The Pillsbury Doughboy challenged me to a pastry making competition. This post has been in the making for a month, but 3 rounds of baking later- I have finally showed that giggly little flour fairy what I can do!
I know I have mentioned on a couple other occasions that Will’s typical breakfast is toaster strudels. It’s evident that he has had a lot of practice…. You would swear he is the one who ices them for commercials and such because I have never met anyone else who can drizzle the icing on so perfectly!
Anyway, back to the point. I felt challenged by those processed, frozen pastries. Surely there had to be a way to make them myself so hubster had a healthier breakfast. So being my competitive self, I stared down the Pillsbury Doughboy and said “Bring it on, Squeaky.”
I have to be honest; the first two rounds went to Pillsbury. I mean of course mine were better because they were rolled out, stuffed, and sealed with love…. Right? Actually, it wasn’t that mine tasted bad, it was that they were all different shapes and sizes, they weren’t that flaky, and they leaked. I would open the oven and moan because there was more cinnamon sugar filling caramelizing to the pan than was left inside the pastries.
But that little Doughboy didn’t know how stubborn his competitor is. I found a recipe for puff pastry dough and that helped make them more like the ones from the freezer, but they still leaked… So I did my homework and found some tips for sealing them better. The better way is actually easier and doesn’t mutate them into a symmetrical, mismatched shapes and sizes!
So round three came around and guess who the victor was. Yep. Yours truly! This time I even got really brave and tried making some with gluten free flour! This wasn’t nearly as easy as gluten free doughs tend to be the most unforgiving, sticky semisolid you’ve ever worked with. But you know what, they turned out great! Now we can both have a toaster strudel! And mine don’t cost something stupid like $7 for 4 of them.
Enough with the narrative, let me share my recipe with you!
- 1 puff pastry crust (see this post for that recipe)
- 1 batch of the filling of your choice (see the ones I have used at the end)
- Flour for rolling everything out
- 1 egg
- A little water
**For the Gluten free adaptations scroll to the end.
- Make the puff pastry crust according to the instruction in this post. TIP: If you want the toaster strudels to be even flakier, repeat the fold/re-roll procedure an extra time before letting it rest in the fridge.
- Preheat the oven to 400.
- While the dough is resting, make your filling. I have made brown sugar cinnamon, strawberry, and poppy seed. I have also filled one with marshmallows and chocolate chips to make a s’more toaster strudel. If you don’t have much time, or don’t have the ingredients you need, jam works well too.
- After the pastry crust comes out of the fridge roll it back out to 16 x 16 inch square. I use a ruler and a pizza cutter to slice mine. I cut them into 4 inch squares. This makes 16 squares, so 8 toaster strudels
- Place 1-2 Tablespoons of your selected filling on one square and sort of spread it out a little over the middle of that square.
- Now you take the matching crust square, stretch it a little bit, and place it over top of the filled square. The sealing process is similar to wrapping a present and goes like this: fold the edge of the bottom square up a bit so that they are turned up underneath the top square, and then tuck the edges of the slightly stretched out top square underneath the bottom. Now gently press along the edges with the prongs of a fork so that the folded edges seal themselves together. Be careful not to puncture the pastries.
- Now that you have a sealed toaster strudel, place it on a greased cookie sheet.
- Now crack the egg in a small bowl and beat it well with a little bit of water to make it runny. Brush the top of the pastries with the egg wash so that they have a nice golden color when they bake.
- Lastly, you will want to poke some little holes in the middle of the toaster strudels so that they have a place for the steam to vent.
- Bake for 20-22 minutes.
I am sure this goes without saying, but the evening I pulled those out of the oven I definitely jumped up and down and screamed like a giddy little girl! I ran into the office with the hot pan exclaiming “Look! Look! Look! I did it! They’re perfect!”…. while Will was on Skype with all his man friends. It’s ok; it’s not the first time they have experienced that. Lol.
These keep well in the freezer and can be reheated in the toaster, microwave or broiler.
I don’t know if it’s really any cheaper, but I know it is less processed, doesn’t have as many additives, doesn’t have as much sugar or any dyes. AND I feel accomplished! AND I CAN EAT THEM TOO!
Honestly these have really good flavor and texture. Will enjoys them quite a bit in the morning, and I enjoy showing him love by making them for him. I also really enjoy sticking it to the man, or in this case the Pillsbury Doughboy!
Gluten Free Adaptations:
- Sub gluten free flour (your favorite blend or all purpose) for the normal flour cup for cup.
- When rolling the dough you will need to constantly be gently loosening it from the countertop and applying more flour underneath it. I used a ruler to help me loosen and lift it.
- For the gluten free ones I only rolled it out to 12 x 16 because it was too finicky to stretch it thinner. So it made 6 toaster strudels instead of 8.
- To seal them before you put the top square on sort of flip up the edges on the bottom ones so that they make a little container for the filling. Put the top square on gently. Fold it down, but not necessarily all the way underneath, and then gently pat the edges to close everything and shape them up a bit. Now very gently seal the edges with the fork.
- 8 medium strawberries (i was eyeballing it, sorry)
- 2 tbsp honey
- 1 tsp cornstarch
- Puree the strawberries.
- In a small sauce pan over medium high heat mix the strawberries and honey.
- After they have had a minute to cook, add in the corn starch.
- Cook the mixture, stirring frequently, until it reaches a thick, almost jam-like consistency.
Poppy Seed Filling:
- 2 tbsp Poppy Seed
- 2 tbsp Honey
- 1/2 tbsp melted butter
- 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
- Grind the poppy seeds up. I used my handy dandy coffee grinder for that.
- In a small bowl, mix everything together.