Daring Bakers Challenge: Strudel

salmonstrudel2

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.

When I told a friend I am making strudel for this month’s DB challenge, she commented that it shouldn’t be difficult since strudel consists of phyllo dough, apples, and breadcrumbs.  “I am making the strudel dough”, I said. To which she responded, “WHY?” And why not? I do enjoy the convenience of Costco and Trader Joe’s but I also love the feeling of being able to create (or recreate) at home food that I would  otherwise just purchase at a bakery.  And with ingredients already available in my pantry, the opportunity to experiment is endless!

Although we were allowed complete freedom as to the filling and shaping of the dough (the making of the strudel dough was mandatory), I decided to make the Apple Strudel recipe they provided for starters.  I knew I will be experimenting with different fillings.  I just used apples and almonds and did away with the raisins (my husband does not like raisins) and rum.   I divided the strudel dough in 4 so I could experiment with the apple strudel with one and use the other three for other fillings.  I was worried about stretching the dough to the correct thinness but dividing it into smaller portions allowed me to stretch it thin enough without creating huge holes. I was also able to work on a smaller work space using a 12 x 24 inch silpat dusted with flour instead of table cloth.  A quarter of the recipe gave me a foot long apple strudel and I kept the same baking time since halfway through, I noticed that the strudel was not even light brown.  But the smell from the oven (apples and cinnamon) was intoxicating! Okay…so maybe I exaggerate.  I brought the strudel to a “boating trip” with friends and they all loved it! Here’s the recipe. The rest of the dough I made SALMON AND WILD RICE STRUDEL and our new favorite MANGO STRUDEL.

applestrudel

Apple Strudel
from “Kaffeehaus – Exquisite Desserts from the Classic Cafés of Vienna, Budapest and Prague” by Rick Rodgers

Ingredients:

  • 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)

Directions:

  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.

applestrudel2

Strudel Dough
from “Kaffeehaus – Exquisite Desserts from the Classic Cafés of Vienna, Budapest and Prague” by Rick Rodgers

Ingredients:

  • 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

Directions:

  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.
  4. 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. 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.

With the other dough, I made a savory SALMON AND WILD RICE STRUDEL using leftovers.  I mixed 1 cup of cooked wild rice and 1 cup cooked salmon, seasoned with dill sauce and wrapped in the strudel dough.  The wild rice did the job of the breadcrumbs and prevented the dough from sticking to each other.

salmonstrudel1

The rest of the dough I used to make two MANGO STRUDELS using one ripe mango for each portion of dough, diced into cubes.  Instead of breadcrumbs, I used ground almonds and baked them for 30 minutes.  Thanks, Linda and Courtney, for this great challenge!

mangostrudel


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» Beth said: { May 27, 2009 - 07:05 }

I love the idea of a salmon strudel. That sounds delish! Nice job on the challenge.

» Audax Artifex said: { May 27, 2009 - 08:05 }

Wow beautiful strudels and beautiful pictures – I just love the salmon and wild rice strudel and the mango one sounds delish. Seems that everybody loved them. Yes the dough can be stretched so much it is amazing. Wonderful effort on this challenge, cheers from Audax in Australia

» jo said: { May 27, 2009 - 08:05 }

Great job on your challenge. Lovely flavours but I especially like the sound of the salmon and wild rice one. Fantastic pictures as well.

» Bread and Jam said: { May 27, 2009 - 09:05 }

Wow, you went creative with yours! Both sound absolutely delicious!

» sara said: { May 27, 2009 - 10:05 }

All of these look amazing, especially that mango strudel! YUM! :)

» Aparna said: { May 27, 2009 - 01:05 }

Love, love your mango strudel. Mangoes are my favourite fruit. :)
I also divided my dough and found it more manageable and easier to stretch.

» Jayme said: { May 27, 2009 - 02:05 }

I am absolutely drooling over the salmon and wild rice filling! Yum yum yum!

The mango one sounds great too – I considered that, but stuck to the basic recipe. I’ll certainly be experiementing with this studel dough in the future.

» Carrie said: { May 27, 2009 - 02:05 }

That salmon and wild rice strudel looks so good!

» Lolah said: { May 27, 2009 - 03:05 }

All your strudels look delicious! A greart, great job.

» Jenna @ Newlyweds said: { May 27, 2009 - 03:05 }

Beautiful job! Love the salmon and wild rice strudel and the mango also looks delicious.

» Rosa said: { May 27, 2009 - 04:05 }

Both strudels look fantastic! I particularly like the salmon one! Mmmhh, I love savory pastries! Great job!

Cheers,

Rosa

» Zoë François said: { May 27, 2009 - 06:05 }

Oh, your fillings are so inspired! Wonderful job!

» jenn said: { May 27, 2009 - 07:05 }

Wow!! That’s taking the strudel to another level. Salmon?! I would have never thought of that. It looks realy really good though. That would go great with maybe a spicy or tartar sauce. And mango strudel mmm…don’t think I have that before. I guess the most well known is the apple version. Now that’s thinking out of the box.

» Dragon said: { May 27, 2009 - 07:05 }

I can’t decide which one I like best. Great job on this month’s challenge!

» Sue said: { May 27, 2009 - 09:05 }

The mango is my favorite…looks like gooey goodness! YUM! :)

This was my first DB challenge and it was so fun!

» virtual chef said: { May 27, 2009 - 09:05 }

thanks, jenn. more like ” too many overripe mangoes!” LOL

» Bake in Paris said: { May 27, 2009 - 11:05 }

Totally love the salmon and wild rice strudel. Looks irresistable and delicious! I am drooling….. Great job!

Regards
Kris

» Sabiilaa (sweetakery) said: { May 28, 2009 - 02:05 }

wow! love the salmon with wild rice, im sure gona try it! delicious! great job!!

» Madeleine said: { May 28, 2009 - 11:05 }

mmm Mangos!! great idea!!!

Your strudels looks so perfects!!!

Great job!

» Josh, Great Chefs said: { May 28, 2009 - 01:05 }

I’m definitely going to give the Apple Strudel version a try! That looks so good…

» Claire said: { May 28, 2009 - 02:05 }

I love the idea for salmon strudel. I bet that was fantastic. Great job!

» Kevin said: { May 28, 2009 - 07:05 }

The salmon and wild rice filling sounds so good!

» Elyse said: { May 29, 2009 - 01:05 }

Yum! I love that you experimented with different types of fillings. Of course, the classic apple looks delicious, but oh, that mango…it sounds divine! And you could make an entire meal of strudel–the salmon filling sounds totally delicious! Great job. You definitely succeeded in this challenge!

» Lauren said: { May 30, 2009 - 10:05 }

Yum!! I love the flavours you used =D. Your strudels look amazing!!

» Lisa said: { May 30, 2009 - 12:05 }

Oh! My next one will have to be a savoury one. Your salmon and wild rice creation looks delicious. I’m thinking wild mushrooms and goat cheese…


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