Rétes Túrós: A Tutorial for Making Cheese Strudel

I’ve gone through a few strudel dough recipes and a couple of cheese filling recipes and this is what I like right now:

Strudel dough:
4 cups high protein all-purpose flour like King Arthur plus more for dusting
1 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons butter, melted
1 egg at room temperature
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
approx 1 1/4 cups lukewarm water

2 Tablespoons room temperature unsalted butter + 2-3 tablespoons melted butter for basting

Cheese filling:
4 egg yolks
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1 /2 lbs. semi-soft farmer’s cheese
1/2 cup sour cream or greek yogurt
1-2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
pinch salt

For filling:
Drain farmer’s cheese and sour cream or yogurt in a cheesecloth for a couple of hours.  I did not do that this time and the filling was a little too liquid-y.

In a medium mixing bowl beat egg yolks, butter and sugar until thick and creamy.  Add cheese and sour cream and beat until combined. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

For strudel dough:
In a stand mixer combine flour and salt.  Whisk egg together with butter and vinegar in a large measuring cup then add enough lukewarm water to reach 1 1/2 cups total liquid.  Gradually add this to the flour mixture while beating on low speed with the paddle attachment.  Keep beating until a shaggy dough is achieved.  Switch to dough hook and beat at medium speed until dough becomes smooth and elastic and pulls away from the sides of the bowl.  Add another tablespoon or two of flour if needed.  Dough should be tacky but not stick to your fingers.  Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl and turn to coat.  Let rest for one hour.

Preheat oven to 400F. I used my convection fan because my oven temp is so unreliable.  Lay out a clean tablecloth over your work surface and dust generously with flour, rubbing it into the tablecloth.  Dust dough with flour and roll out into a rough rectangle with your rolling pin. Butter the dough with some of your melted butter. Then take off your jewelry and use the palms of your hands and forearms to reach under the dough and stretch out gently.  Don’t just pull from the edges but go all the way to the middle of the dough and pull out.  Go around the dough doing the same thing on each side. You will have roughly a 2’x4′ rectangle.

Start by rolling out the dough with your rolling pin on a heavily floured tablecloth. Then start to stretch the dough by running your hands palm side up under the dough and gently stretching from the middle of the dough out.
Go around the dough stretching gradually
I use my Egyptian tablecloth because when the dough is thin enough I can see the pattern through the dough.  If you get some tearing at the edges don’t fret those holes will not affect the outcome but leave those sides alone and stretch on other sides of the dough. When you’re done, butter the whole thing.
You know you’re done stretching when you can patterns through the dough and you can’t stretch your dough any thinner without tearing it.
Cut off the thick edges
Spread your cheese filling.
I’ve learned to spread the filling out to cover about 2/3 of the dough because trying to lump it all in a small strip puts too much pressure on the dough in that area and tears more easily.
Grate some lemon zest on top of the filling.
Seal in your filling by folding over the longest edge closest to you and both sides. Begin to roll up the strudel by holding the tablecloth and slowly rolling it up.
 It got a little uneven when I tried to maneuver it onto the pan. No worries. Use parchment paper if you don’t have a Fat Daddio’s Silicone Baking Matto line the pan.
 Bake at 400F for about 40 minutes or until browned on top.
 Slice with a serrated knife and top with powdered sugar.

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