Daring Bakers – Apple strudel

This is the first DB bakers challenge I made very early on, but that has all to do with the fact that I’m co-hosting this month’s challenge πŸ˜‰ I just found out I was pregnant when I heard I was to co-host this month’s challenge…and my due-date was actually the 21st of the same month! But I figured it would be ok since there were three of us to co-host. But as May drew closer both other hosts turned out to have other obligations and I was left alone. It seemed a bit too much to do it on my own with giving birth and all πŸ˜‰ Luckily the first person I asked to co-host with me said yes πŸ™‚ Thanks so much for that Courtney!

The main reason I joined the Daring Bakers was to explore new techniques. And as the challenges progressed I learned more and more. There was repetition of techniques too, making the challenge recipe itself a bit less challenging but there was always the choice of flavour or presentation to make it challenging.

My thoughts for this challenge was to make something that was all about technique, a technique not yet dealt with by the Daring Bakers: Strudel dough. Making strudel dough had been on my to-do list for ages but I never dared making the ultra-thin dough…until now that is!

Both Courtney (of Coco Cooks) and I made the dough prior to posting the May challenge. Though I was very apprehensive to make it, it turned out being less difficult (and stressful πŸ˜‰ than I imagined. Making the dough and stretching went pretty smoothly. I made the traditional Apple Strudel and hoped to have energy to make a fancier one later on. Unfortunately I couldn’t force myself to make it again….not enough energy 😦

The dough itself is quick to make, the most time-consuming is preparing for the filling: making and baking the bread crumbs and peeling and slices the apples mainly. But the results were definitely worth it, the strudel tasted just wonderful! I don’t think I ever had a real (as in thin layers of dough) apple strudel before so I cannot compare but we will be moving to Vienna in about a month so I can check out the ‘real thing’ over there πŸ™‚

I hope everybody had a great time trying out this month’s challenge, I know I did (once the stretching thing turned out going well πŸ˜‰

And in case you’re wondering…no baby yet πŸ˜‰

Apple strudel (from Kaffeehaus Γ’β‚¬β€œ Exquisite Desserts from the Classic Cafés of Vienna, Budapest and Prague by Rick Rodgers)

makes one big strudel

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 Γ’β‚¬β€œ 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.

Both Courtney and I did a trial run on making the strudel. Below are our notes:

Courtney’s notes

– She could’t get it to stretch to 2 feet by 3 feet, it turned out more like 2 feet by 2 feet. But the dough was tissue thin nevertheless;

– She got some serious holes, but after rolling it wasn’t noticeable;

– She used a large cheese cloth which helped manipulate and stretch the dough more than a heavier cloth would have.

My notes

– I made the dough by hand, just mixed the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients with a wooden spoon. Kneaded it for about 5 min like you would bread dough. This worked as well. Haven’t tried using a standmixer so I don’t know how it compares.

– Instead of cider vinegar I used red wine vinegar;

– I used bread flour;

– Picking up the dough to let it stretch didn’t work well for me, holes appeared pretty much instantly. Instead I stretched the dough while it was lying on the tablecloth by putting my hands underneath and stretching it out further and further;

The May Daring BakersÒ€ℒ 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.

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61 Responses to Daring Bakers – Apple strudel

  1. claire says:

    Thanks for such a great challenge. It was one that seemed *very* difficult but was not so once done. Great job on yours!

  2. Amanda says:

    I agree with Claire. I was really nervous about completing this challenge, but when I actually did it, it wasn’t bad at all!

    I wasn’t terribly pleased with my strudel but I know why, and I’m looking forward to trying again. πŸ™‚

  3. Dharm says:

    Thanks for this challenge! It was a lot of fun. Like Claire and Amanda, it looked really difficult but once you got into it, it wasn’t all that bad! I wasn’t sure how thin my dough should be but looking at yours, I think I did a pretty good job…! Good luck with the baby!!!

  4. Rosa says:

    Thanks for choosing this great recipe! Your strudel looks delicious! I really loved that challenge!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  5. Lien says:

    I love apple strudel, never made it myself, but as I have the book I really shoot try, looks delicious!

  6. I have an old Czech cooking book, I will try to translate the strudel recipe and post it here soon

  7. Thanks so much Linda. I really enjoyed making the strudel dough.

  8. LegalAlien says:

    Thanks for hosting this Challenge, strudel was a great choice!

    Congratulations for thebaby, and good luck with your new family configuration! πŸ˜‰

  9. Lisa says:

    Linda, thank you so much for a great challenge! Your strudel looks fabulous, and congrats on the new baby!! πŸ™‚

  10. deeba says:

    You do make life sweeter Linda, & have done it more so with this wonderful challenge you co-hosted with Courtney!Thank you for making me try something I’ve had on my to-do list for AGES! It was a wonderful experience indeed & I loved working with the dough! Congrats on your baby too. Life must be very busy indeed! Take care…

  11. Anna says:

    Great strudel. Looks lovely – I can almost taste it, especially served hot maybe with some vanilla ice creams πŸ™‚ Thank you for a great challenge!!!!! It was delicious fun πŸ˜‰

  12. DK says:

    Thanks a bunch Linda for a wonderful wonderful challenge – I loved it and it came out perfectly! I couldnt have asked for anything better πŸ™‚

    Congrats for the little one and hope everything goes well πŸ™‚

    Thanks once again for a delicious theme.

  13. Hi Linda,

    Just to say I really enjoyed this challenge and getting my hands into something completely different. I guess a double congratulations to you is in order for hosting this (and I assume your newest bundle of joy has arrived by now!)

    Cheers,

    Cat

  14. Aparna says:

    Thank you very much for a such a lovely challenge, Linda. I don’t think I would have ever made one but for the DB challenge.

    Good luck with the baby.

  15. peasepudding says:

    Thanks for the great challenge, I really enjoyed making it and of course eating it!

  16. Jo says:

    Thanks for such a great challenge. I love strudel and I really enjoyed making this one even though I’ve never done one before.

  17. Andrea says:

    Thanks so much for hosting! I can’t believe you hosted while being so close to having your baby. Take care of yourself and get lots of rest while you can, and good luck with your move to Vienna.

  18. pontch says:

    Thank you for a great challenge and great recipe. I enjoyed making the Strudel so much !!

  19. Hannah says:

    I’m so glad you were able to hang in there for this challenge, it was definitely a good one! Thanks for picking it out. πŸ™‚

  20. this was a wonderful challenge– so many possibilities! thanks for being a great host, and congratulations in advance on your little one!

  21. courtney says:

    Thank you so much for asking me! When all is settled and you have various strudels in Vienna at the Kaffe Haus ,I see you revisiting this again and again.

  22. L*Joy says:

    i loved the flexibility of this challenge. this was my first strudel and it was such fun.

    thanks again.

  23. Aran says:

    it looks great and thank you for hosting this month’s challenge. i bet that was a lot of work on top of everything else but glad you did!

  24. Thank you for Hosting this months challenge, it was so fun. I always wanted to make strudel. Congrats on your pregnancy and hope your baby has a safe delivery.

  25. Natalie says:

    This was a fabulous challenge. Thank you very much for cohosting this month. I thoroughly enjoy making the strudel and having it for Mother’s Day. Congratulations on your pregnancy!

  26. Adli says:

    Yosh!!! I enjoyed making it (through there’s some drama with mine) the whole thing was really sweet, which I like of course πŸ˜€

    thanks for picking this one πŸ™‚

  27. Raje says:

    This was my first DB challenge and it was fun. Thanks for the tips. They helped a lot.

  28. Wolf says:

    Thanks for picking such a great recipe! }:P I thoroughly enjoyed it.

  29. JennyBakes says:

    Thanks for hosting the challenge, and I hope you get to welcome baby soon! I enjoyed the challenge and even made two different strudels, one with curry!

  30. alana says:

    Thanks so much for such a great challenge. This was my favorite so far.

  31. Simona says:

    Thank you so much for the very nice challenge. It was great fun.

  32. Joy says:

    Great challenge Linda – it was oh so tasty!

  33. Andreas says:

    Thanks for this Challenge. Strudel was a great choice.

  34. Junie Moon says:

    I thoroughly enjoyed this challenge (okay, actually I’m enjoying all the challenges). However, my husband was thrilled when the Apple Strudel project came up which made it all the more fun for us. Thank you so much for co-hosting this challenge.

  35. Thank you for this challenge! It was a lot of fun!

  36. fairy_mi says:

    Hi Linda!

    First thing I have to congratulate you for your pregnancy! What an excitement!

    I personally thank you for your choice in the strudel project.

    Like you I joined the daring bakers to try new techniques,

    And I never done a strudel dough by myself before, so it was a great opportunity.

    Your strudel looks really delicious!

    I’m planning to bake is again soon with classic apple filling, it is definitely the best.

    Take care!

    Inbal

  37. artandlemons says:

    Congrats on the babe and the move! If it weren’t for this challenge, I’m not sure I would have ever made strudel Γ’β‚¬β€œ thank you.

  38. Ivonne says:

    Linda,

    The strudel was a lovely idea! Thanks so much and good luck with your baby-on-the-way!

  39. Sarah says:

    Thanks for choosing this. It was so much fun to make!

  40. Laura says:

    Oh, I thought making Apple Strudel was simpler!

  41. Caitlin says:

    Wow! Kudos for pushing through as a host for this one! Yours looks wonderful. I enjoyed making this so much more than I thought I would – stretching the dough was just so much fun! Thanks so much for a terrific challenge!

  42. Cakelaw says:

    Thanks for being one of our hosts this month. The streudel was a delight to make, and I hope that you are presently enjoying a well earned rest with your new bub.

  43. Faery says:

    Your strudel looks really yummy.

    Thanks so much for this challenge I learnt a lot

  44. Congrats on the baby and on chosing this challenge – I was a little afraid also about stretching the dough but it was a dream (as other DBers found out). I’m amazed that you have energy to do a co-hosting for the challenge. Truely a wonderful challenge I learnt so much about strudels from this recipe. And again a big THANK YOU for this challenge. Cheers from Audax in Australia. Nice pixs of your strudel.

  45. Esi says:

    Thank you for picking this challenge. It was fun to experiment with!

  46. Kitty says:

    Go Daring Baker’s! You are the best, thanks again, and clearly your strudel is the best!

  47. Anita says:

    Great choice for the Daring Bakers Challenge. I love strudels, just wish I had joined a little earlier so I could have participated.

  48. Jenny says:

    Thanks for hosting and choosing this. I don’t think I’d have been able to do this as far along into either of my pregnancies as you were able, so wow!

  49. jillian says:

    Thanks for hosting this month. It was a great challenge! Best of luck with your little one!

  50. Leona says:

    LOVED this challenge! Thank you so much for going through with it. Don’t know if you had the baby yet, but Cheers to you and the baby. Have a happy healthy life.

  51. Thanks Linda for hosting this month! You did a great job, it was a wonderful choice and I really enjoyed making it!

  52. Baby Baby … they can take their own time.

    This dough and technique were a total surprise for me. The dough was a joy; the product was fabulous. Really enjoyed the apple strudel. Tonight I’m trying it as a savory onion appetizer.

    Thanks so much.

  53. Thanks a lot for choosing this fun challenge! I had a lot of fun and learned new skills. Thanks again!

  54. Jenny Tan says:

    Hi Linda, THANK YOU so much for the challenge! I would have NEVER done it if it weren’t DB challenge! πŸ™‚ I had a wonderful time playing w/ the dough…and so did my kids! πŸ™‚ THanks again!

  55. Lauren says:

    Beautiful strudel =D. Thanks for hosting this challenge!!

  56. isa says:

    Thanks for choosing this great recipe! Your strudel looks delicious! It looked really difficult but once you got into it, it wasn’t all that bad!

  57. Cecil says:

    Linda, thanks so much for hosting! It was such fun dough to work with. This is my first time making my own strudel dough!! I have always though of it as such intimidating process, but well..it was not at all!! Thanks again!

  58. foodcreate says:

    Delicious! Definitely get “oohs” and “ahhhs” when you pull this dish out of the oven.

    Thanks for sharing!

    And you can visit me if I can visit you:)

    Welcome!

    foodcreate

  59. Hi Linda! Thanks so much for this challenge! I got it in late, but I did get it posted!

  60. Desmone007 says:

    Looks like all the daring bakers had good success with this recipe!

  61. Arlette says:

    Thanks you for hosting the May Challenge, and thank you for choosing a recipe I ‘ve put on the shelf to try one day, thinking its time consuming and need lots of muscles…

    The results were great, useful tips and wonderful taste.. the more you rest the dough the better results you get.

    Thanks very much .

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