. We did some side-by-side testing and found using the dough hook and letting the machine run for 8-10 minutes resulted in basically the same end product.

Using the heated pot is interesting and not something I've ever tried -- but I never refrigerate the dough. You want it to be warm and soft and easy to gently stretch across the table.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

well I am working on translating.

meanwhile, if the throwing technique makes it like that, can it work for really thin pita bread (like druzian and beduain pitas and lafas) and maybe thins pizza bread, because I always just knead it like any other dough.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 weeks later...

it can strech like nothing I have ever seen, I strech it by hand untill it is transparent, a bit more than 9 in a pasta machine, and strech it to the size of a whole table from just half a litter size piece.

I would love to see photos of this process.

oh wow--your wish is my command i have photos from several years ago--they're probably already on here somewhere--i will do some digging through old computers and old posts and see what i can find--

Actually, I would love the recipe...

Me too. I've done it before (years ago) with the recipe from Bernard Clayton's The Complete Book of Pastry, Sweet and Savory with good success but recipes with a lineage always interest me. Strudel dough is definitely an exercise in patience but it's so cool watching that little ball of dough stretch to bigger than the work table and, after you trim the thick edges off, the ball of dough the trimmings make looks almost as big as the one you started with.

me too me too! bernard clayton is the man for dehr schsstrrooodle dough! it's like magic! i can't think of anything in baking that is as astonishing where the thrill is never gone.

i'll try to find my pictures...

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello friends,

I have an old (4th generation min) recipe for strudel. It is wonderful, but...

But it calls for things I have never seen in other doughs, and really becomes different.

First and most important, you need to knead it just a little and then smash it on a hard surface again and again, why? what is this agressive throwing on the table doing?

Second, when you finish, you do not let it cool for half an hour in the fridge, and not under cling film or wet towel, you need to heat a pot and then flip it over the dough (so you have the dough on the table and it is hidden under the upsidedown pot). why is that? what is the purpose of the heat?

and third... it can strech like nothing I have ever seen, I strech it by hand untill it is transparent, a bit more than 9 in a pasta machine, and strech it to the size of a whole table from just half a litter size piece.

ideas?

it is ridiculously amazing--and you have a substantial piece of dough leftover that you discard--must go find photos...

Link to post
Share on other sites

http://www.flickr.com/photos/105635633@N02/sets/72157636632674896

if you can get to that --there are the pictures--

if i knew how to download here i would--but this should work ;)

also--those picture were taken the first time i had made it in a long time (15-20 years?) so the table was too big to wrap the dough around the edge so it could have been bigger but.. you get the idea anyhow--logistics is half the battle--

it's the most baking fun ever srsly--making strudel

edited for clarity and because i always think of something else to add ;)

Edited by K8memphis (log)
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

it is ridiculously amazing--and you have a substantial piece of dough leftover that you discard--must go find photos...

Do you have to discard the leftover dough? When I make knishes, the scraps get balled up and if allowed to rest for awhile, can be re-stretched. Have you tried?

Nice pictorial.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

it would never work as phyllo dough again--it's an uneven texture and gets very thick --i'm not famiiar with knishes -- but this is not like cookie dough or pie dough where scraps can be re-worked as itself--it's not kneadable after it rests--it's rubbery.

do you mean re-worked as knish dough? wow i checked some recipes and there's a wide range of different types of knish dough--some with oil, salt & water and another with sour cream, cream cheese & butter, another with baking powder and mashed potatoes in the pastry-- maybe it could be used for knishes. i'm a knish knewbie though ;)

i discard it because bernard clayton said regina hollander did in mr. c's "Complete Book of Pastry" -- it's how i learned.

mrs. h. who was born before the turn of the previous century made this for her wedding 57 years before she made it for bernard c. which i think is so cool. wedding 'cake'

Link to post
Share on other sites

Take a look at the link I posted in post #7 above. My knish dough is a strudel (pictures included in that link).

Edited by Pam R
fixed spelling (log)
Link to post
Share on other sites

Take a look at the link I posted in post #7 above. My knish dough is a strudel (pictures included in that link).

i did not see a similar thick band around the knish dough that is part of the bernard clayton/regina hollander process--that's all i know--i've never been able to rework it--it's rubbery, terminally uneven and the stretch/thrill is gone. your knishes on the other hand look great though!

http://www.flickr.com/photos/105635633@N02/sets/72157636632674896

if you can get to that --there are the pictures--

I almost wish I hadn't looked at the pictures... now I'm wanting to make strudel again.

maybe for the holidays coming up? it freezes perfectly.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 year later...

Hello,

Strudel is a dessert that I have grown up with. Every Christmas my grandmother made it from scratch. She started it a few days before the holidays by making the dough and then stretching it out all over  the dining room table covered with the cloth.  The dough was left out over night to dry. It was so thin that you could read a newspaper through it.

My mother continued the tradition until she become too old to do it. When the duty of making the strudel fell on me I decided to take the easy way out and use Phyllo dough.  When I talk to my mom about the strudel  I joke with her that she must be the last person alive to know how to stretch the dough.

The recipe that I use is almost identical to the recipe used by Rick Rodgers is his cookbook. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 weeks later...
  • 4 months later...

I made strudel this weekend, first time ever. What a revelation. The thought of stretching that dough was always so intimidating, but it works, it's like the dough is just waiting for you to stretch it out to all four corners of the earth. Amazing. I think this is going to become a regular thing, and I can't wait to try different fillings. (Yesterday's was apple.) In the Time Life Series "Pies and Tarts" book, they have a recipe that yields two pounds of strudel dough, for a 6-foot square table. (Not the recipe I used, but I read a lot of different stuff.) And they say something like, "with practice, you'll be able to stretch one pound of dough onto the same size table." Now that I cannot imagine, but who knows? I see a lot of strudel in my future.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...