Placinta (Strudel) Redux

ETA: The post dropped before I’d finished adding the pictures. I made it several weeks ago … and lost track with RL stuff.

Strudel/phyllo/burek dough is found in many cuisines under a wide variety of names. My Romanian parents called it “placinta” and my mom’s cheese (placinta cu branza) or apple (placinta cu mere) versions were eagerly anticipated at my house. She also made a pumpkin version (placinta cu dulete or dovleac) which wasn’t bad … if that’s all that was left, IMNSHO.

I’m only made it once before, successfully. I don’t think this try was as good as that one and I messed up a few things, but everything was, at least, edible.

NOTE: I just discovered that I had only made a half recipe on that previous attempt so it’s possible that my stand mixer just wasn’t able to knead it well enough to get the gluten development it needed. It’s hard to imagine that my mom did all this by hand.

Because I didn’t have a lot of cheese (feta and ricotta) in the freezer, left over from previous projects, only enough for 2 mini coils, in fact, I thawed a container of filling for Jamaican beef patties and filled the remaining dough with it. My filling estimates were a bit uneven and the first roll was too meaty, while the 2nd was a bit too doughy. Oh well, it just means I need more practice.

Recipe in Pictures

Dough balls, coated with oil and allowed to rest covered with food wrap. After 1-2 hrs, each ball is stretched, carefully, over a linen covered surface, before being filled. Extra oil or melted butter is generously drizzled over the dough to help with the browning. Don’t skimp.

The thickened edges are trimmed off before rolling up into a long ‘snake’. The resulting ‘snake’ can then be coiled or shaped into a U onto a baking sheet before baking

The inside of the cheese strudel was a bit gummier than my mom’s ever turned out though it WAS cooked.

Cheese Strudel

Meat Strudel

My goal is still to be able to stretch the dough to cover the entire kitchen table, as she did.


6 thoughts on “Placinta (Strudel) Redux

  1. Very nice strudel dough. My grandmother made the dough on the dining table and stretched it from end to end as your mother did.
    I’m baking cinnamon bread today, I’m hoping to shape it as beautifully as your Swedish Cinnamon Star Bread.

  2. Wow! You are really brave to make such a thin dough. Whenever I see people doing it on tv, I am in awe. I must say the meat strudel is my favourite here 🙂 I have never seen it but I often fill filo with meat and love it.

    1. Thank you. Soaking the kneaded dough in oil seems to be the trick in getting it to the elasticity needed to be able to stretch it.

      Check out this page. I’m going to try this next.

      Bosnian, Serbian, Albanian, Croatian etc borek/burek often have meat and/or mushroom in them as well as the more commonly seen, spinach, cheese and, of course, fruit like shredded apple.

  3. I have been wanting to try a version of this dough forever! It’s on my bucket list, so maybe some day. In the meantime, I guess I’ll just have to admire yours! Great job!

    🙂 🙂 🙂

    1. Thank you. I’ve made the dough only twice and several years apart. I’d try again using the recipe linked in the comment above this one … letting the dough soak in oil … next time and see how that works.

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