Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Daring Bakers do Apple Strudel

Yum…Who doesn’t like apple strudel and this one was incredible!


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.

The pastry used to make this was incredible. If I made this again the only thing I would change would be to make it a little but sweeter but otherwise this was a perfect dessert and right up there with my favorite DB challenges! Thanks so much Courtney and Linda!

The only changes I made was that I did not do the raisins as I am the only one who likes them and the kids don’t like walnuts so I omitted them as well. I did add about an ounce of Canadian whisky to the apples to give them a bit of warmth.

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 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.

- 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 polyester;
- 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.

Please do stop by at the Daring Bakers blogroll and take a look at all the fantastic strudels Daring Bakers across the globe have rolled out!

As Always…

Happy Entertaining!!!



Andrea Meyers said...

Great job, and I like the idea of flavoring the apples. This was one of my favorite challenges, too, something I would definitely make again.

Deeba PAB said...

You did it Judy...& you did it beautifully! Yes, it was incredible, & one I'll be making often. Love the flavouring to bring warmth into the apples, & then into the eaters...tee hee! YUM!

Dharm said...

I love how your strudel looks! I've said this before and I'll say it again - I just HATE the time difference.... everytime I come by early, theres no challenge!! LOL Another challenge done not succesfully, but beautifully!!

Jo said...

Great job on your challenge and the strudel looks fantastic.

glamah16 said...

Good choice on the addition of Canadian Whiskey! Now we are talking.

Anne Coleman said...

It's so pretty! My photos reek this time - way bad lighting - we haven't gotten it all up yet. I'm with Coco - the whiskey sounds awesome!

kellypea said...

Nice call on the Canadian whiskey Judy! Your strudel turned out gorgeous. I liked it because I actually felt like I was eating something healthy for a change -- did your kids like it?

Peter M said...

Canadian Club Whiskey is for more than just rye & coke!


s. stockwell said...

We would like to try this one. The dough sound tricky? the idea is to get it thin enough. This classic is a great idea. Thanks, s

Anonymous said...

Gorgeous and perfect apple strudel! It looks yummy and oh so flaky!

Dianne said...

Excellent work -- looks gorgeous!

I'm totally with you, by the way: if I made this recipe again I would make it sweeter, too.

Thistlemoon said...

It really looks beautiful Judy! I bet a slice of this would get me to reconsider apple desserts!

Anonymous said...

Very Pretty!! Love the you used a little whiskey!

Megan said...

Booze for warmth. I like that.

Dragon said...

The Canadian Whiskey is a great addition. ;) Great job on this month's challenge!

Anonymous said...

Great job on a great challenge! Funny that despite the time of year and the current temps but I am really digging your idea of "warmth"!

Navita (Gupta) Hakim said...

woo Judy...I have immense respect for those who make their own pastry..yours look great! :)

New here but love this place :)

Unknown said...

Looks great! Such thick apple slices.

Lauren said...

Yum! Your strudel looks awesome =D. Beautiful job on this challenge!!