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Old 02-03-2013, 02:42 PM   #1
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Join Date: Feb 2013
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Help with Hungarian rétes dough

Hi everyone,
I'm reaching out to the community to figure out what a great rétes dough should look orfeel like.

My great grand mother was the last one in the familly to make rétes. After much browsing for recipes and youtube watching for stretching the dough, I finally convinced my mom to give it a try together.
First time was a charm, the dough stretched over almost the whole table without too many holes and the baked product was pretty good.
However the second time was rather weird. The two times we tried the dough was very much like puff pastry dough, sticky and stretchy, despite using the same ingredients in the same proportions. In desperation we kept adding flour until we could manage to form a smooth ball, left it rest for 30min, stretched it over the whole table with few holes, and the baking was actually good.

So we are confused now about what makes a great rétes dough. We are hoping that some people with good know-how can share some information on what the rétes dough should look like and few tricks on how to get it right.

Thanks in advance!

Footnote: the rétes is a Hungarian dessert made out of a dough that stretches like phyllo. I find the process very impressive:

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Old 02-03-2013, 04:56 PM   #2
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Dough is influenced by the humidity in the air. If it's a dry day, the dough is fine with your recipe, but if you are having a humid day, you will be needing to add more flour. Much of making recipes with dough is based on how it feels, not on what the recipe says. This is also the hardest part to teach long distance...

Notebook and pencil. While you are baking write down the temp of the kitchen, the humidity and how much flour you needed to make it "feel" right. Note taking is how you will learn to notice what to do and make the dough feel right, not just follow the recipe.

Sorry, I'm not much help, but it's hard to describe to someone who isn't here, with all four hands flour covered and poking at the dough.
“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” - Albert Einstein
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Old 02-03-2013, 09:05 PM   #3
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Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Centreville
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Thanks PrincessFiona60. It's actually good help, that tells me that the recipe we used is actually a base working right on dry conditions and needs additional flour in humid condition. If it was the other way around, I don't think I'd be as comfortable adding water if the dough is too dry.
But then it occurs to me, the rétes dough is more of a construction material within which the goodness is rolled.
We'll keep experimenting with the dough to see what works for us. There are things I want to try now.

Thank you very much!
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Old 02-04-2013, 12:28 PM   #4
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Good luck with your endeavor and welcome to DC.
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I don't want my last words to be, "I wish I had spent more time doing housework"
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