Puff Pastry vs. Phyllo
Is there a difference between puff pastry and phyllo? Or are they interchangeable?
I'm trying to make an apple strudel, whose recipe calls for phyllo dough. I have puff pastry dough already, and am wondering if I could use that instead.
I know that my puff pastry dough is made with butter, and my understanding is that phyllo is just flour and water (according to Joy of Cooking).
Think the textural difference between a croissant and a palmier, you should get the idea of the difference between the two doughs. One is soft, airy and buttery, the other is buttery but flaky. You probably can improvise with pastry dough for the strudel, but the result will a totally different animal than your recipe's flaky version.
Croissant dough and puff pastry are more similar than phyllo and puff pastry. The real question is should you use phyllo dough or strudel dough for your strudel! Strudel dough is basically noodle dough (flour and eggs) stretched carefully over a floured cloth (four hands works better than two). You can also make a yeasted strudel using a refrigerated sweet yeast dough rolled thin. Phyllo is a substitute for real strudel dough, and makes a passable strudel. Puff pastry makes something entirely different, although it might be good.