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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Sweet & Savory 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.

Dear Fellow Daring Bakers,
I did this challenge twice this month. the first time was a complete failure of epic proportions. so much so that i ended up making it into a galette. i was bummed, not only because i was pressed for time this month but because having to friggin buy the ingredients again adds up. it seriously made me wonder if it's worth the effort and strain on wallet. i don't usually eat my desserts, a bite is more than enough. however, i do enjoy the challenge part and Nuria likes the eating dessert part. that makes it worthwhile. fine. i'll stick around.

my 2nd attempt i decided to make a savory strudel instead, using spinach and mozzarella cheese. i just threw A LOT of things together in a bowl: spinach, diced tomato, dash of salt&pepper, nutmeg, shredded mozzarella and binded it all together with an egg. Nuria actually put together the dough when she came home from work. by the time i arrived home, the dough had rested and was ready to be stretched. we tugged, spread and cussed our way thru the rolling process. finally. done. is it obvious that i won't be making this ever again?

till next month, keep your ovens clean and warm!
Angry Asian (and Nuria)

for actual non-epic fail apple strudel, hit the blog roll.

failed apple strudel

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

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

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.

018

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.

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.

spinach strudel




11 comments:

  1. Oh dear...don't be angry sweetheart. I love rustic galettes & am glad you found some use for your epic failure. Am sure you'll try this again one day...it's actaully a lovely dough. Just knead your anger into it...& see it stretch! Thank God for Nuria...mt family is like her put together. I just like the baking bit...& they enjoy the eating part. I seldom eat what I make, unless it's coffee. Then I want it all for ME, but they want a bit of that too. Life is....

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  2. I cussed a lot too! Something about DB and DC challenges... ;) Well, the first one doesn't look bad at all and that second one is front page material (I'll go for savory over sweet any day). Great job despite the obstacles!

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  3. I think they look fantastic! Great job!

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  4. Seriously, the second savory option does not look like a fail to me. I cussed a lot too, but mostly because I felt too pressed for time. I think you did a nice job. I am the same way with desserts. I have one bite and give the rest away.

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  5. I agree with the others; they both look good, and the second looks like something I'd like for dinner. But I know how nothing tastes good when making it just gets you pissed off.

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  6. I personally think you did great with both the sweet galette and the savory strudel. And what a trooper you are to make it twice!! If it failed for me the first time, I would've just given up!! You are a true daring baker! =P

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  7. deeba, you're so right about kneading. when there's angst, nothing like a good knead to work it out. :)

    Jen, thank you. :) i'm a fan of the savory too, less guilt in consuming because it can be masked as an actual meal.

    pheMom, thank you so much!

    esi, thank you! i think somehow the whole task of creating sweet concoctions is enough for me and i don't actually need to taste it. that's for the enjoyment of everyone else. :)

    sijeleng, what is it about anger that makes food taste so awful!? thank you for stopping by!

    kk, thank you! i was determined to do this challenge properly, i'm not sure why. i'm glad i did it!

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  8. The galette doesn't look so bad, it looks very rustic and still delicious! I love your savory version, I'll have to try it sometime :P

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  9. silverrock - i'm glad i was able to turn this around to something edibe. the savory version was definitely better. :)

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  10. silverrock - i'm glad i was able to turn this around to something edibe. the savory version was definitely better. :)

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  11. deeba, you're so right about kneading. when there's angst, nothing like a good knead to work it out. :)

    Jen, thank you. :) i'm a fan of the savory too, less guilt in consuming because it can be masked as an actual meal.

    pheMom, thank you so much!

    esi, thank you! i think somehow the whole task of creating sweet concoctions is enough for me and i don't actually need to taste it. that's for the enjoyment of everyone else. :)

    sijeleng, what is it about anger that makes food taste so awful!? thank you for stopping by!

    kk, thank you! i was determined to do this challenge properly, i'm not sure why. i'm glad i did it!

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