Curly Neapolitan “Sfogliatellas”


Ok, well, I worked really hard to carry this dessert out, but the satisfaction for making the curly Neapolitan “sfogliatellas” a vegan delight has no equal… I wanted to try both kinds of “sfogliatella” (sweet and savoury), and in both cases it was a true wonder! I will publish the savoury one’s recipe in another post! 🙂

Ingredients for the dough:
500 g manitoba flour
200 g lukewarm water (I use to weigh it with scales)
5 g table salt
1 tablespoon rice malt (in my case about 19 g)
vegan margarine for greasing during the various processing stages

Ingredients for the coffee custard:
225 ml soy milk (or other vegetal milk) + 25 ml of coffee (1 expresso)
1 touch of Bourbon Vanilla powder
37 g flour 00
13 g cornstarch
87 g cane sugar
37 g vegan margarine

First thing we must prepare the dough, stirring flour, salt, malt and water on the pastry board until it becomes like this:

it’s a dry dough, so kneading can be difficult at first, but it has to be so,  indeed we absolutely don’t have to add water or flour during the processing! It’s important to remember this!
So we start to knead by a lot of energy, so that the dough begins to be more compact…

We knead and roll well with our  hands, using all the force we have!

After half an hour of kneading and rolling we get a dough of the following consistency:

Now we flatten it a little with the rolling pin, grease it with melted vegan margarine and the wrap it in a bag that must be suitable for direct contact with greased food (please pay attention to these details! Always read the label! Not all transparent films are suitable for contact with seasoned, fatty, warm foods. Pay attention because toxins may be released!):

Now the dough is ready to be left into the fridge for at least 1 hour.
Meanwhile we prepare the stuffing… (I wanted to prepare a simple coffee custard because I already used a ricotta filling for the savoury sfogliatella… I didn’t want to use the same ingredient – ricotta – for both the versions. In addition, both I and Luca don’t really like candied fruit, therefore, making the typical Neapolitan stuffing vegan – which provides specifically candied fruit, ricotta and other ingredients not vegan at all – wasn’t worthy of! Maybe next time! 😉 ).
We let the margarine soften at room temperature for half an hour, meanwhile we can mix flour, starch, vanilla powder and sugar in a small pan, then combine  coffee and soy milk gradually, stirring with a whisk, to ensure that all the ingredients are well blended. At this point, we must cook it by low heat stirring continuously. When the custard becomes dense enough, we can turn off the heat and let the custard cool. In a bowl we soften the margarine with a fork until it becomes creamy and then we can incorporate it to the coffee custard which should be cold now, by mixing well. We put it into the fridge until we must use it.
Here’s the coffee custard before cooking:

and this is the result after cooking and after adding margarine:

After 1 hour of rest into the fridge, now we can take the dough and flatten it with our hands or with the rolling pin until it reaches a thickness suitable to be placed between the sheeter’s rollers, then we can put the sheeter on, and the dough must remain a whole, I recommend! Starting from larger measure nocht until the thinner, without skipping a step. It takes practice, but the ones who’re used to make pasta at home by making use of sheeter won’t have problem at all! Once we obtain a long sheet of pastry, we must grease it with melted margarine and roll it up on a rolling pin, this must be done during the last step, as obtaining the pastry sheet, to facilitate subsequent operations later on (for example, being able to process the pastry sheet without it adehers to itself or to the pastry board!!!)…

Once we obtain this very long sheet we must unwind it slowly, first greasing the pastry board so that the sheet adehers well to it without breaking! And then we pull it with our fingers placed below to enlarge it well:

So, always be careful not to break the pastry sheet now thin and transparent, greasing with the usual melted margarine (don’t be afraid, it takes much less margarine than you think! A fraction, compared to the one used to make Croissants!!! Definitely so much less!) the entire surface and, very gently, roll it up (but don’t crush it, please!) well tightened on itself, like this:

let’s go forward until we have rolled the entire enlarged and greased part of pastry sheet. we can continue to enlarge the remaining sheet, always gently and always remembering to grease the part that must be rolled. We must continue until the end, enlarge, grease, rolling tight… it will be a long and meticulous job, but the result is worth while! We will get a roll that must be greased further with melted margarine, on the whole surface. for the convenience of “storage” into the fridge, I divided the roll into two parts so that I could easily put them both into the same bag I previously used. Let them rest into the fridge for 24 hours. The next day, here’s how the rolls look like:

At this point, we must cut slices about 1 cm thick and start to process each slice, managing with our fingers, to create a kind of shell. Attention please, after having created an edge we need to turn the shell to reach the ultimate result (in short, turn it inside out like a sock! 😉 ) and so that the overlapping lines created can remain on the outside.
Creating the edge:

turning the “sfogliatella” inside out:

we must keep on moulding until it takes the form of a cone, trying to thin the inner side, carefully. it could easily break and if it happens we must rearrange it with our fingers:

Now, we have to fill it with the filling, a full teaspoon is enough. then let’s close it by clicking the edges:

Go on like this until exhaustion of the “sfolgiatellas”. The remnant of stuffing can be tasted as dessert, it’s really delicious! 😉
Lay on trays covered with oven paper or directly on a dripping pan, previously greased. First, we will bake them for 5 minutes in pre-heated static over at 220°C temperature, then we take them out of the oven and wait for about 3 or 4 minutes before to put them back in oven and bake until complete gilding (it will take about 20 or 25 minutes, depends on the type of oven used). I have filled 4 trays, 2 with sweet sfogliatellas and 2 with savoury ones. In this picture one of the trays was already in oven:

And this is the result:
Cheers!!!! 😉

  1. EleonoraNW3 27 January 2011 at 20:40

    Anto, dear…YOU ARE A GENIUS!!!! Can’t believe my eyes!!!!

  2. ascanio 27 January 2011 at 21:11

    these are just AMAZING!!!! I would never have so much patience to spend in the kitchen…I’m really astonished!!!

  3. Anto 27 January 2011 at 21:43

    😉 You both rule!!!!

  4. Cassandra78 28 January 2011 at 21:41

    Honestly… You’re the best :-). I couldn’t even imagine all the patience you had in preparing these “sfogliatelle”, and all the love you put in them. I can clearly see that, it comes out from every pictures and from what you write 🙂

  5. Anto 28 January 2011 at 21:54

    @ Cassandra78: Thank you so much for your nice words, I do appreciate them! 🙂

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