Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Streudel


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.

What I really enjoy most about the Daring Bakers is that they take you out of your comfort zone and hurl challenges that are exactly that: tasks that push you to take that plunge and rise to the occasion.  Well, this time, it was apple streudel and making the streudel dough by hand.

Although I’ve had my fair share of making different kinds of dough, I’ve always steered clear of streudel. Leave it to the pro pastry makers!  First of all, it did seem exceedingly laborious. Secondly, the sheerness of the dough made me feel like my nails would always slice them with each pass.  (Yes, despite my many forays in the kitchen, my nails remain long!)

This dough however was surprisingly easy to work with, and was responsive the the faintest manipulations of the hand.  It stretched to a rectangle of about 20x30. I turned out a well shaped, crusty streudel without a hitch.

I went for a savory streudel and didn't have time to make another one but the apple streudel will find it's way into my kitchen very soon.

I filled my streudel with pancetta, ricotta, almonds, portabello slices, oven roasted tomatoes and basil. This filling will also be a recurring theme in streudel!

Check out the other daring bakers and their concoctions at the daring kitchen.












(Please also read the tips and notes on the trial runs Courtney and I did. You'll find them below the recipes.)

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.

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.



11 comments:

Jo said...

Great job and the strudel looks absolutely amazing. How I wish I was having a piece of this right now.

Rachel said...

the layers are so thin..good job

Anula said...

I also was very suprised how easy was the dough - both to make and then to stretch. Your strudel looks great :)

lisamichele said...

pixie, your strudel came out gorgeous, but I was wondering, unless I missed it somewhere, what kind of filling did you use? I know it's savory, and it looks delicious!

Susan said...

Beautifully flaky dough! What is the filling?

Lauren said...

Yum! Your strudel looks wonderful =D.

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Very well done! Your strudel looks delicious! I love your savory filling!

Cheers,

Rosa

pixie said...

Thanks Jo, Rachel, Anula, Lauren and Rosa! Lisa, Susan, thanks for pointing out that I forgot to mention the filling! I put ricotta, pancetta, almonds, oven roasted tomatoes and basil. =)

kellypea said...

LOVE the ingredients you put in this. Fabulous! And I agree -- this dough surprised me by being easier to work with than I thought it might. Congrats on the success of another challenge, and on to the next!

Jenny said...

Yum, looks like pizza strudel, but so fresh and delicious!

Roberthussy said...

Apple strudel (German: Apfelstrudel) is a traditional Viennese strudel, a popular pastry in Austria and in many countries in Europe that once belonged to the Austro-Hungarian empire 1867–1918.



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