Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Daring Baker's Challenge for May: Apple Streudel



Or shall we say, "Ahhhpfell schtruuuudelll". My little girl is going to a German immersion school next year, much to my linguistic chagrin (why can't the French school be as good as the German school? Why? Why?). So it is high time I learn how to cook SOMETHING German, and hey, why not start with a "schtruuudell"...just my luck that it was chosen as this month's Daring Baker's challenge by Courtney of Coco Cooks Linda of make life sweeter.

When I first heard that this was the challenge, I must admit that I made a frown face...there's really nothing about streudel that entices me. I'm not a fan, I can't stand rolling things until they are paper thin, and I thought "what in the world am I going to do with a streudel that is as long as my arm?" But then I bucked up and thought "I could be the Queen Mum of Fairview German Language School with my homemade streudel, I'll be "the streudel mom"" , and off I went.

I will have to say that the rolling process was one of the worst experiences of my culinary life. I think I developed biceps on my biceps rolling this dough. I may need to visit a chiropractor. I understand now why people just buy their streudel rather than make it. Yeesh. But once it was filled (a messy, messy process) and rolled up, I slit the top and added some pearl sugar and "voila"....I got myself some streudel! It was yummy too, great with vanilla ice cream. But this makes a huuuuge load of streudel. Be streudel-ready, or have a streudel party.

One thing about streudel...eat it hot, fresh out of the oven. Otherwise your streudel will be soggy and messy....

Guten Appetit!

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.


Preparation timeTotal: 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 strudelfrom “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) sugar1/2 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 doughfrom “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.

2 comments:

Moiprof? said...

Oh sweet, I'm glad to see you are posting again, as I really enjoy your blog. Recently I tried the chocolate icing (the one from the "Happy Birthday Paulie" post), and it was delicious. I also made a version for grownups with mint chocolate. Bon retour dans la grande cuisine du web :)

Lesley said...

Oh you're sweet. Nobody comes though! So it makes me lazy. I need people to kick me in the arse.