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Sfoiatelle Italian Pastry Search

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DeeElle's picture
DeeElle

Sfoiatelle Italian Pastry Search

Hello, Everyone,


There is a wonderful Italian pastry called sfoiatelle that is not commonly available, though it is sometimes found in bakeries with Italian specialties.  Having had no success in locating a recipe in my cookbook collection, or with google, I thought I'd ask the knowledgeable folks at The Fresh Loaf if they had information on sfoaitelle. 


Thanks and Happy Baking!


DeeElle

nicodvb's picture
nicodvb

Hi,


sfogliatelle are really hard to do. A recipe is here:


http://www.cookaround.com/yabbse1/showthread.php?t=17172&page=1


the list of ingredients is straightforward (strutto is lard, miele is honey, the "ripieno" is the filling). The hard part is making the lobster shape.


The filling is one of the two generally used, the other one is the choux cream that swolls during baking.


The recipe should be straightforward if you watch the pictures, but if you have doubts just ask me.


 


Another one is here:


http://www.panperfocaccia.eu/forum/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=6333


(scroll to the bottom of the page to see the illustrated recipe) that calls for high gluten flour.


 


Good luck!

DeeElle's picture
DeeElle

THanks so much for your quck response!  They do look like a challenge, but aren't they pretty things?  As my Italian is even more limited than my baking skills, I may have to practice awhile longer, but I'm hoping to be able to have them ready for someone's birthday in a few months.  It's heartening to have a place to start.  Very many thanks again for your help.  I do have a pasta machine similar to the one pictured, so that may help a little.  Sfoiatelle are a delicious treat, and someone might be really impressed at the attempt, even if they don't quite meet the standard of those at Cafe e Dolci in Hyannis.


Regards,


DeeElle

nicodvb's picture
nicodvb

they are surely good pasties, but I have to say that I don't particularly like the crispy and tasteless envelope.


One more variant uses a mix of ricotta, sugar (equal weights) and some candied fruit. It's a real delight and absolutely my preferred:-)

DeeElle's picture
DeeElle

Oh, I haven't ever seen the ones with candied fruit.  That would be a lovely inclusion for a gift version.  Good suggestion!  I'd been wondering about lemon/ginger. 

DeeElle's picture
DeeElle

I'm intimidated by the inclusion of lard, though it is probably responsible for that lovely flakiness that I so admire in the first place!  These are excellent links, thanks so much

grind's picture
grind

When I asked my Aunt years ago about how to make them, all she said was that you need really cold hands!   Cheers, Tony.

DeeElle's picture
DeeElle

HA!  I might be out of luck with my sticky, stubby fingers! 

breadbakingbassplayer's picture
breadbakingbass...

There is also a recipe in Giuliano Bugialli's book Food of Naples and Campania:


http://www.amazon.com/Guiliano-Bugiallis-Food-Naples-Campania/dp/B0007XAWTE/ref=sr_1_10?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1280952514&sr=8-10


I have this book and have tried it out once...  They didn't turn out pretty, but they tasted pretty darn good...

DeeElle's picture
DeeElle

That's wonderful!  I'll get that book. The pastries aren't really so pretty to look at, but the texture is fun, and the filling variants are interesting.  Thanks so much, I appreciate that link.

DeeElle's picture
DeeElle

Having tried some various spellings, I did locate some English language versions


Sfogliatelle provides some intersting history and suggested techiques, and I'm most excited about breadbakingbassplayer's book suggestions, as I have another cookbook (Tusacany) by the same author.


I'd love to hear about any experiences the community might have had with this kind of challenging pastry.


Many thanks to everyone,


DeeElle

grind's picture
grind

When I used to live in Toronto Italy, I had some that were shaped narrower and longer, resembling a scaley lobster tail.  More crust and crunch; always my favourite part, especially the tip of the Sfogliatell.  Cheers, Tony.

rolls's picture
rolls


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rolls's picture
rolls

Hi I got onto these also not too long ago when i seen an Italian food program on sbs if ur not in Australia u can't see the video which really helps but the recipe is great and pastry is rolled through a pasta machine I bought one just to make these especially lol as well as shishbarak. The filling was mass with semolina and then chopped up into cubes n added to other ingredients like ricotta etc really scrumptious. It really helped to see how he rolled all the layers of dough to get that laminated "seashell" effect. Now I will also try this method with pastizzi

DeeElle's picture
DeeElle

I'm so happy to see you mention a pasta machine!  As I do have access to one, I was hoping it would be useful in this project.  Your post is very encouraging, thanks.

cliffgarz's picture
cliffgarz


Sfogliatelle


Pronounced SVOY-lee-ah-tell-eh or SFEE-la-tell 


This is the way they are made in the Italian Bakeries in New Haven CT. 


Sfogliatelle means many leaves or layers and this crisp pastry's texture resembles leaves stacked on each other.  Sfogliatelle look like seashells when baked.  Some people also call them 'lobster tails' for their resemblance to the same although “Lobster tails” are usually filled with Pasticciera cream.  


The characteristic ridges form as the layers of dough separate during baking.  


The pastries are filled with a sweetened ricotta cream, semolina, and cinnamon mixture. Lemon zest or candied orange bits are also sometimes added.


I am providing you with a recipe for sfogliatelle pastry dough but you can substitute purchased puff pastry dough. The recipe also calls for using lard, which gives a flakier consistency, but you may wish to use margarine in its place.  


Making sfogliatelle is a time-consuming process.


If you are up for a challenge this is the recipe to try.


Pastry for Sfogliatelle


2 cups all-purpose flour


1 cup semolina flour


2 tablespoons sugar


1/8 teaspoon salt


3/4 cup unsalted butter, cut into cubes


1/2 cup water


1/2 cup lard or margarine, melted


Note:  You may wish to substitute 1 (1 pound package of frozen puff pastry dough, thawed, for the above pastry recipe


Sfogliatelle Filling


1 cup milk


1/4 cup semolina flour


1 cup ricotta cheese


1 egg, beaten


1/4 cup sugar


1 tablespoon candied orange bits or grated orange zest


1/4 teaspoon cinnamon


 


Confectioners' sugar for dusting


 


 


 


To make the dough:


In a large bowl, combine both flours, sugar and salt.


Using a pastry blender, cut the butter into the flour mixture.


Gradually add the water until a soft dough forms.


Form the dough into a disk, cover, and refrigerate for 2 hours.


 


To make the filling:


Put the milk in a saucepan over medium heat.  Bring to a boil.


Slowly add the semolina flour, stirring constantly to avoid lumps.


Simmer the mixture 3-4 minutes, until thick and smooth.


Transfer the mixture to a bowl and allow to cool about 5 minutes.


 


Press the ricotta cheese through a sieve to remove any lumps.


Add the ricotta, egg, sugar, candied fruit, and cinnamon to the semolina mixture.


Beat well to blend and set aside.


 


Making the sfogliatelle:


Remove the dough from the refrigerator and divide it  into 2 equal pieces.


If you are using puff pastry, use 1 of the 2 pieces from the package.


On a lightly floured surface, roll one piece into a 16 x 22-inch rectangle.


The dough will be very, very thin.


Starting at a short end, brush the first 1/3 of dough with some of the melted lard.


Begin rolling the pastry up like a  jellyroll.


Brush the second 1/3 of dough with more lard, and continue rolling.


Finally, brush the last 1/3 with lard, and roll up completely.


Cut the roll into 1-inch pieces, which will resemble narrow rolls of ribbon.


 


 


Forming the sfogliatelle:


Place one of the slices in the palm of your hand.


Press the thumb of your other hand in the center of the pastry and push it down to form a small ribbed cup.


You do not want the ribs to separate.


Now you will begin to stretch the dough.


Carefully work around the cup, pushing down with your thumbs and pulling up with your fingers.


Think of it an opening a collapsible travel cup.


Form each piece into a cone, shaped 3 to 4 inches across the mouth and 1-inch at the tip.


 


Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.


Lightly grease or line 2-3 baking sheets with parchment paper.


 


Fill each pastry cone with 2 tablespoons of the filling.


Gently press the open edges together to seal the pastry.   Pull out the top ends to form a seashell shape.


Place the sfogliatelle 1-inch apart on the baking sheets.


 


Repeat the procedure with the second piece of pastry dough.


 


Bake 15 minutes or until golden brown and crisp.


Allow the pastry to cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes.


Transfer the pastry to wire racks to cool completely.


 


To serve:


Sprinkle the sfogliatelle with confectioners' sugar and serve.


 


Makes about 32 pastries

 

DeeElle's picture
DeeElle

Thanks so much for taking the time to post this lengthy recipe!  I appreciate the sensible advise with regard to pastry dough.  It's not likely my little pasta machine can help me achieve the appropriate thin dough, I suppose.  Still, it might be fun to try, and it will definitely help me learn.  What a wonderful community The Fresh Loaf is!


 

turosdolci's picture
turosdolci

I have an antique recipe that I got from the chef of a 2 star  michelin restaurant at the Villa Crespi, Lago di Orta, Piemonte, Italia.  He gave it to me in Italian, which I translated. It is pages long and I have made them.  It is very complicated and to be honest with you although they taste delicious you really can't achieve the same results by hand. The recipe even states this. The pastry is made with a machine specially made for this pastry. There are small machines that are used in restaurants such as the Villa Crespi. Most bakeries buy them frozen and then bake them each day. He makes them every day and serves them in the afternoon with expresso to his guests.  I used to watch them being made at a bakery in the North End in Boston when I was living there. The bakery doesn't exist anymore but there are distributors in Boston and NY that ship them frozen.


I'll write up a post for them as I took pictures of the process. 


Patricia

DeeElle's picture
DeeElle

As I used to work in the North End, I know just what you mean!  Now, the closest bakery to me that (occasionally) offers the pastry is Cafe e Dolci in Hyannis, and that little place is always worth a visit, even if they haven't sfogliatelle in the case that day.  I'd love to see the post, if it isn't too much trouble, and many thanks for your kindness.

breadbakingbassplayer's picture
breadbakingbass...

The best tasting ones I've had ever were from Naples when I visited years ago...  Maybe in 2000 or 2002.  I can't remember anymore.  But next best for me is at


La Bella Ferrara Bakery


108 Mulberry St
New York, NY 10013
(212) 966-7867

It's just above Canal Street.  They make small ones, and large ones.  They also sell lobster rolls, but I prefer the sfogliatelle...  The lobster tails are just too creamy for me...  Also, they make some of the best cannoli that I have ever tasted.  They have 2 store fronts.  One for waiter service, and the other for takeout...  If you have a chance, you should check them out.

Tim

stefano_arturi's picture
stefano_arturi

Hi there


I Am Italian and I Am writing to you from Milano, which is not where sfogliatelle come from but where you can still buy very good ones.


sfogliatelle (the ones you generally find in pastry shops) are VERY difficult to replicate at home-  it is very tricky to roll the pastry the correct way.


Very few Italians ever make them at home.


But there is another type of sfogliatelle that can be made at home - sfogliatelle FROLLE. the filling is the usual one (the one you can find in many books), the outside is made of pasta frolla (italian shortpastry), the recipe of which is widely available (check Hazan and Nick Malgier)


this is rather simple.


stefano


 

DeeElle's picture
DeeElle

Thank you, Stefano, for gracefully offering an alterative pastry that I will also look up.  I do admire simplicity/  It must be great fun to go to a favorite shop for coffee and a special treat that isn't made in the home. 
I'll check on sfogliatelle Frolle right away.


Regards,


DeeElle


 

grind's picture
grind
DeeElle's picture
DeeElle

I have to admit that while watching the videos and trying to picture myself stretching lengthy sheets of dough with my knuckles until it was thin enough to see through had me laughing until tears came to my eyes.  That is way beyond my limited skills!  Still, it was wonderful to see the expert, calm effective way the chef worked.  So maybe it will take me more than a couple of months to get to that level.  Thank you very much.  They were great!

stefano_arturi's picture
stefano_arturi
cliffgarz's picture
cliffgarz

What great videos and links thanks for posting

rolls's picture
rolls

wish you could view the video, but do give it a go anyways, and please let us know how you get on. the guy who made these is a pro and makes them for his cafe. have yet to try, still on my wish list. seems like its something that takes pracitce, but I think doable, although, i've noticed italians usually discourage one from making them at home, personally I think its because they're lucky enough to have easy access to good ones, that there's no point to make them at home :) hope you enjoy, the site is altogeher mad.

stefano_arturi's picture
stefano_arturi

hi there


you are right in a way. Often we in italy (as they do in France) don't bother to replicate certain recipes at home becasue it is far easier and quicker to get them (ready made) from a good patisery, bakery, pasta shop. often, the shop-bought versions are also better.


I am a pretty good cook and a decent baker, but I can onestly say that my panettone, for instance, is not half good as the one I can get from a top bakery.  Many pastries require what the french call tour de main - that is to say that one must make them  almost daily and for a long time to master the proper techniques they require to turn out well.


Another example (from another area of cooking) : I have tried very many recipe for ricotta. None come close to the real thing from a reputable shop.


Some things need to be made in bulk and require certain techniques that, unless practised daily, are often, beyond the capabilities of domestic cooks.


Having said that, nothing is impossible and it is fun to try out new thinks.


as for sfogliatelle, if one is confident with the technicalites of laminated dough and he/she undestands that the dough must be stretched ultra fine...they can be made.


ciao from milano


stefano

nicodvb's picture
nicodvb

It's easy making one at home one that taste as good as one from a top bakery (hint: Papum). Not to self-glorify myself, but my familiar and friends always told me that the panettones I made tasted like bought from a bakery:-)

DeeElle's picture
DeeElle

What a wonderful phrase,    tour de main.  Really some things are best left to the professional.  It will give us even greater pleasure the next time we have them at the one bakery we know that has the pastries.


Ciao from Green Harbor!


DeeElle

turosdolci's picture
turosdolci

Great vidios, I wish I had seen them when I made them.  I also wish I had a big enough surface to try stretching the dough.  I think aftermaking them I'm going to stick to buying them.  I went to a place where I thought they made them in house yesterday to see if I could take a picture of the machine. As as it turned out they also buy them and just bake them inhouse.  Anyway I bought one and enjoyed it as usual.


Thanks for the videos I will send them on to my family to enjoy.


 


Patricia

rolls's picture
rolls

Hi again, not to sound naively encouraging, but I really do believe this is totally doable, the video's that i have seen on youtube by the professionals i would not attempt at home simply because i don't have the bench space nor the fancy equipment, but the video I seen on that link i posted, was made by the cafe owner in a domestic kitchen. the dough was divided and rolled through a pasta machine, so you do not require a huge space to assemble these. then all the small pieces were rubbed with fat (can't remember exactly which was stated in recipe) and placed all on top of each other and then rolled and so that fat cylinder shape which provides the lamination was still achieved. then cut into discs gently stretch to hold filling, gently pat and place on baking tray. the end results were extremely crispy and looked very professional as you can see from the pic. i'm not saying we can achieve that exact result from the firs time, but i reckon with practice, practice, practice....:)

rolls's picture
rolls

sorry, i just seen the video, and each strip of rolled-out dough from the pasta machine is spread with lard, then stretched and rolled into cylinder shape, then placed on next strip of dough and rolled up again, one into the other, so thats how you get the fat cylindar shape that when cut into discs gets all those layers. hope this helps

breadbakingbassplayer's picture
breadbakingbass...

You know what you could do...  it would be different, but I think more manageable in a home kitchen...


You could make puff pastry with butter as you would normally, with all the folding and rolling.  Then you could just roll the puff pastry out into a wide strip, butter it, roll it into a log, and proceed with the sfogliatelle process by cutting it into disks, filling, closing and baking...

turosdolci's picture
turosdolci

Puff pastry or Piyllo dough are really not the same. In fact I've watched these made on an Italian cooking show and they pointed this out.  Not that you wouldn't get something delicious but they would not be sfogliatelle. I also don't like the pasta frolla as this is a pastry dough doesn't give you the flakeness. The dough recipe is also very different as it is lard that is used rather then butter. Although in the video they used half and half. Really they are not hard to make, it is just that you don't get the same professional look (you can come close).  I agree that the technique and the experience making them every day has a lot to do with the results especially with something like this. We can see that here with people's posts about bread making. Technique and experience often are the key. When I watched the video, forming them and filling them was the same as I made but the technique and space required to stretch the dough is the difficulty.  I used the pasta machine because you can get them pretty thin on the last slot but you have to be careful not to rip the dough. Maybe rolling it out to the second to the last slot and them stretching it would be the thing to try.The reason I did it with the pasta machine is because it rolls it out to a very even thickness.


 

DeeElle's picture
DeeElle

I'm so grateful to all of you for your kind attention, sage advice, and good humored guidance.


Practice, technique, correct ingredients, cool fingers, and a spacious work surface...as soon as I acquire those things I think I'd like to try them.  It will be some little while, especially the spacious work surface part.  At the moment, I have a 2 ft by 2 ft work space. 


Thanks again to all of you, and Happy Baking!

Cosmopolita's picture
Cosmopolita

 


 In Italy we have two varieties of sfogliatella: riccia, a flaky exterior, and frolla, made of a smooth shortcrust pastry.


The "riccia" is very difficult to do. This is my version of sfogliatella frolla, with English translate:


http://croce-delizia.blogspot.com/2011/01/sfogliatella-frolla.html