27 maggio 2009

May Daring Bakers' Challenge - Apple Strudel

Hi everybody, here I am with my second challenge.
Oh yes, I will count my first three entries, like a sort of examination, to be sure I am becoming a real Daring Baker!

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.

Well, Strudel is very common in Northern Italy, mostly in Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol , its popularity due to the Austro-Hungarian empire's domination. But often it's not properly made, using puff pastry or short pastry for the dough, and that is how I used to do it as well.
Now I tried this version and I should say the dough is very good, easy to work and stretch, even though I was not able to realize more puffy layers as I saw in some other bloggers' pictures. Maybe I did not work it sufficiently.
I followed recommended tips and made double dough to practice and have two versions: the classic apple one and a savory one, filled with green vegs (fresh peas, green asparagus, zucchini, green beans).
But surprisingly it was easier and quicker to strech the first one: was it luck of the beginner?
I had holes in the pastry, bigger in the second one!!!
Then I dramatically forgot a little bit of the apple filling in the bowl, I was distracted by the telephone (better switch it off when cooking, don't you agree?!) but it was good to have some cool fruit with the warm slice of the cake! I think the best serving for strudel is to have it warm in contrast with frozen vanilla icecream.
I would definitely decrease the amount of bread crumbs too: I halved it but still it was too much and put some in the savory 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 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)

* for me are too much, less than a third it's enough. Spread all over the pastry, I didn't and it was a mistake.

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.

Thanks Linda and Courtney for this lovely recipe, I really had fun!

- 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.

The Green Strudel

Here's a link to a strudelmaking video that might help you a bit.

Qui la ricetta in italiano.

20 commenti:

Dewi ha detto...

Myammmm, love the look on that green strudel. Well done Ci. Ah, I can see how thin that dough is from the photo.

Peter M ha detto...

Cindy, excellent looking strudel pastry and a tasty end result.

With that thin pastry, you should try making your phyllo...I can show you!

Andreas ha detto...

Great strudel and nice hands-on photographs. :)

Anna ha detto...

What a lovely job! Your strudel - both of them actually :) - looks great!

Lisa ha detto...

Your apple strudel look divine, but that green strudel is beautiful. Fantastic job all around, especially the dough!

Anonimo ha detto...

Green's my favourite colour, your strudels looks stunning!

Basht ha detto...

ok, i'm hungry now
well done!

Zita ha detto...

Beautiful strudels, the green veggies is my favorite :)

Dragon ha detto...

I agree with you about the bread crumbs. Great job on this month's challenge!

Laura ha detto...

Che bellezze questi strudel. Non ho il coraggio di farne uno salato, non so perche'.

Complimenti come sempre.

Anonimo ha detto...

Great job! Both strudels are great, love the green strudel!

Unknown ha detto...

Looks great! I love all the green.

Ivy ha detto...

You did a great job and thanks for all those tips. I have to try this dough.

Moira - Tertúlia de Sabores ha detto...

Hi Cindy,
I love apple strudel, they look delicious both of them.

Cindystar ha detto...

Thanks everybody!
I will post Green version on Sunday for WHB.
Have a nice w.e.!

Grazie, Laura, domenica posterò anche la versione del salato così potrai vedere che è proprio facile da fare. Buon week-end!

Cindystar ha detto...

Peter, it would be very nice and useful to learn how to make phyllo, do you know?

Antonella ha detto...

mmmhhhh...che bontà!!!

Guarda qui.....finalmente ho imparato! ;))
Bacio grande e buon week end!!!

Aiuolik ha detto...

Che bello questo strudel e chissà che bontà!

Anonimo ha detto...

Yes, yes! Warm with ice cream for me!

Cindystar ha detto...

Grazie, Anto, mo' me devo applica' pure io!

Aioulik, ne vuoi una fettina?

Maryann, you are welcome, have a slice for breakfast!

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