Chestnut-Ricotta Sfogliatelle

Chestnut-Ricotta Sfogliatelle

This shell-shaped Italian pastry takes lamination to a new level. Pasta-thin dough is brushed with butter, tightly rolled into a log shape, and sliced into disks. Each disk is hand-shaped into a cone, and then filled. We added chopped chestnuts to the traditional ricotta filling for extra crunch and depth to the creamy cheese. Find more recipes for our favorite pastries in our new cookbook, Bake from Scratch Cookbook: Volume Two!

Chestnut-Ricotta Sfogliatelle
Makes about 16
  • 2¾ cups (349 grams) bread flour
  • 1¼ cups (188 grams) semolina flour
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (270 grams) water
  • 4 teaspoons (28 grams) honey
  • 1 tablespoon (9 grams) kosher salt
  • 16 tablespoons (224 grams) unsalted butter, softened and divided
  • Chestnut-Ricotta Filling (recipe below)
  • Garnish: confectioners’ sugar
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat flours, 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (270 grams) water, honey, and salt at low speed until a shaggy dough forms, about 2 minutes. Increase mixer speed to medium, and beat until cohesive, about 10 minutes. (Dough will be dry, like pasta.)
  2. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface, and knead until smooth, about 5 times. Divide dough in half, and roll each half into a 12x5-inch rectangle. Cover with plastic wrap. With smooth rollers, set a pasta machine to widest setting. Feed one piece of dough through rollers; fold in half lengthwise, and feed through again. Repeat 5 times. Cover with plastic wrap, and repeat with remaining dough. Place pieces of dough one on top of another, and roll to ½-inch thickness. Feed dough through rollers 10 times, folding in half each time. Wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
  3. Divide dough into fourths. Cover with plastic wrap. On a lightly floured surface, roll 1 piece of dough into an 8x4-inch rectangle. Feed dough through rollers of pasta machine. Lightly dust dough with flour as necessary. Make the space between rollers slightly narrower, and feed dough through again. Continue process until dough has gone through the narrowest setting. Set aside, and cover with plastic wrap. Repeat rolling process with 3 remaining pieces of dough.
  4. Place 1 piece of dough on a lightly floured surface, and trim ends. Spread 3 tablespoons (42 grams) butter onto dough. Gently stretch dough strip to 9 inches wide with fingers, working down length of dough. Starting at one short side, tightly roll up dough, jelly-roll style, leaving 1 inch of strip unrolled. Set aside, and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Place second piece of dough on a lightly floured surface, and trim ends. Spread 3 tablespoons (42 grams) butter onto dough. Gently stretch dough strip to 9 inches wide with fingers, working down length of dough. Overlap 1 inch of a short side with exposed end of first roll. Roll up first roll in second dough piece, jelly-roll style, to create a roll about 9 inches long and 2 inches in diameter. Cover with plastic wrap. Repeat process with remaining 2 dough pieces. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours or overnight.
  5. Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C). Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  6. Remove 1 roll from refrigerator, and trim ½ inch from each end. Cut roll into ¾-inch-thick slices. Working with 1 slice at a time, create a 4-inch round by using the heel of your hand and even pressure, pressing in all directions, starting from the center. Repeat with remaining slices. Carefully shape rounds into cones. Place thumbs in center of round to gently push upward, and use index and middle fingers to pull sides downward, keeping layers overlapping slightly. Spoon 1½ tablespoons Chestnut-Ricotta Filling into each cone. Pinch edges together to seal, and place on prepared pans. Repeat with remaining rolls.
  7. In a small saucepan, melt remaining 4 tablespoons (56 grams) butter over medium heat. Brush melted butter onto sfogliatelle.
  8. Bake until golden brown and crisp, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack. Garnish with confectioners’ sugar, if desired. Store in an airtight container in refrigerator for up to 4 days. Reheat in a 350°F (180°C) oven before serving.

Chestnut-Ricotta Filling
Makes about 1½ cups
  • ½ cup (120 grams) water
  • ¼ cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
  • ⅓ cup (50 grams) semolina flour
  • 1 large egg yolk (19 grams)
  • ¾ teaspoon (3 grams) vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon (1.5 grams) kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon (1 gram) ground cinnamon
  • ¾ cup (169 grams) ricotta cheese
  • ⅓ cup (52 grams) Roasted Chestnuts (recipe below), chopped
  1. In a small saucepan, bring ½ cup (120 grams) water and sugar to a boil over medium heat. Slowly add flour, stirring constantly; cook until thickened, about 2 minutes. Pour mixture into a small bowl. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  2. Transfer mixture to the bowl of stand mixer, and beat at low speed for 1 to 2 minutes. Add egg yolk, vanilla, salt, and cinnamon; beat at medium-low speed until smooth, 3 to 4 minutes. Reduce mixer speed to low. Add ricotta and Roasted Chestnuts; beat until combined, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use, up to 24 hours.
You will need 4 to 6 feet of counter space when rolling dough through the pasta rollers. An extra set of hands is helpful during this process. While one person feeds the dough into and helps it out of the pasta machine, the other can keep the dough that's been through the machine stretched out to ensure that it doesn't fold up on top of itself.

Roasted Chestnuts
Makes about 4 cups
  • 6 cups (892 grams) whole chestnuts in shells
  1. Preheat oven to 425°F (220°C).
  2. Using a sharp paring knife, cut an “X” in rounded side of chestnuts. (This lets steam escape, and will prevent them from exploding.) Place on a rimmed baking sheet, cut side up.
  3. Roast until shells curl away from nutmeats, 20 to 30 minutes.
  4. Wrap hot chestnuts in a kitchen towel, and squeeze gently to further loosen shells. Let stand until cool enough to handle. Peel shells from nutmeats. Use immediately, or store in a resealable plastic bag at room temperature for up to 24 hours.
Fresh chestnuts will keep refrigerated for up to 6 months in a breathable container.


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