Sfogiatelle

I can’t resist a baking challenge and ever since I saw this on GBBO last year I knew I had to devote a weekend to it. (Turned out to be two weekends). Actually when I saw this episode my first thought was “Oh this could be as excruciatingly painful and blissfully rewarding as macarons. Let me at ’em.”

But really, they’re not as painful as macarons. Just very tedious but in a meditative, transcendental sort of way. And, definitely worth the effort.  Recipe and video tutorial below .

Sfogiatelle

Ingredients

For the pastry:

500g very strong white bread flour

1 tsp salt

about 125g lard, softened, for brushing

about 50g unsalted shortening

icing sugar, for dusting

For the filling:

250g ricotta cheese

250ml whole milk

100g caster sugar

2 good pinches of salt

1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

40g fine semolina

2 egg yolks

finely grated zest of 1 small unwaxed orange

100g 70% dark chocolate chips

Step 1 – Sift the flour and salt into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Make a well in the centre and, with the mixer on its slowest setting, pour in 165ml of water. As the dough starts to come together, gradually add more water, up to about 60ml, to make a firm dough.

Step 2 – Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured worktop and knead for 3 minutes, then cover with an upturned bowl and leave to rest for 5 minutes. Repeat the kneading and resting twice more, until the dough is smooth and pliable. Divide the dough into 8, wrap each piece in cling film and refrigerate for 2 hours.

Step 3 – Take 1 portion of dough and knead it to a flat disc. Run it through the widest setting on the pasta roller then fold in 3, turn it 90 degrees and run through the roller again. Repeat 3 more times, until the dough is very smooth and pliable. Adjust the rollers to the next widest setting and run the dough through again. Keep rolling out the dough, decreasing the width setting each time, until on the narrowest setting.

Step 4 – Place the dough strip on the worktop and gently pull it out – first from one end, then at the centre portion to double the width, then at the other end. The dough will be an odd shape and may have a tear, but that’s fine. Brush very gently with shortening. I learned from the first attempt to not be stingy with the shortening -- make sure the surface is covered with a thin layer of it.

Step 5 – Tightly roll up the dough like a Swiss roll, starting at one end, and slightly stretching the dough by pulling towards you as go. It will have a thick middle and 2 straggly ends. Gently pull on the ends to make the roll a bit longer and thinner.

Step 6 – Roll out a second portion of dough, exactly as before. Place the previously rolled dough at one end of the new strip. Use the new strip to extend the roll, pulling and stretching as you roll, as in Step 5.

Step 7 – Repeat until you have rolled out, stretched, brushed with shortening and rolled together all 8 dough portions to make one big roll. Then, gently pull, squeeze and stretch the roll to about 36 x 6cm, with straggly ends. Brush the whole roll with shortening, then wrap in cling film and chill for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight.

Step 8 – To make the filling, line a sieve with cheesecloth or muslin and set it over a bowl. Put the ricotta into the sieve, cover with the excess cheesecloth, set a small saucer, then a heavy weight on top. Chill for at least 1–2 hours to drain the cheese. Note: if you buy your ricotta from an Italian deli as I did you can skip this step entirely.

Step 9 – Pour the milk into a medium pan, add the sugar, salt and cinnamon and bring to the boil. Sprinkle in the semolina, stirring continuously over a medium–low heat for about 5 minutes, until the mixture is very thick. Tip into a heatproof bowl, press a piece of cling film onto the surface to prevent a skin forming and leave until cold.

Step 10 – Tip the cooled semolina mixture into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on a medium–high speed until very smooth. Add the egg yolks and the drained ricotta and combine thoroughly, then mix in the orange zest and chocolate. Transfer to a clean bowl, cover and chill until ready to assemble.

Step 11 – To assemble, unwrap the dough and cut off the straggly ends. Cut the roll into discs about 1cm thick. Grease your fingers, hold a disc between your thumbs and forefingers, and gently start to separate the layers – starting from the centre and working out to the edges – to form a cone shape, with the centre of the disc making the point, and creating an opening of about 7cm in diameter.

Step 12 – Spoon in a heaped teaspoon of filling, making sure the filling reaches down into the tip. Gently pinch the opening to seal it. Repeat with the remaining discs, then arrange them on the lined baking sheets and chill for 20 minutes, or until firm. Heat the oven to 230°C/210°C fan/450°F/Gas 8.

Step 13 – Bake for 10 minutes, then rotate the sheets and reduce the temperature to 220°C/200°C fan/425°F/ Gas 7. Bake for a further 5–8 minutes, until golden and crisp. Transfer to a wire rack, dust with icing sugar and leave to cool. Serve just warm.

Adapted from: https://thegreatbritishbakeoff.co.uk/stevens-chocolate-ginger-sfogliatelle/

http://thecakedr.com/tutorial/sfogiatelle/

 

 

How to Make Sfogiatelle

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