Strudel Two Ways: Sweet and Savory

May 27, 2009

Apple Hazelnut Strudel When I saw this month’s Daring Baker’s challenge I knew that it would be something I couldn’t wait to take on because I’ve always wondered how such a small ball of dough can actually end up stretched over such a large area and so impossibly thin.  But then a few things happened that have have caused a bit of a commotion in our house.  Ironically, I ended up putting it together at the last minute, which is seemingly the norm I’ve established over the past two years.  In this case,  however, the timing was perfect, and I was able to spend the day in my kitchen doing what I enjoy, which seems to have been just what was needed to soothe the savage beast.  I owe big thanks to this month’s hosts for their excellent choice.

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.

This challenge required that we make the pastry either by hand or machine, but we were able to choose whether we wanted to construct a sweet or savory strudel.  Because the dough seemed to be fairly simplistic, I decided to avoid taking my Kitchen Aid down from its perch (always a good decision considering its weight) and make it by hand.  With respect to the fillings, I couldn’t ignore the tradition of an apple filling since I love apple in desserts, but decided to make it my own.  I also decided to make a savory strudel using mushrooms and leeks.  Suffice it to say that our evening meal was full of strudel and that we retired with smiles on our faces. Serious smiles.

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.

Strudel Dough 1 Strudel Dough 2 Strudel Dough 3 IMG_4183
IMG_4184 IMG_4185

Notes:

  • I doubled the recipe knowing I’d be making both a dessert and a savor strudel.
  • I used rice vinegar instead of apple cider vinegar.
  • I split the oil quantity between canola and roasted hazelnut (which is quite the lovely addition to any dish that you’d like a flavor that’s something out of the ordinary).
  • My dough was extremely sticky.  “Rough on the surface” doesn’t quite describe it.  I had to employ the technique mentioned when we made Julia Child’s French Bread of using just one hand to knead so that I could use the other for scraping up what was stuck to my flourless counter.  Definitely sticky and gooey dough that never quite forms a ball in my experience.
  • I allowed the dough to sit for about three hours because I had other things to do.  I decided to take liberties with the “longer is better” note in the original directions.
  • I never rolled the dough.  I picked it up, began to stretch it, and when it was too large to hold, placed it on the flour covered table cloth and continued to stretch it.
  • My dough ended up more of a square than a rectangle — approximately 24″ x 24″.  I’m sure that constitutes as cheating.  Perhaps telltale holes in said dough will save me in the long run.
  • Rolling the dough over the filling with the table cloth was super easy and worked very well.
  • The directions said to make a horseshoe with the filled strudel, so I did.  It wasn’t very attractive.
  • I baked it about 10 minutes longer than directed as it never seemed to get brown.
  • Cooled about 1 hour, it was easy to slice through with a serrated knife,  after being properly dusted with powdered sugar — whether it was supposed to have been or not.
  • Quite the lovely flavor.  Not cloyingly sweet, nor fully of thick syrup, it was light and satisfying.  Delicious, actually.  And the next morning, kept at room temperature, but wrapped in plastic, it was lovely.  The pastry holds up quite nicely.
  • I am quite surprised this was as easy as it was.  Well, easy in that I didn’t throw the dough anywhere but the counter like I was directed.  Now the challenge is to make a sheet of the dough larger than I managed this time!

Apples Sliced Apples Strudel Ingredients IMG_4186

Dessert:  Apple Hazelnut Filling

juice from one fresh lemon
2 tablespoons (45 ml) golden raisins
2 tablespoons dried cranberries
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon (80 g)  extra fine sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick / 115 g) unsalted butter, melted, divided
1-1/2 cups (350 ml) fresh bread crumbs (see notes below)
strudel dough
1/2 cup (120 ml, about 60 g) hazelnuts, roasted and coarsely chopped
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 cinnamon and sugar in a bowl and set aside.

2.  Squeeze the lemon over the sliced apples, add the raisins and dried cranberries and lightly toss.  Cover well with plastic wrap if not using immediately.  Right before filling the strudel, add the cardamom sugar mixture and toss until dissolved.

2. Heat 3 tablespoons of the butter in a large skillet over medium-high. Add the breadcrumbs and cook while stirring until golden and toasted. This will take about 3 minutes. Pour out onto a baking sheet and let cool completely, stirring occasionally if necessary.

3. Place a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Line a large baking sheet with parchment. 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 hazelnuts about 3 inches (8 cm) from the short edge of the dough in a 6-inch-(15cm)-wide strip.  If you haven’t already added the cardamom sugar mixture to the apples, do it now, mix well, and spread over the hazelnuts.

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.

Notes:

  • I used Granny Smith apples and one lonely Braeburn to get to the 2 lbs. requirement in the recipe.  Unfortunately, I ended up with twice the filling I needed so froze the rest for a tart or crumble, cobbler, or buckle.  Perhaps ice cream?  Now that would be amazing.
  • To make the fresh bread crumbs, I used the remaining piece of my Greek Celebration bread, redolent of lovely orange and spice.  Perfect for this.  The aroma was heavenly.

IMG_4206

IMG_4231

Dinner:  Mushroom and Leek Filling

2 T extra virgin olive oil
4 c. mushrooms, sliced
2 T garlic, minced, about 4 cloves
1 lg. shallot,  chopped, about 1/2 cup
1 leek, sliced and rinsed, white and light green parts only
1/4 c. flat-leafed parsley, chopped
1 tsp. fresh thyme
3 T marsala
1/2 c. freshly grated Parmesan
3 T unsalted butter, melted

Pour the olive oil in a skillet and heat over medium.  Add the leeks and shallots to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally until softened, about 5 minutes.  Add the garlic and stir, about 1 minute.  Add the mushrooms and allow to cook until the moisture is released, stirring occasionally, 10 minutes.  Pour in the marsala and allow to cook, stirring until all the moisture is evaporated, about 3-5 minutes.  Add the herbs and season to taste with salt and pepper.  Allow to cool off the stove.

Melt the butter and carefully apply to the prepared strudel dough as directed above.  Sprinkle half the Parmesan over the lower 6″ of the dough and pour on the mushroom filling.  Sprinkle the rest of the Parmesan over the filling.  Roll the dough around the filling as before and transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet.  Tuck the ends under the strudel and brush the top with melted butter.  Sprinkle over grated Parmesan if desired.

Bake at 400 degrees F for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown.  Allow to sit about 15 minutes before slicing to serve.  Serve warm, or at room temperature.

Mushroom Leek Strudel 1 Mushroom Leek Strudel 2 Mushroom Leek Strudel 3 Mushroom Leek Strudel 4

Notes:

  • I made this with what I had on hand in the fridge and was very satisfied.  The possibilities are endless as long as the filling isn’t too moist.  It’s important if you plan to use mushrooms to make sure all the moisture is cooked from them.
  • Although we truly enjoyed this, I wondered about a light sauce that might be served with it — dijon, or creme fraiche.  Not necessary, but I’m curious.
  • We enjoyed this with a simple green salad.

If you’re interested in seeing what the rest of the Daring Bakers created, please visit!

{ 35 comments… read them below or add one }

deeba May 27, 2009

I waited long to see both your versions after running into your tweet last night (was yelling at older child, so couldn’t tweet in). Both YUM & very very nice. I like apples,dried cranberries & hazelnuts…and then I like the savoury one too. Your pictures are fab KP. I thought it was quite an interesting & nice challenge too.

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Andrea May 27, 2009

Fabulous job and your photos look wonderful! The mushroom and leek filling sounds delicious. I also had plans to make a sweet and a savory but that fell by the wayside due to time constraints.

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Judy May 27, 2009

Looks incredible Kelly!!! I am going to make this again so that I can try a savory version. You have all won me over with them!!!

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b May 27, 2009

Both versions are worthy of a try. I remember my mom preparing strudel dough when I was young and helping her stretch it.

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Laura Rebecca May 27, 2009

I love that you made sweet & savory strudels and would love to have a bite of each!

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MsGourmet May 27, 2009

Kelly what a monumental effort – your photos are wonderful & the mushroom & leek filling for the savoury strudel sounds delicious!!

Well done!

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Chou May 27, 2009

Yum! I ended up running out of time the night I made the dough and let it sit overnight in the fridge. Brilliantly easy to stretch the next day. Your strudels make my heart sing.

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johanna May 27, 2009

wow – i have to say, these are perfect-looking strudels! hats off!! i love my savoury strudels, at home we like to use chanterelle mushrooms when we’re lucky enough to find them… or fresh porcini! there’s also a favourite of potato & bacon strudel, nothing for the faint-hearted! well done!

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Courtney aka glamah May 27, 2009

Wonderful take on both. Loving the hazelnuts( both nut and oil). And mushrooms are always great. Sauces would bring both out. Next time thats my plan.

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Lori @ RecipeGirl May 27, 2009

Kelly- you really went all out on this one! All looks beautiful- and yes, I agree that a horseshoe is quite the strange suggestion for the shape! Yours looks best sliced :)

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June May 27, 2009

Wow – these look fantastic. You are AMAZING!

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grace May 27, 2009

outstanding, kelly. keeping in mind my abnormally-sized sweet tooth, please know that i find the apple version way superior. :)

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Jen Yu May 27, 2009

Oh yeah girl! A savory AND a sweet! Rock it, lady. You are such a stud. They look phenomenal too (I’ll have a slice of each, gladly). Nice work surface too :)

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Lori May 27, 2009

I so wanted to make the mushroom one but I just couldnt tear myself away from the idea of apple. I would like a bite of this. Drool, drool.

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megan May 27, 2009

Great tips. My dough never seamed to form that much of a ball either. Great flavors too!

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Caitlin May 28, 2009

I love the savory version – sounds wonderful! And I agree – mine didn’t seem to brown up very well either, even with butter brushed on it. But it was fun to stretch the dough, wasn’t it?

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jo May 28, 2009

Fantastic job on your strudel and it looks oh so delicious. I love the way you’ve detailed out the steps by using photos. Great!

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A&N May 28, 2009

I just love your pics, Kelly! Makes it so alive :) Great job!

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John May 28, 2009

KP it was a wonder how such a small ball of dough could be transformed into a wonderful, tasty and filling strudel!!! And your savory strudel is a wonder as well…I wish “you know who” would eat such lusciousness but I alas I just have to drool over yours!
Hugs
J

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Lisa May 28, 2009

I’d like the mushroom/leek strudel for dinner and the apple strudel for dessert please! Both look scrumptious!

I’m glad you got a day in your kitchen.. you belong there.. just sayin’ ;)

Love you mucho grande!!!

xoxoxoxoxoxo

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Jenny May 28, 2009

That is a great idea, leeks and mushrooms. Think I will have to pick some up and try it.
Love your square, mine looked more like, well, I dunno what shape it was, but it wasn’t square or rectangle.

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LisaSD May 28, 2009

As usual, I can count on beautiful pictures and interesting recipes. Thanks for never disappointing me!

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Esi May 28, 2009

This is just lovely. I am glad you got to spend a day in your kitchen making two versions. I am sure I will be feeling the same way shortly…

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steph (whisk/spoon) May 28, 2009

i always do these challenges at the last minute, too (like the night before…). my best work is done under pressure-hehe. we had a similair mushroom/apple strudel dinner. (i made a sauce for the mushroom strudel by reducing red wine and chicken broth along with the scrap bits from a few mushroom stems…then strained out the stems and whisked in small pat of butter.) that apple strudel of yours–fantastic, and good thought to use crumbs from a sweet bread!

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clumbsycookie May 28, 2009

What a yummy filling you’ve used on your savory strudel! They both look great by the way :)!

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MyKitchenInHalfCups May 28, 2009

Ahhh Kelly, I already have my dough mixed for tonight … I’m making another apple and then trying an onion appetizer with the dough … but the oil … hazelnut oil … oh what a beautiful idea … I even have the oil … I can not do three even with company tonight …
Gorgeous!!

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Lauren May 28, 2009

Your strudels look beautiful!! The photos are gorgeous as well =D.

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pixie o May 29, 2009

Making it by hand actually isn’t as difficult as it sounds. I usually make my bread by hand and i feel it produces a better dough. Having said that, my kitchen aid though permanently resides on my counter—it is too heavy to keep moving around!

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sunita May 30, 2009

Kelly, both your strudels look wonderful. this was one yummy challenge…I made both versions too :-)

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Chris May 30, 2009

Last minute challenges – you and me both my friend! ;) Sweet and savory strudels! Very impressive and sounds scrumptious, although you had me at hazelnuts.

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Laura May 31, 2009

I love the savory strudel idea. I will have to try it, it sounds so good.

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Di June 1, 2009

Mmm, both versions sound delicious. I did both sweet and savory as well. I thought about mushrooms, but ended up going with leeks, potatoes, fontina and thyme. I’ll have to bookmark your recipe for next time I try this.

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Breadchick June 4, 2009

Both sound yummy and the dough was fun to work with.

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kellypea June 5, 2009

Hey Mary! I “knead” to stop by and see how you’re doing. Yep, both versions were pretty yummy. Still surprised about how much easier than I thought it would be to work with that dough. ; )

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Y June 6, 2009

“Last minute” seems to somehow work amazingly well for you. Both strudels look absolutely fantastic! :)

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