Roquefort and Pear Strudel
- 2 cups all purpose flour plus additional for dusting
- 3/4 cup warm water (105°F to 115°F)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons unsalted butter plus 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
- 1 1/2 pounds firm but ripe Bosc pears, peeled, halved, cored, cut into 1/3-inch cubes (about 3 1/2 cups)
- 6 ounces Roquefort cheese, crumbled (about 1 1/3 cups)
- 1/2 cup chopped toasted pecans
- 1 tablespoon all purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons plain dried breadcrumbs
Combine 2 cups flour, 3/4 cup warm water, oil, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in large bowl of stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed 3 minutes (dough will be sticky). Remove strudel dough from bowl and divide in half. Form each dough half into ball; wrap each in plastic. Refrigerate 1 dough ball overnight for strudel; freeze second dough ball for another use.
Melt 1 1/2 teaspoons butter in heavy large skillet over high heat. Add pears and sauté until soft, about 4 minutes. Strain pear mixture, discarding juices, then transfer pears to rimmed baking sheet, spacing apart; cool completely. Transfer cooled pears to large bowl. DO AHEAD Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.
Add cheese, pecans, flour, and lemon juice to pears and toss gently to combine.
Place 36x24-inch cotton cloth or clean cotton tablecloth on large work surface; secure all 4 corners to work surface with tape to keep in place. Dust cloth lightly with flour. Unwrap refrigerated strudel dough and place in center of prepared cloth; sprinkle lightly with flour. Using rolling pin, roll out dough as thinly as possible without tearing, dusting dough lightly with flour as needed to prevent sticking.
Line rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Slide hands under center of dough and gently pull with palms (not fingers) toward edges, being careful not to tear dough and stretching to thin rectangle. Gently pull dough edges with floured fingertips to form 34x18-inch rectangle. Using sharp knife, trim edges to form 33x17-inch rectangle. Cut dough rectangle lengthwise in half, forming two 33x8 1/2-inch rectangles. Brush each dough rectangle lightly with melted butter, then sprinkle each evenly with 1 tablespoon sugar and 1 tablespoon dried breadcrumbs. Starting 1 inch in from 1 short end of dough, spoon filling crosswise atop each dough rectangle in 1 1/2-inch-wide log, leaving 1-inch plain border on long sides of both rectangles. Starting at edge of cloth closest to filling and using cloth as aid, lift edge of cloth and start rolling up strudel dough (not cloth) over filling, enclosing filling completely and forming 2 strudels. Tuck in short ends of dough and pinch to seal. Transfer strudels to prepared baking sheet. Brush strudels all over with melted butter. Chill at least 1 hour and up to 6 hours.
Position rack in bottom third of oven and preheat to 375°F. Bake strudels until golden brown, about 40 minutes. Cool strudels on baking sheet 30 minutes.
Cut strudels crosswise into 1-inch-thick slices. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Although only half of the strudel dough is used in this recipe, you'll need to make a full batch of the dough to achieve the best texture. The remaining dough half can be stored airtight in the freezer for up to one month.