Pasta per Strudel

Hand-Pulled Strudel Dough

Strudels made with this type of dough are referred to as Ziehteigstrudel (pulled dough strudel) in the Alto Adige to distinguish them from those made with puff pastry, as in Strudel Trentino,.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • Warm water

Method

Combine the flour and salt in a mixing bowl. Beat the eggs and oil with a fork in a 2-cup measure. Add enough warm water to make a total of cups (10 fluid ounces). Stir the liquid into the flour mixture with a rubber spatula, making sure that no flour sticks to the side of the bowl. The dough should be fairly soft.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and begin to develop the gluten. Pick the dough up and slam it against the surface forcefully. Fold the dough back on itself and pick it up again from the side, detaching it from the surface with a metal scraper or spatula. Repeat this motion 100 times, until the dough, which started out rather sticky, is smooth and elastic.

Oil a small bowl, place the dough in the bowl, and turn the dough over so that the top is oiled. Press plastic wrap against the surface of the dough and rest the dough at room temperature about 1 hour, or longer if possible. Refrigerate the dough if it is to be held more than half a day. If the dough is refrigerated, let it come to room temperature before proceeding.

To stretch the dough, begin by covering a rectangular table (30 × 48 inches is ideal) with a cloth. Flour the cloth generously. Place the dough in the center of the cloth, making sure not to fold the dough at all when removing it from the bowl. Flour the dough and roll it as thin as possible with a rolling pin. Brush oil on the surface of the dough.

Pull the dough from the center outward, stretching it over the backs of your hands, fingers folded under. When the dough becomes fairly large, anchor one end over the edge of the table and pull in the other direction. When the dough is paper-thin and covers the entire table, trim away the thick edges with scissors and let the dough dry for 5 to 10 minutes. If the dough tears, patch it with dough from the edges.

Fill and bake the strudel according to the individual recipe.

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