Making Sfogliatelle

Hey yo, howzitgoin’? It’s me your boy Paulie P again. Joey had another thing he had to go do, so he asked me over for the day, and just in time, too. Those sfwee-a-dells down there are pretty friggin’ sad if you ask me, pardon my French. Time for a pro to step in and take care of business, knowadimean?

Ya wanna get your oven preheated to 400 degrees, and that’s Fahrenheit, Einstein. Next go get yourself a roll of dough and some filling. Trim the end off since it’s gonna be a little uneven on the edge there. Pitch that piece out.

Now you wanna cut your slices. For a regular sfwee-a-dell you’re gonna cut about half an inch off, right? Maybe a little more than half, I dunno, do what you want.

So now — and this is the trick of this whole thing — you wanna get the slice all nice and slippery with melted butter, ’cause that’s gonna help you fan those layers out, which is gonna make the sfwee-a-dells look all nice. Do both sides, or are you some kinda moron?

Now start rubbing. Push with your thumb from the middle of the slice out to the edge. Do it with both hands and spin the slice round and round while you go. The slice is gonna start to stretch out.

The outside edge is also gonna start to lay down, which is what you want, right? The whole thing is gonna start going flat, then turn almost inside-out.

Hello. You’re with me, right?

As you go you’re gonna wanna push up a little in the middle so you start to get sort of a cone thing going. This one is looking a little cockeyed, but then so are you am I right? Ah, lighten up.

Anyway, pinch the edges hard to make sure that layers there spread out all nice too.

So now we got a nice disk of buttered dough with the layers all spread out.

Now you wanna flip that thing over to your other hand so it’s sorta like a fat ice cream cone. This one could be stretched out a little more. Eh, whaddya gonna do.

Now plop a nice big spoon full of filling in there. And I mean a big one. Fill this thing up as much as you can, ’cause everybody likes a nice fat sfwee-a-dell, am I right?

Lay those out on a sheet pan that’s got some paper down on it.

And bake ’em about 25 minutes at 400 degrees. Put’em out all nice on a plate and sprinkle a little powdered sugar on top. When these are warm they are friggin’ to die for, knowadimsayin?

Now that I’m looking at these I could have filled ’em up a little more. Eh, whaddya gonna do.

I should add, if you wanna go a little nuts with these, do like they do out on the Coast and fill’em up with choux paste.

They’ll bake up into something called a lobster tail. Repeat after me: lawb-sta. You can sorta see why they call it that, right? Mine could be a little longer at the back end but this is the general idea.

Fill that up with pastry cream and you’ll think you died and went to friggin’ heaven, pardon my French again.

Oh yeah, that’s it.

My job is done. See you jokers later, ahrite? Ahrite.

30 thoughts on “Making Sfogliatelle”

  1. Joe – these look absolutely fabulous and absolutely doable. I had only seen the puff pastry style and when I watched the videos of the pros doing it I thought I’d never be able to make my own. After reading your instructions on rolling – plus you say it’s better and cheaper then store bought – I cannot wait to make these. Thank you!!!!

    1. Hey Linda!

      Please do try these. I definitely recommend making extra dough to play with beforehand, to take the pressure off. Once you get comfortable with the stretching you’ll be amazed how quickly the rest comes. The cutting and rolling is very easy. As for the shaping of the individual pastries, after two or three of them you’ll have the hand of it. This recipe makes about ten. Did I mention that?

      Have fun!

      – Joe

  2. And the crowd goes Wild! Well Done! Bada Bing Bada Bang! You make it look so easy Joey… um sorryboutdat I mean Paulie! 😉

    1. Bang! Zoom! Boomba! Thanks a bunch!

      And dat’s OK Eva, I know we look a lot alike, him and me. Try these for me though, K? You’ll love’em I swear.

      – P

  3. Oh man, do these look great! Did you end up adjusting the filling recipe at all (I seem to remember a comment about needing thicker filling)?

    1. Hey Alyssa!

      I did adjust it, thanks for noticing. IN the end I upped the amount of semolina in the recipe, it’s good and thick now, but not gummy.

      Thanks for that!

      – Joe

  4. Joe, is the link to the filling a new filling? I remember you mentioning the filling needed to be thicker.

    1. Hey Anna!

      I did adjust the filling with a little more semolina/durum. We’re good to go now!


      – Joe

  5. So Paulie, me n the boys wanna know on a scale of 1 to 10 how hard these are to get to turn out right. Ya got a nice little pastry there, be a shame anything happened to it. If a middling level amature was to try dez for friends coming over what’er the odds of ending up it with dough lumps? I like the idea but am not crazy about having to make 5 of these scungilli before I get one I want to share, I already eat too much – capiche?

    1. Hey yo, Frankie, fuggeddaboudit. Do yourself a favor and make some dough to play with first. Some weeknight after Game of Thrones, right? Roll it, stretch it, tear it, then throw it away and start over a day or two later. On the day you make’em, remember the recipe makes ten. Figure you’re gonna fudge up the first two or three when you go to shape’em, pardon my French, which leaves you with seven good ones for the rest of “the family”. You’re good.

      – P

  6. oMG those are yummy looking. But will you please consider translating the text into Enlish, or New English? Some of your readers may not speak fluent New York.

  7. Oooh! These look spectacular. I’m kinda willing to try, but the problem is, I have no table of decent size, only kitchen counter. We have considered getting a dinner table for a while, so this will go into “pro” list when trying to persuade my husband that we can cram our apartment a bit for the sake of decent family dinners and strudel or sfogliatelle dough..

    1. Good luck with that one — but a card table only costs a little. See if you can sell him on that!


      – Joe

    1. Free entertainment isn’t always pleasant but at least it’s free, Anonymous! Anyway I’m from Chicago, so that accent isn’t as fake as you might think! 😉

      But thanks!


      – Joe

  8. Joe, I about swooned when I saw that picture. I was so amazed at the difference between the first and the last bakes. Fantastic! You should be proud of yourself.

    BTW, since you are now skilled at making these, I am wondering, under the category of ” difficult techniques”, have you shaped many Kaiser rolls? What about hand rolled-pasta? If you need any more challenges, those are the next I’d like to offer you.

    1. Hey Mary Beth!

      I’ve done past but not kaiser rolls…I’ll look into those!

      And thanks very much. These were fun to do!

      – Joe

  9. Dear Joe (& Paulie):

    I have never seen these live, but saw them in a cookbook some time ago, and have wanted to make them ever since. But I was baffled by the instructions. Now with your instructions, I think that I might actually be able to make them, so am looking for a weekend where I can block out the time to do so. And the lobster tails look fantastic!

    The accent is hysterical!

    Best regards,


    1. Hey Maura!

      First, on behalf of both my alter-ego and myself, thanks very much! Make sure you get back in touch after you try them to tell me about your results. Send photos if possible!


      – J & P

  10. I was wandering through Boston’s North End when I walked I to a random pastry shop. There in the case were fresh sofa-, sofie-, so-don’t-remember-the-name-but-remember-your-post. So I bought one and, holy Hannah, are they good!! They taste like a stollen fell in love with a croissant and had a crispy, clam-shaped baby. They’re heaven. Thanks for bringing them to my attention! 😀

    1. Hey Helena!

      I envy you getting the real thing! And it is my very great pleasure. Those things are fabulous. My youngest daughter is after me to make more!


      – Joe

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