Daring Bakers/May '09 – Apple Strudel

by Jessica on May 27, 2009

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.

Several hours, calls, miles driven from store to store, $25 and a new USB cord later… the pictures are finally up! :)

Apple Strudel

Since my dad absolutely loves his apple strudel, I decided to forego savory and take the traditional route. This was so good that Dad almost ate the entire thing!! Thank goodness there’s one more piece left… maybe as a 4 o’clock snack at work tomorrow??

Preparation time
Total: 2 hours 15 minutes – 3 hours 30 minutes

15-20 min to make dough
30-90 min to let dough rest/to prepare the filling
20-30 min to roll out and stretch dough
10 min to fill and roll dough
30 min to bake
30 min to cool

Apple Strudel
Source: “Kaffeehaus – Exquisite Desserts from the Classic Cafés of Vienna, Budapest & Prague” by Rick Rodgers

2 tbsp golden rum
3 tbsp raisins
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/3 c plus 1 tbsp sugar
1/2 c unsalted butter, melted & divided
1-1/2 c fresh bread crumbs
strudel dough (recipe below)
1/2 c coarsely chopped walnuts
2 lbs tart cooking apples, peeled, cored and cut into ¼ inch-thick slices (use apples that hold their shape during baking)

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

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.

Put the rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a large baking sheet with 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.

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.

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.

Apple Strudel 2

Strudel Dough
Source: “Kaffeehaus – Exquisite Desserts from the Classic Cafés of Vienna, Budapest & Prague” by Rick Rodgers

1-1/3 c unbleached flour
1/8 tsp salt
7 tbsp water, plus more if needed
2 tbsp vegetable oil, plus additional for coating the dough
1/2 tsp cider vinegar

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.

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).

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.

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 3

Tips:
- Ingredients are cheap so we would recommend making a double batch of the dough, that way you can practice the pulling and stretching of the dough with the first batch and if it doesn’t come out like it should you can use the second batch to give it another try;
- The tablecloth can be cotton or polyster;
- Before pulling and stretching the dough, remove your jewelry from hands and wrists, and wear short-sleeves;
- To make it easier to pull the dough, you can use your hip to secure the dough against the edge of the table;
- Few small holes in the dough is not a problem as the dough will be rolled, making (most of) the holes invisible.

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

1 rachel May 27, 2009 at 11:24 pm

that is so flaky…good job!

Reply

2 Kitty May 28, 2009 at 2:10 am

I’m so glad you did find a USB cord, because I’m in heaven looking at this incredible strudel. I told someone else theirs was the best strudel I’d seen, but that was before I visited you! This one is number 1! P.S. I love your plates!

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3 Elizabeth May 28, 2009 at 8:36 am

You did a great job!! That is beautiful!

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4 teaandscones May 28, 2009 at 11:25 pm

OH!! Those are beautiful. Flakey and fantastic.

I sooo totally forgot about DB. But seeing yours I know I will have to try these.

Reply

5 Claire May 29, 2009 at 4:27 pm

YUM! This looks fantastic. You did a fabulous job…and I’m sure your dad loved it, too!

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6 Melissa May 30, 2009 at 7:18 pm

Your strudel looks beautiful. I had to sit this challenge out because I’m out of town, but maybe I’ll play catch-up in June! Great job!

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7 Amy (Sing for your supper) May 30, 2009 at 8:10 pm

These are some of your best pictures! I love them! The strudel looks amazing!!!

Reply

8 Jaime May 31, 2009 at 12:39 pm

wow look how much filling you got in those!!! they look so much better than mine!

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9 Arlette June 1, 2009 at 11:58 am

this is a nice looking strudel, flaky and tasty, and a nice color .. you did a great job in this challenge .

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