Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Apple Strudel - Daring Bakers

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apple strudel 1

The last couple of months have been quite busy for me and unfortunately it has taken me away from the kitchen. But I couldn't pass on this month's Daring Baker's Challenge: Apple Strudel. I love apple strudel and was quite excited about making my own strudel dough from scratch. We could do any kind of filling we wanted, sweet or savoury but I wanted to stick to the classic German Apple Strudel, in part because  Andrew and I both like apple desserts.

Making the dough was easier than I expected, but I didn't manage to stretch it as much as needed and it resulted in only 2 layers of rolled strudel dough. It was delicious anyway, and I figure that the more you practice the better you get at stretching the dough. Mine covered half of my dining table, next time I'll try to cover the whole table. The dough is so nice to work with, it made me realize how much I enjoy cooking, making foods from scratch, transforming simple ingredients into delightful creations. I intend to get back to my baking and cooking routine very soon and will definitely make this strudel again, playing with different types of fillings.


The May Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Linda of make life sweeter! and Courtney of Coco Cooks. They chose Apple Strudel from the recipe book Kaffeehaus: Exquisite Desserts from the Classic Cafés of Vienna, Budapest and Prague by Rick Rodgers.


apple strudel 2

I did not make many changes to the recipe given to us, posted bellow.  This is all I changed:

  • I used panko instead of fresh bread crumbs,because that was the only thing I had in hand.
  • I used 1/2 tablespoon of cinnamon
  • Following some tips from other daring Bakers, I spread the bread crumbs all over the stretched dough as shown in the photo bellow.

strudel dough


Apple strudel
from “Kaffeehaus – Exquisite Desserts from the Classic Cafés of Vienna, Budapest and Prague” by Rick Rodgers

2 tablespoons (30 ml) golden rum
3 tablespoons (45 ml) raisins
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon (80 g) sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick / 115 g) unsalted butter, melted, divided
1 1/2 cups (350 ml) fresh bread crumbs
strudel dough (recipe below)
1/2 cup (120 ml, about 60 g) coarsely chopped walnuts
2 pounds (900 g) tart cooking apples, peeled, cored and cut into ¼ inch-thick slices (use apples that hold their shape during baking)

1. Mix the rum and raisins in a bowl. Mix the cinnamon and sugar in another bowl.

2. Heat 3 tablespoons of the butter in a large skillet over medium-high. Add the breadcrumbs and cook whilst stirring until golden and toasted. This will take about 3 minutes. Let it cool completely.

3. Put the rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Line a large baking sheet with baking paper (parchment paper). Make the strudel dough as described below. Spread about 3 tablespoons of the remaining melted butter over the dough using your hands (a bristle brush could tear the dough, you could use a special feather pastry brush instead of your hands). Sprinkle the buttered dough with the bread crumbs. Spread the walnuts about 3 inches (8 cm) from the short edge of the dough in a 6-inch-(15cm)-wide strip. Mix the apples with the raisins (including the rum), and the cinnamon sugar. Spread the mixture over the walnuts.

4. Fold the short end of the dough onto the filling. Lift the tablecloth at the short end of the dough so that the strudel rolls onto itself. Transfer the strudel to the prepared baking sheet by lifting it. Curve it into a horseshoe to fit. Tuck the ends under the strudel. Brush the top with the remaining melted butter.

5. Bake the strudel for about 30 minutes or until it is deep golden brown. Cool for at least 30 minutes before slicing. Use a serrated knife and serve either warm or at room temperature. It is best on the day it is baked.

Strudel dough
from “Kaffeehaus – Exquisite Desserts from the Classic Cafés of Vienna, Budapest and Prague” by Rick Rodgers

1 1/3 cups (200 g) unbleached flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
7 tablespoons (105 ml) water, plus more if needed
2 tablespoons (30 ml) vegetable oil, plus additional for coating the dough
1/2 teaspoon cider vinegar

1. Combine the flour and salt in a stand-mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix the water, oil and vinegar in a measuring cup. Add the water/oil mixture to the flour with the mixer on low speed. You will get a soft dough. Make sure it is not too dry, add a little more water if necessary.
Take the dough out of the mixer. Change to the dough hook. Put the dough ball back in the mixer. Let the dough knead on medium until you get a soft dough ball with a somewhat rough surface.

2. Take the dough out of the mixer and continue kneading by hand on an unfloured work surface. Knead for about 2 minutes. Pick up the dough and throw it down hard onto your working surface occasionally.
Shape the dough into a ball and transfer it to a plate. Oil the top of the dough ball lightly. Cover the ball tightly with plastic wrap. Allow to stand for 30-90 minutes (longer is better).

3. It would be best if you have a work area that you can walk around on all sides like a 36 inch (90 cm) round table or a work surface of 23 x 38 inches (60 x 100 cm). Cover your working area with table cloth, dust it with flour and rub it into the fabric. Put your dough ball in the middle and roll it out as much as you can.
Pick the dough up by holding it by an edge. This way the weight of the dough and gravity can help stretching it as it hangs. Using the back of your hands to gently stretch and pull the dough. You can use your forearms to support it.

4. The dough will become too large to hold. Put it on your work surface. Leave the thicker edge of the dough to hang over the edge of the table. Place your hands underneath the dough and stretch and pull the dough thinner using the backs of your hands. Stretch and pull the dough until it's about 2 feet (60 cm) wide and 3 feet (90 cm) long, it will be tissue-thin by this time. Cut away the thick dough around the edges with scissors. The dough is now ready to be filled.

apple strudel


DK said...

I so loved this challenge! and yes, the dough was easy to work with!

Lisa said...

What an absolutely perfect strudel..the dough , the shape, the filling et al. Phenomenal job!!

Anna said...

Great job! Beautiful pics! Your strudel looks really nice and your pastry seems to be very flaky and crispy on the outside :)

Dragon said...

Gorgeous! Great job on this month's challenge!

Deseree said...

Your strudel looks delicious! I had to miss this challenge because I was super busy and then out of town, but after looking at yours I may just have to give it a try anyway. Nice job!

sweetakery said...

beautiful! just perfect yum!

Elyse said...

Mmm, this strudel looks delicious! You did such a great job. I'm definitely drooling over your pictures. What a fabulous looking treat!

Dimah said...

Great job! your strudel looks wonderful!

Mindy said...

This looks lovely! I chickened out and made smaller strudels because I was a little afraid of that giant sheet of dough...yours turned out beautifully.

silverrock said...

Beautiful photos, beautiful strudel!! Amazing! Way to go on the May challenge, I wish I could have a giant slice of that strudel... but there probably isn't any more left :(

TeaLady said...

This was fun. And so incredibly easy. Yours looks delicious.

Trofie Wife said...

Thanks for such a great recipe! This turned out to be delicious. I made 2 adjustments based on ingredients in my house: I subbed pignoli nuts for walnuts and honey wine for rum. Worked just fine!

Anonymous said...

Instead of bread crumbs, my mom would bake a white cake, then cool, and crumble it up on the strudel dough with the rest of the ingredients. WOW!! Apple strudel was one of my mother's best recipes, besides kolaches, homemade bread, and wonderful pies & cakes. She was Czech!

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