Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Daring Bakers Challenge ~ Apple Strudel

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.

So I think I might be a little touched in the head..but hey I'm Daring! I was up at 5:15am this morning and started the challenge at about 9:00pm tonight. I've had a busy past two weeks and just didn't get to it before now. I am coming in just under the wire with this post. But I am Daring! Or crazy...Randy votes for crazy! :-) I have to say that the chosen recipe worked like a dream or I probably wouldn't be writing this at all. Nothing went wrong. I was shocked at how easily the dough stretched. I have to give a lot of credit to Randy..crazy as he may think me...because he was my stretching partner. We got the dough just about to the suggested 2 ft by 3 ft with barely a few tiny holes. It truly was tissue thin.

How do you like my pink stripes? A sheet made more sense to me than a table cloth. Jigs was really curious about what I was making. Randy was holding him and he was craning his neck to get a better look (or lick?). Don't worry...he never got close enough! But he doesn't think I'm he thinks I'm Daring! And wonderful for making him something sweet to eat.

Here is the recipe. I really changed nothing except to use pecans instead of walnuts. I just took it out of the oven and it looks great. I'll eat it tomorrow..too hot to cut now! These pics aren't the best but hey I'm living on the edge....I'm Daring!

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.

ADDED NOTE: * The strudel was great! I did add a light glaze because I thought it needed a little more sweetness but that is just my taste. The filling was great. I am submitting this to Design by Gollums Foodie Friday Event. Go check out all of the great posts linked on her blog.


Debbie at Mountain Breaths said...

Suzy, you are daring! You made me tired...yawn :-) I would love a piece of your strudel!! Great post.

Marsha said...

You are a daring which is a good thing to be! I wish I had some of your energy these days I had to laugh when I saw the time stamp of your post in my central time. The strudel looks very good and I sure wish I had a piece for breakfast. I love the use of the sheet as the stripes really let us see how thin the pastry is...that must have took patience. Wait until Kathleen sees Jiggs ;)

Foley said...

Suzy, I'm so proud of you! You are definitely a DARING baker!! The struedel looks delicious and in my mind it would NEVER be too hot to cut!!
I don't expect Randy will think you're too crazy when he has a bite of it!

Cynthia said...

Suzy ... you are DARING (and maybe a little crazy to start a project like that at 9:00pm).

It looks wonderful and sounds like Randy was very helpful.

Love the pic of Jigs getting a better look at the streusel. Hope he gets a small taste.

Kathleen said...

Great Apple Doggle, I mean Strudel!
You are amazing and daring, brave, faithful and 100's of other GOOD adjectives!
I made strudel once in a former life, in summer with no a/c, and I almost got violent..
But you inspire me, and now I want to try it again!!
Great job..I am sending a doggie plastic cap and beard cover for Mr Jigs...:)
Be sure to link this for Foodie is awesome..

Martha said...

I admire anyone who makes strudel -- it's delicious but . . . alas, I'm not up to that challenge!

Dishesdone said...

Strudel! Looks awesome! The one and only ORIGINAL daring bakers! You are very daring and always up for a challenge! Looks fantastic, and I bet it tastes even better! You done great! Jigs is a cutie pie, I hope you shared!

xxx's and ooo's and LOL's!

I think for Kathleen's next birthday we should all send her a puppy :) One that sheds in clumps!

Susan @ A Southern Daydreamer said... are crazy...but it looks good! Happy Foodie Friday! Have a great weekend ~ Susan

Mary said...

This looks wonderful to me. Strudel is delicious and I can imagine how this might taste with Viennese coffee.

Bev said...

looks yummy!

Rita Kent at TesoroFino.Com said...

Oh my! You are one very talented individual! That is incredible looking! Thanks for sharing! Head on over to my blog and browse a while, if you like what you see, click the "follow" button on the right so we can inspire one another often!

SavoringTime in the Kitchen said...

You are my idol - daring or crazy! I have to work up the courage to be Daring too :) I'm glad to hear the effort was worth it!

Anonymous said...

What a daring baker you are, I don't know if I could do it. Looks yummy though.

Joyce said...

I was lucky to be in Vienna last summer and took a baking class to learn how to make this. It was wonderful and so nice that we could eat the finished product. Your recipe and photos are wonderful. I have to say that I still have not made the strudel since I came home and it is a year now. I need to get out the old rolling pin and bake away on this one. Good job and I bet it weighed a good amount too. They sure liked to stuff them up a bit in Vienna.

ButterYum said...

Jigs must be your dog... I love how he's licking his chops in the photo :). Nice job with the strudel!

susan said...

Projects like this scare me. I must admit I a content to look and drool for now. Jigs and my Jessie would love to meet--they are both toooo cute! Congrats on your accomplishment!

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