I am not a huge strudel fan.
Being German, I think this is a sacrilegious statement. But since I am from up north, I think I can get away with it.
So when this month’s DB challenge was a strudel I was apprehensive and uninspired and when I saw how much work it was going to entail I almost backed out.
But in the end I decided to suck it up and give it a try…
Thinking about the dough and seeing it posted next to the philo in Joy of Cooking an idea was formed. I would treat strudel dough like I would philo dough and work in layers.
I broke out the pasta maker and got to work…
I made mini apple and cranberry cream cheese strudel. Forming strips of dough adding a little cream cheese filling and topping either with dried cranberry or with a mix of apple, almond, and cinnamon and rolling them up. They were light and flaky, not too sweet….a great breakfast treat.
With the other half of the dough I made a tart base brushed with a mix of honey, pistachios, butter, and cardamom ala baklava. After baking I topped it with an orange panna cotta….it was a light and lovely dessert. I did have a fight with the panna cotta and as such it was a bit “lumpy” but the taste was great.
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.
from “Kaffeehaus – Exquisite Desserts from the Classic Cafés of Vienna, Budapest and Prague” by Rick Rodgers
Notes: I totally cheated. No stretching for me. I just used my pasta maker instead…
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
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.
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).*****
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.
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.
***** After the dough had its rest, I divided it into quarters and began to feed the pieces through the pasta maker. Working down to the thinnest setting.
For the tart I layered the dough brushing in between with cardamom, honey, pistachio mixture. In the end I had four solid layers. I baked this “blind” along with the mini strudel. Then filled it with panna cotta that had set overnight in the fridge….hence the lumpy transfer.
For the mini strusel I took the individual strips layered in cream cheese filling (cream chesse, egg, and confection sugar) and sprikeled with either apple or dried cranberry then rolled them up and twisted into rounds or braids.