Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Authentic Austrian Apple Strudel ("Apfelstrudel")

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.

Wow....I was so excited to open up my internet browser and read about the May Daring Baker's Challenge. Strudel is one of those things that I've been wanting to try but have just never gotten around to it. I really should have tried the real thing while we were in Germany a few months ago.

This recipe was actually a lot easier than I had originally anticipated...I was worried that the dough would be hard to stretch. According to a fellow DBer, the dough is supposed to be thin enough to read love letters through! I really liked that example. After watching a few instructional videos on YouTube, I was ready to go! The dough stretched easily and beautifully...I did have a few holes, but was my first time making strudel. ;) They were completely hidden when the strudel was all rolled up.

I used a cheese cloth under the strudel dough to help roll it up. It worked like a charm and made the process really easy. Now, cleaning up all that flour wasn't so easy! Haha.

I absolutely love apples and cinnamon, so I followed this recipe to a "T". I didn't make any changes...except for omitting the golden rum. I added a little vanilla extract instead. I was so happy with the was delicious!

If you're craving something scrumptious and sweet, try this recipe! It's easier than you think***

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

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.


Anonymous said...

That is one of the most gorgeous strudels I've ever seen. Lots of filling and perfect layers! I'm simply awed..great job!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Very well done! Your strudel looks perfect and so delicious!



Aparna Balasubramanian said...

Those layers look lovely and crisp.
And its true, its a lot easier that onw would expect.

Jo said...

This is absolutely gorgeous. Fantastic job and the pictures are simply amazing.

Anonymous said...

Your strudel looks amazing!

Anna said...

Lovely strudel, can I have some? ;)

Anonymous said...

Nice work on the challenge. Seems like we both had similar experiences with the dough. Got a few holes but kept at it anyway. I also loved the apple filling recipe they provided for us, yum!

Anonymous said...

Oh your strudel is so perfect!! Great job!

mary said...

What a beautiful strudel! You did a wonderful job.

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Unknown said...

Looks great! So fresh and wonderful.

Fahrenheit 350° said...

Celeste, you never disapoint!

Audax said...

It's all about technique you are so right to get the pastry transparent! Great that you gained a new skill from the DBers. Wonderful colour you got – love the pixs. Cheers from Audax in Australia.

Yes the spirit of the Daring Bakers is it is not a competition BUT what is respected is trying to do the challenge using your best efforts.

Lauren said...

Yum! Your strudel looks amazing =D. Awesome job on this challenge

Elizabeth said...

Oh my, does that look good! I love apple strudel and I've always been a bit too afraid of trying it. Want to send some my way?

lisa said...


Jacqueline said...

This is the kind my mother and I used to make! We would stretch it together. It was so amazing and I am not an apple person, but I loved it! She is gone now, but making this would bring back those memories!