Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Daring Bakers May Challenge: Apple Strudel

Here we are with another Daring Bakers challenge (separate from the Daring Cooks challenges). 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.

If you enjoy challenges and improving your baking/cooking skills, you can learn how to join the Daring Kitchen exploits

Apple Strudel

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 bake30 min to cool

© June Scroggin, All Rights Reserved

  • 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
  • ½ cup (1 stick/115 g) unsalted butter, melted, divided
  • 1½ cups (350 ml) fresh bread crumbs
Strudel Dough (recipe below)

  • ½ 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

  • 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
  • ½ 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 un-floured 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 23x38 inches (60x100 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.

The wonderful world of YouTube has a helpful strudel-making video.

Supper First, Then Dessert

We decided a German meal before scoffing down the apple strudel would be nice. Our menu: schweineschnitzel (pork schnitzel), bratkartoffein (German fried potatoes), gurkensalat (cucumber salad), and brötchen (dinner rolls). As for the strudel, my husband liked it, but I was too pooped to lift the fork to my mouth—and I forgot to peel the apples.


Mrs.Kwitty said...

LOL--you poor pooped-out little cook you! Sounds like quite a meal, and the strudel looks wonderful. It's quite a recipe! Hope you have some leftovers for when you have more strength!
Grins! Karen


Great job on the strudel and your German themed dinner, everything looks and sounds AMAZING!!

Thimbleanna said...

I wondered about that bit of red peeking out from those apples. I'll bet it was still good though -- the dinner sounds fantastic. I LOVE schnitzel -- I just wish I could get mine to taste like it does in Germany ;-)!

Isolated Foodie said...

No wonder you were tired -- that dinner sounds like a heck of a lot of work! Too bad you didn't get to really enjoy your beautiful strudel.

Lisa said...

Junie, the apple peel is the healthiest part, or so they say. My father always asks me to keep the peel on in apple desserts, so he'd LOVE yours. It came out gorgeous!

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

It looks scrumptious June! I'm sorry i had to bow out of this month's DB -- just no time to make it and my waist line is expanding too much ... lol!

The studel dough did look challenging to make -- how did you find it?

shenry said...

Sounds a bit labor-intensive, but I bet the end result is totally worth it.

Anonymous said...

Great job. And what a wonderful german feast!

kat said...

Great idea serving it with a German dinner

Dragon said...

Great job on this month's challenge!

Sue said...

That is so great that you planned your whole meal around the strudel dessert! Wonderful job!

It was my first DB challenge and it was so fun!

Ria Mathew said...

Hello Junie! Thank you so much for dropping by my blog and leaving behind such a lovely comment!! :) I love the way your strudel looks! Very crisp!And oh yeah! I am in love with that plate too! :) Well done!!

BC said...

Apple peel is very healthy so you did everyone a favour by leaving it on!

Storybook Woods said...

Whoa June, I am impressed. I bet you were exhausted. You go girl !!! Clarice

Mademoiselle Julie said...

I wish, we wouldn't try to Americanize everything! If we kept the last part right, why not also the first part: Apfel?! :) Cheers, Julie

Unknown said...

Well, all the more nutrition for your body with the apple peel! Great job! Hope you got to taste it later when you had rested up.

Lena said...

When I was little, we lived in Germany for 4 years. My dad still has a fondness for German food, which he only gets on a very rare occasion. He would have loved this meal!

Great job, as always June.

Diane Schuller said...

I've only tried making strudel once and what a LOT of work and frustration. The filling part is fine but stretching the dough out to be paper thin is a real challenge. You need a really large surface (large table for instance), lots and lots of patience, and no dog hair flying around :)

If it's a consolation, I make schnitzel at least once a month -- that's a snap to make. It's also a favourite company dish too. I really admire your baking and cooking adventures.

linda said...

Your whole menu sounds delicious! Great job on the strudel!

Gumbo Lily said...

Yum-O Junie! No wonder you needed a long restful weekend.


La Gitan Mystique said...

Thank you so much for sharing this entire post. I enjoy baking so very much with cooking taking a close second. I must figure out how to join in on theDaring Exploits fun. Thanks for sharing the great recipe, too.



Junie Moon said...

Thank you to everyone who left a comment on this post. Your name has been entered into my drawing.