Kale, Mushroom and Gruyère Strudel
Serves 8 to 10.
Note: If available, substitute chanterelles or morels for cremini mushrooms. From “When Pies Fly,” by Cathy Barrow.
• 1 Pulled Dough for Strudel recipe (see recipe)
• 2 tbsp. olive oil
• 8 oz. cremini mushrooms, stemmed and sliced 1/4-in. thick
• 1 medium onion, diced (about 1 c.)
• 8 oz. lacinato kale, ribs removed and leaves roughly chopped (about 3 c.)
• 1/4 c. chopped flat-leaf parsley
• 1 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
• 1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
• 3/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
• 1 egg, beaten
• 6 oz. shredded Gruyère cheese
• 4 tbsp. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted and divided
• 1/4 c. dry breadcrumbs
Bring the strudel dough to room temperature for 1 hour before stretching, keeping it in the ziptop plastic bag until ready to use.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees and place a rack in the lower third of the oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Heat the olive oil in a large heavy skillet over high heat. When the oil is shimmering, add the mushroom slices and reduce the heat to medium-high. Let them pan-roast and get deeply browned, 6 to 8 minutes (do not stir), before giving the pan a hard shake so they release. Then turn the mushrooms and roast for another 4 to 5 minutes, until well browned and crisped. Add the onion, stir well, and cook until wilted, 5 or 6 minutes. Add the chopped kale and cook for another 3 minutes, until the kale has collapsed but is still brightly colored. Stir in the parsley, thyme, salt and pepper. Spread the mixture across a rimmed baking sheet to cool. (Freeze or refrigerate to speed the cooling process.) Once thoroughly cool, return mushroom mixture to a bowl, and stir in the egg and cheese.
Spread a large, thin kitchen towel across a work surface. Stretch the strudel dough on the kitchen towel to 20 inches by 24 inches, until it’s possible to “read a newspaper through it” or some close approximation of that idea. The whole process doesn’t take long at all, just 5 minutes or so, once you’ve done it a few times.
Pat the stretched dough into shape and then, using scissors or your fingertips, tear or cut away the thick edges and discard. Carefully swab the dough with about 2 tablespoons of the melted butter.
Add 1 tablespoon of the melted butter to the breadcrumbs and stir well. Sprinkle the breadcrumbs generously over the dough, leaving a 2-inch border. Transfer the kale filling to the dough, leaving a 2-inch border.
Using your hands, shape the dough into a log about 2 inches from a shorter edge. Begin rolling by lifting and pulling the bare 2-inch edge of the dough over the kale log. Tuck in the sides and, using the kitchen towel, lift and roll the strudel into a tight log with the thin layers of strudel dough encasing the filling. The goal is to make this log firm and tight, not loose and sloppy.
Use the kitchen towel to transfer the strudel to the prepared baking sheet, seam side down. Remove the kitchen towel.
Brush the top and sides of the strudel with the remaining 1 tablespoon melted butter. Bake until golden brown, about 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from oven and cool strudel in the baking sheet for 10 minutes before slicing and serving. If serving later, reheat for a few minutes in a 350-degree oven.
Pulled Dough for Strudel
Makes 1 strudel sheet, about 20 by 24 inches when pulled.
Note: Strudel dough is not rolled out with a pin, but stretched. Because of this, the dough needs to be very elastic, requiring well developed gluten which means active, extensive kneading. Rather than kneading, slap the dough on the counter, turn, fold and do it again. And again. In fact, most classic strudel dough recipes include the direction to lift and slap the dough on the counter 100 or more times. Or you can knead in the usual way, folding and pushing the dough away from you, and then turning it 90 degrees and continuing the fold and push and turn action for 10 minutes. Alternatively, put the organized dough ball in the stand mixer and let the machine do the work for 10 full minutes. From “When Pies Fly,” by Cathy Barrow.
• 1 1/4 c. flour
• 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
• 3 tbsp. grapeseed or canola oil
• 1/3 c. cool water
• Cooking spray
In a wide bowl, using a table fork, stir together the flour and salt. Make a well in the center and pour in the oil. Gather the flour into the oil with the fork. Pour in the water slowly, continuing to use the fork to incorporate the flour, until the dough is shaggy and wet. It will look impossible and you will be unhappy with me, but please persist.
Let go of the fork, lightly flour your hands, and work inside the bowl to gather the dough (which, admittedly, is more like batter). Just lift and turn, fold and lift, and unbelievably the dough will begin to feel silky and smooth and come together after 5 minutes or so. It’s a miracle.
Move the dough ball onto a very lightly floured counter and knead for 10 minutes; or slap it vigorously 100 times; or place the dough ball in the stand mixer and, with the dough hook in place, let the mixer knead the dough for 10 minutes.
Lightly coat the inside of a ziptop plastic bag with cooking spray and place the dough in the bag. After a 30-minute rest on the counter, seal the bag and refrigerate overnight before stretching the dough.
Strudel dough can be refrigerated for up to 2 days and cannot be successfully frozen.