Strudel pastry

Strudel pastry

By
From
Encyclopedia of Food and Cookery

Strudel pastry should be made with high-gluten bread flour so that it will be strong enough to be stretched without tearing. The process of gently pulling and stretching the dough to paper thinness is easier if 2 people work from opposite sides. Be sure to take off any rings, which may tear the dough, before you begin. Have the strudel filling ready before stretching dough – once stretched, it should be used within 5 minutes or it will become brittle.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
225g bread flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg
125ml water, lukewarm
2 tablespoons white vinegar
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
butter, melted

Method

  1. Sift flour and salt into a bowl. Beat egg until frothy, stir in water, vinegar and oil and add to flour. Mix with a wooden spoon until smooth, then turn dough out onto a lightly floured work surface.
  2. Knead thoroughly, scraping dough off surface as necessary with a knife. As you knead, keep lifting dough and slapping it down hard on the surface. It will be sticky at first but as you continue it will become elastic, smooth and shiny, leaving the hands clean. Kneading will take about 15 minutes and dough should be beaten 100–150 times. Shape it into a ball and cover with a warm bowl. Leave for 20 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, cover a table with a cloth that hangs over edges. Flour cloth well. Brush top of dough with melted butter and lift it onto the floured cloth. Roll out to 3 mm thickness. Now slip your closed fists, thumbs tucked in and palms downwards, under dough. Working from centre, lift and pull it out gently by pulling your hands apart. Work towards edges and move round table so that dough is evenly stretched on all sides. If dry patches appear in the dough, brush with melted butter to keep them supple. If dough tears, pinch it together.
  4. When dough is as thin as paper, brush generously all over with melted butter and trim off thick edges with scissors. This quantity of dough will make one large strudel to serve 10–12. Fill and bake as directed in recipe.
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