I am a wife, a mom of three, and the kitchen is my favorite place in the house. I read cookbooks in my spare time and enjoy getting kitchen appliances for presents :) I love preparing delicious and healthy food for my family and here are a some of what graces our table each week.

Email Me for any of the recipes :)

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Daring Bakers Challenge - May 2009 - Apple Peach 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.

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

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.

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

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon (80 g) sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick / 115 g) Smart Balance Light, melted, divided
1 1/2 cups (350 ml) fresh bread crumbs
strudel dough (recipe below)
2 pounds (900 g) combination of Granny Smith apples (peeled, cored) and peaches, all cut into ¼ inch-thick slices (use apples that hold their shape during baking)

1. 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. Mix the apples and peaches with the cinnamon sugar. Spread the mixture about 3 inches (8 cm) from the short edge of the dough in a 6-inch-(15cm)-wide strip.
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.
While we did have the freedom to choose our filling, once Danny heard the challenge was *apple* strudel, there was no going back. I added peaches for a bit of variety, but they werent the peachiest of peaches and couldn't really be detected. I got my dough to pretty much the size they were looking for, but wasn't really sure if I did the fruit correctly. The big holes ended up on top of the strudel, so we (Danny helped with assembly) flipped it over and it worked out perfectly. Now that I know that the hardest part of the recipe is waiting for the strudel to cool before eating, I can't wait to make another one with lots of different fillings, both savory and sweet. Speaking of sweet, I am not sure if this was supposed to be a "not so sweet" strudel or mine just needed a bit more sugar. Either way, it was delicious as a late night snack and even better for a late morning breakfast :) It got a little soggy overnight so I put it in the toaster oven for a few minutes and it was perfect. Another successful challenge and looking forward to the next one!

I am not sure I really needed to use the paddle attachment and then switch to the dough hook...

A perfectly kneaded ball of strudel dough

Ready to rest for a while...

I always freeze any leftover challah for breadcrumbs and my new Cuisinart mini chopper worked its magic for me...

Those breadcrumbs, all brown and toasty...

The apples and peaches, waiting for their turn...

Well rested, about an 1 1/2 hours...

Ready to be rolled...

and rolled...

I didn't try the stretching it by hand, there were too many holes already from the dough sticking to the tablecloth...

Melted butter and toasted breadcrumbs...I used my silicone brush and it didn't tear the dough...

Fruit and some folding...

Ready for the oven, with melted butter and a little sugar on top...

Golden brown and cooling...

Yum :)

Yum Yum ;)

I wont say whose seconds this was ;)

There was still some left this morning...

I actually ate this on the way to gymnastics!

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