Ria's Collection: Apple Strudel - Daring Bakers Challenge for May 09

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Apple Strudel - Daring Bakers Challenge for May 09

Words like 'It's all about technique' & 'Apple Strudel' was enough for me to sit & stare at the comp screen for atleast half a minute.. must admit that I was slightly disheartened thinking whether I could EVER get that PAPER THIN dough! :( I have never made nor ever ate a strudel before... so it was completely new for me except for the recipes and videos I have seen :) Should say that those videos were the culprit for me being scared! :D

But I didn't join DB to be scared!!! And BIG DEAL if mine doesn't turn out as good as others because I feel that DB's are a very kind lot and they are sweet enough to accept each others mistakes and give suggestions as to how to improve on them. DB is all about learning and less of competition. So I must admit that it's all because of my fellow DB's that I decided to move on!! And I'm GLAD that I did!! :) It was a wonderful experience!!! :) And guess what??? I made 3 versions!! :D

1.Apple Strudel(sweet)
2.Apricot & Mango Strudel(sweet)
3.Potato & Paneer Strudel (savoury)

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.

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 doughfrom “KaffeehausExquisite 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 polyester;- 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.

Apricots & Mango Strudel:
Recipe: My own

Dried Apricots-200 g(soaked in water for minimum 6 hours)
Ripe mangoes-1 chopped into small pieces
Sugar-4-5 tbsp
Butter-1/2 cup

  • Mix soaked and stoned apricots and mangoes together.
  • Add the chopped walnuts and sugar.
  • Proceed like how the apple strudel was made.

Potato & Paneer Strudel
Potato & Paneer Strudel
Recipe : My mom

Paneer/Cottage cheese -200g
Potato-300 g
Green chilli-2 , finely chopped
Onion -2 medium sized, finely chopped
Garam Masala- a pinch
Salt & Pepper-as needed.

  • Wash,boil,peel and mash the potatoes.
  • Crumble paneer.
  • Mix everything together.
  • Proceed with stuffing same as the apple strudel.
I had a lovely lovely lovely time! The dough worked like a charm...it stretched so well! Sweet & savoury filling works equally well! It was an absolute crunchy,crackly,yummy sweet affair! :) Thank you Courtney & Linda for making our life sweeter!! :)

Verdict: The paneer & potato filled strudel got over in less than 30 mins FLAT!! :D Everytime my dad passed by the strudel, he went on commenting saying 'It's too good!! '
When I made the apple & apricot-mango strudel, only my dad was home then. He was suprised to see the triangle shaped strudels. So he took both the flavours... when I asked him 'How is it Appa?? " he was silent for a while, looked at both of them and said ' Onnu onninodu mechham' - which means... one is better than the other and he doesnt know which one is the best! :D Ahhh!! That was a proud moment for me :D


Arlene Delloro said...

Streudel is not for the faint of heart. Wonderful job, Ria.

Audax said...

Onnu onninodu mechham - love it!!! Love all your creations and the choice of the potato and paneer is nice. Your photography is really improving a lot. Yes I thought like you strudel pastry yipppppps this is going to be a REAL challenge. BUT the pastry stretches wonderfully I thought that the hot moist climate where you live would make the stretching hard but it doesn't seem like it mattered much. Cheers from Audax in Australia

Varsha Vipins said...

oh..amazing pics which speak volumes about the dishes Ria..slurpp..

Sugar Daze said...

Wow! 3 versions of strudel! These look amazing!

Aparna Balasubramanian said...

Ria, for someone who beacme a DB "not to be sacred", you have certainly achieved your goal! Three lovely strudels, congrats.

I just realised you lived in Kannur. We crossed Kannur both ways while driving down to Cochin. :)

Btw, Audax speaks malayalam?

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

What great strudels! I love your choice of fillings! Very well done!



MAHIMA said...

Great job Ria!! lovely variations!

Anonymous said...

All of your strudels look amazing and and mouth watering, but I'm dying to taste the potato-paneer strudel! Gorgeous photos and everything in general. Great job!!

Navita (Gupta) Hakim said...

Wow Ria..your writing style is lucid. My first time here and loved all I saw and read.
The strudel experience is something I need to do as well...coz like u I am sh** scared. ;p

Cannelle Et Vanille said...

so many different kinds! great job!

Jo said...

Oh wow you really went out on this challenge. Love all the flavours and I think you've done a fantastic job.

Anonymous said...

So many different versions! You must be feeling just great having mastered this one. Bravo!

Arlette said...

Hello Ria

What a beautiful and creative filling you used, as well as gorgeous photos..
Great job!!!

Anonymous said...

Great job! I'll admit I was a little intimidated as well. But I see you got over that quick, great job! The potato paneer what a great idea!

Rose said...

Outstanding Ria!! The pictures are lovely and your strudels look delicious!! Congrats on a successful challenge!!

sweetakery said...

hey Ria!! The pictures are really good and love the fillings and your strudels look delicious...Congrats on a such a good work and that even while being scared!! =)

Yasmeen said...

Beautiful ,Ria.All the 3 versions sound equally yum:)

Amanda said...

Wow! I am beyond impressed with anyone who makes more than one strudel. And all of yours look great. :)

Jen Yu said...

Nicely done on your challenge. Love the potato and paneer one especially! Totally impressed with how many variations you made!

tina said...

I would love to try the potato and paneer strudel, but your appa is right! Great work.

glamah16 said...

Thats so sweet the way your father liked and described the strudels. Excellent job on all the variations.

Junie Moon said...

Wow, 3 different versions--quite impressive and the photos are gorgeous. All 3 look/sound delicious and I'd like to try the Potato & Paneer variation sometime. Thanks for sharing your beautiful results.

♥Rosie♥ said...

What wonderful Streudels and so much effort and work has gone into making these - Bravo!

Rosie x

Anonymous said...

Three different kinds of strudel and all sound so wonderful! I especially would love the apricot and mango one and the potato and paneer sounds really unique!

Ria Mathew said...

Arlene-Thank you very much! :)

Audax a.k.a Mr.Express-Thank you so much for all the support! :) I hope my clicks improve even more!!Luckily i din't have much problems with the dough though it's humid here! :)

Varha, Little Miss Cupcake-Thank you!

Aparna-Thank you so much! I'm sure Audax would have copy pasted that!!And do drop in next time when you pass by! :)

Rosa,Mahima-Thank you gurls!

Lisa-Thank you! Do try the potato paneer one, its yumm! :)

Navita,Aran,Jo,Shellyfish,Arlette,Newlyweds,Rose,sweetakery,Yasmeen,Jen Yu,Amanda,Tina,Glamah,Junie Moon,Rosie,5 star foodie -Thank you all so much! Really appreciated!!! :)

Rachel said...

Ria! three strudels and each perfect on their own....You are a pro girl!!!

Jenny Tan said...

Hi Ria, good looking strudels you have there!!! :) I too, was frighten by those video clips =)...but they DO help for sure, and it is also why we all join DB!!! ;)

Kenna - everythinggal.com said...

I love your photos! Wonderful job.

Dori said...

Wow, first thing I see when I visit is a perfect Apple Strudel! Looks perfect!

Lauren said...

Beautiful strudels!! I love all of the flavours you chose, the combinations sound wonderful =D.

Unknown said...

Its raining stredels everywhere! Perfectly baked!

dandelion said...

You made some nice choices for the fillings. It was a fun challenge.

ARUNA said...

great job.......very colorful creations.....nice clicks!!!!

Ria Mathew said...

Rachel-Thank you sooo much!It feels so good to be called a pro! ;)

Jenny-Thanks a bunch!Being a DB is so much fun rite!I love every min of it! :)

Michael &Kenna,Meeso,Lauren,Divya,Dandelion,Aruna-Thank you sooo much guys! :) You guys made my day!!! :D

Clumbsy Cookie said...

What a wonderful job you did in all 3! The mango one must be incredible!

PheMom said...

Your photos are all so lovely Ria! I can't decide which version is my favorite!

Sunshinemom said...

I like your Dad's remarks! How sweet and he is right too:)

Ria Mathew said...

Rita,Holly & Sunshinemom-Thank you so much for your lovely comments!! :)

Y said...

Haha.. congrats! All three strudels look so good and that compliment you got must've been the best feeling ever!

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