Thursday, May 28, 2009

A Daring Apple Strudel....

The May Daring Bakers’ challenge is 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.

I don't know if you have taken the time to make this before, but let me tell you, it is quite the challenge. If your short on time, like I usually am, phyllo dough will work perfect when making strudel. The usual dough can be quite tricky if not made right. You want it to be see through thin when stretching it out. It is alot better to was a pastry cloth to do that on.

And the breadcrumbs the filling calls for, acts as a sponge for the apple liquid when baking. Overall, the the strudel was delish. You can change up the filling to different fruits or make a savory one...spinach, onions, ham, ect. If you have trouble figuring out how to maneuver the dough , check out YouTube.

Apple Strudel
2 Tbsp. rum, optional
3 Tbsp. raisins, optional
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/3 cup plus 1 Tbsp. sugar
1/2 cup butter, melted & divided
1 cup bread crumbs
strudel dough * recipe follows
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
4 large granny smith apples (2 lbs), peeled, cored and sliced thinly
**Mix the rum and raisin in a small bowl. In another separate bowl mix the cinnamon and sugar. Set aside.
**Heat 3 tablespoons of the butter in a large skillet over medium-high. Add the breadcrumbs and cook, 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 (200°C). Line a large baking sheet with baking paper (I just sprayed with cooking spray).
**Make the strudel dough as described below. Spread about 3 tablespoons of the remaining melted butter over the dough using your hands. Sprinkle the buttered dough with the bread crumbs (this is to ensure that the layers stay separated). Spread the walnuts about 3 inches from the short edge of the dough in a 6 inch wide strip. Mix the apples with the raisins (including the rum, if used), 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.
**Carefully transfer the strudel to the prepared baking sheet. Curve it into a horseshoe to fit. Tuck the ends under the strudel. Brush the top with the remaining melted butter (2 Tbsp).
Bake the strudel for about 30 minutes or until it is deep golden brown (I baked mine for about 45 min). 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 as the dough will get soggy after sitting overnight.
Serves: 6-8

Strudel Dough
1 1/3 cups flour
1/8 tsp. salt
7 Tbsp. water
2 Tbsp. oil
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 as the gluten needs time to rest).
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 (It is ok if the dough has holes, there are enough layers that it should not matter). Cut away the thick dough around the edges with scissors. The dough is now ready to be filled.
Makes: 1 large strudel

2 Others Say::

P. said...

It looks sooo good.


suburbangrandma said...

Your Apple Strudel looks delish!!
You sure love to challenge yourself with complicated baking..and it's always a success.
Great food photography!