Daring Baker May Challenge

Apple Strudel

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.

Strudel after rolling

I made a strudel with a simple apple-cinnamon filling. As a lot of Daring Bakers have found out, the dough really is easy to work with. One might think the dough is actively trying to help you to suceed in this challenge. When you take the dough out of the fridge, put it on a floured cloth and pat it in a burger-like shape. Flip over so that both sides have flour on them, and then lift it up on the fingers of both hands (palms facing up). The dough will stretch under it own weight. However, do not ommit the molten butter on either side of the dough to save some calories, because the dough will become tough and chewy.

Strudel straight from the oven

I had actually planned to do at least one other strudel this month (cream cheese and cherries), that's why I started with the classic one, but somehow time slipped past and it's posting day already. But maybe at another time I will come back to this recipe.

Thank you Linda and Courtney for choosing this recipe for the Challenge. I'm sure a lot of bakers have this on their radar (Ah, one day I must try this.), now we've done it. ;)
There will be lots of rolling and slicing of strudels at the Daring Bakers Blogroll. And if you would like to share some strudel-baking lore, visit the Daring Bakers and Daring Cooks at the Daring Kitchen.

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.


Anula said...

What a lovely small and yummy looking strudel you have :)

teafactory said...

your strudel looks like a caterpillar (in a very cute way!)Great job :o)

Susan said...

I was pleasantly surprised by how easy the dough was to work with. Greatjob, looking forward to your cream cheese & cherry one too!

Dragon said...

Great job on this month's challenge!

glamah16 said...

Oh the cream cheese and cheeries would have been awesome! Great job.

Jenny said...

I was thinking inchworm, but caterpillar is close too. I hope you get a chance to try the cherry version, as it sounds delicious.

peasepudding said...

Looks great! it is very addictive working with this dough and all the other suggestions on fillings I will also make another batch.

zorra said...

Ich werde den Strudel sicher auch nochmal machen. Deiner sieht zum Reinbeissen aus!

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Very beautiful! Ummm cherry and cream cheese ... what an idea!

Lauren said...

Mmm, your strudel looks lovely! Awesome job on this challenge =D.

dandelion said...

Wasn't this one fun. Your filling looks nice and juicy. Yum!

Claire said...

Beautiful! Almost looks like a horn.

Jenny Tan said...

I hope you will make the cream cheese and cherries version...esp if you like those 2...they taste SO good! :) Great job on the challenge. =D

chriesi said...

Nice strudel!

Aparna said...

I feel the apple filling is the best, but that's just me. :)
But with an easy pastry maybe you will be able to experiment when time permits.

linda said...

Glad you liked the challenge :) Your strudel looks wonderful!
Cherry and cream cheese sounds delicious too!