I always get excited when I know that I'll have people to share my Daring Baker challenges with. This month, I was able to share the strudel with my family when they came for my graduation! 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.
After we went to lunch on Friday, I came back to my apartment and quickly put together a little dessert strudel while some of my family ran errands. I made the dough the night before and let it sit overnight as was suggested on one of the forums. One thing that frustrated me about the dough was the stickiness of it. The instructions say to knead it for 10-15 minutes...well, I couldn't knead it at all it was so sticky. However, I didn't want to put too much flour in it, so I quit kneading. Don't think it hurt the dough.
When it came to stretching the dough, I split it into two pieces because I didn't have enough room to do it in one big piece. Surprisingly, it stretched fairly easily; though, I did have a hard time getting the dough on the edge to be thin, which resulted in thick pieces on the end. For the filling, I used what I had available...strawberries and chocolate. I simply sprinkled cinnamon on the dough after spreading some butter over it. I used oatmeal instead of bread crumbs...because I didn't have bread crumbs! Then I just put defrosted TN strawberries and chocolate chips on the dough and rolled. I think that was my favorite part...rolling!
Unfortunately, the juices from the strawberries seeped out of the strudel. I did put too much chocolate in the pastry, which my dad commented on..."Next time it needs more fruit and less chocolate" and my brother responded with, "Fruit, what fruit" (knowing full well there were strawberries in there!).
For the other half of the dough I scrambled some eggs, crisped some bacon, and tossed it all together with some cheese. The pastry for this one was a bit tough and the eggs got a little tough as well...I'm sure this is from being cooked twice. Probably would have been better to undercook the eggs a little first and then bake it.
Overall, both of these were very good! The dough was easy to make (surprisingly) and was fun to put together. If I made this again, I think that I would like to try a spanikopita-like filling with spinach and feta or maybe roasted veggies with feta. Yum!
Thanks for a great challenge, Linda
. Check out more results here
. Here is the recipe for the dough and the instructions on how to fill. I'm not posting the apple filling since that's not what I used.
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.
5. 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 above. Spread about 3 tablespoons (I used about 2) of 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 bread crumbs. Spread the filling about 3 inches (8 cm) from the short edge of the dough in a 6-inch-(15cm)-wide strip.
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.
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.