I made a pretty simple and easy hamantaschen recipe last night, and it came out really well. The only substitution I made was to flex 3 eggs for 3 tablespoons milled, gelled flax seed in 9 tablespoons water. I am essentially unfamiliar with the dough, and wasn't sure what to expect. It had a great crumb, shortbread texture, but I ran into the dough unfolding/unpinching while baking.
The dough was good to work with, streched well and didn't break apart. However, it was very dry. Two main problems that may have stemmed from this were that the pockets wouldn't pinch at the edges, and when I left them to cool they dried out very quickly. In the second batch I tried moistening the edges with water to see if it would help glue them together, but to no avail. In the third the dough was becoming very inflexible and I used some canola oil to loosen it back up, but this did little to help.
As it is spoken of as a stiff dough (the author recommends chilling dough overnight), the dryness of the dough itself may not have inherently been a problem. Also, whereas the author says to "mix" the five and a half cups of flour with the liquids, I found I needed to fold cup by cup then knead toward the four cup mark, ultimately shorting the recipe by a half cup of flour. Since the drying out while cooling had no actual affect on the dough (in terms of taste, texture), I am mostly concerned about why the pockets ended up flat upon baking in many cases, instead of little pockets of plum preserves.
With a dough and recipe like this, what could I have done to ensure better pinches?
- Is the amount of baking powder appropriate? The recipe didn't call for any salt, but I added some for flavor; could this have been problematic in causing over-rising?
- The flax egg substitution would have had an equal amount of moisture to the egg, but would it have caused such dryness while mixing? The dough results were good in taste, just not structure.
- Could over-kneading have been the problem; does too much kneading inhibit flour's ability to adhere to itself?
- I do not typically use oil only doughs due to their dryer results, would subbing/splicing some heavier fats or apple sauce have improved the sticking?
- Doubtless from the image above, I have not formed these before. Could my pinching technique have been to blame? Is there a secret to it? I have also seen them folded; does folding the corners yield sharper edges than pinching?