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May 16, 2010 06:15 PM

rolling strudel.... little help?

Hi... can anyone tell me if strudel should have layers of pastry, or is it meant to be more of a large pocket? Forgive me for asking, but I wasn't clear when I made it and I went with the layered-concept, rolled it up like a jelly roll with the ends tucked in... but when I went online to google images to check how it should have been, I am seeing both ways. Is there a correct way?

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  1. Apfel Strudel (from my grandma's kitchen, circa 1945) consisted of a single sheet of dough that was lifted and stretched over the back of oiled hands into a VERY thin sheet. It was then covered with the filling and rolled, using the cloth upon which it had rested during stretching to help start the fold (roll) process. It was never a "roll" in the sense that it wasn't round but it was a series of folds that eventually took on the appearance that it was rolled up; if only a flattened roll.
    I use the same procedure so, IMO, layered pastry is not an authentic approach to the task of preparing strudel; at least not in a German/Russian cultural sense.
    That said, layered pastries are, I believe, of Danish origin and the Danish make some of the best pastries in the world (including strudel) so it you want to use the layered method you'd certainly be correct.

    1. I usually will take several sheets of phyllo dough, put filling down and roll it up (tucking in the ends). but I will also do like a filled calzone with puff pastry. I think skys the limit here. I'm usually making a savory strudel and there are many on-line. I usually make a big one, slice it for dinner.

      1. I just made my first strudel last week as I was curious about the "100 throw-down" technique to develop the strength of the gluten without kneading and thus toughening it. It really was a lot of fun stretching the well-rested dough out into a single large sheet of the biggest "window pane" test. Instead of using old bed-sheets I used 3 overlapping saran wraps with one large sheet of paper underneath the saran wrap. It was pretty close to round roll, but it was so long I had to bend it slightly, and the "elbow" area dough was a little chewier. I'll have to figure something out to prevent that next time..although the next day the skin was even more tender and relaxed somewhat.

        4 Replies
        1. re: HLing

          "Toughening" dough comes from developing gluten. It's really not something you should worry about when making studel.

          1. re: jeremyn

            By "toughening" I actually meant the seizing-up of the overworked dough. I was interested in letting the gluten develop without much handling and kneading. What I'm after is a strong (enough to hold the wet filling) but tender layer.

            1. re: HLing

              I understand now. Was the saran wrap pretty successful? It seems like the dough might stick to it, but I've never tried it.

              1. re: jeremyn

                i was worried about the dough sticking to the saran wrap, too. I sprinkled some flour onto the saran wrap, but not really too much.Luckily the dough was behaving very well. Can't wait to make it again, although I know after my beginner's luck runs out, there will bound to be trials and errors next times....