Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Daring Bakers Challenge May 2009 - 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.
To complete this challenge, I waited a few weeks on purpose. The reason was that last month I attended a series of pastry classes, so I waited for the teacher to cover the topic before trying.
The dough was indeed very easy to make: mix together 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 (instead of vinegar, I used white wine, a couple of tbsp), and work it very hard.
By "very hard" they mean "feel free to use violence!": taking the dough and throwing it on the table as it had provoked me was fun, especially for my kids, who were startled at first, looking at me as if I had gone nuts, and laughing their bellies out when they saw that mom was just playing (?) silly and nobody was getting hurt.
After a good 10 minutes of this workout, put the dough under a hot bowl and let it rest for half an hour.
In the meantime, find yourself a 6yo and a 4yo and when they ask you if they can play with the flour left on the table, tell them yes.
In a few minutes, you should get a similar result:
In the meantime(2), get together what you'll need for the filling.
My teacher was very passionate in saying that a strudel ought to be made only with rennet apples, but it's too hard to find them at this time of the year, so I went with plain golden apples, 2lbs/900gr, diced, and all the portrayed guest stars:
3-4 oz /100-120gr sugar with a spoonful of cinnamon, 1 oz/30gr pine nuts, 2 oz/50gr bread crumbs, 3oz/80-90gr butter, 2 oz/50 gr raisins, 1 oz/30gr crushed nuts.
Toast the pine nuts in some of the butter, think you can do something else in the meantime, burn them, throw them away, take another oz/30 gr pine nuts, toast them properly, set aside.
Toast the bread crumbs in another tablespoon of butter (no burning step needed), set aside.
The dough is really really easy to stretch thin, wine-drunk and beaten up as it is! Of course I didn't bother taking a picture of it (was I clumsy, this time around!!).
Spread all the fillings (what's left of butter should be melted) on all the surface of the less than paper-thin dough, keeping a sort of free frame
Now, only because you were so nice to read this so far, I want to be honest and tell you about the silly mistake I made.
The rolling should be done on the long side of the rectangle you're facing.
Don't ask me why, I started to roll the short side.
I realized my mistake at the first turn, but it was too late already.
So I went on, building the biggest, fattest strudel ever seen.
I left it in the oven 15 minutes more than the recipe required, to cook it evenly, and when it came out it was clear that to have a regular portion I would need to cut a slice in half, or the proportion and size of the serving would be ridicolous.
The taste was great! I can't wait for next autumn, when I'll be able to use rennet apples!