Traditional Apple Strudel
recipe from “kaffeehaus – exquisite desserts from the classic cafés of vienna, budapest and prague” by rick rodgers
- For the Strudel
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) golden rum (or use apple juice)
- 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)
- For the Strudel dough
- 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
For the Apple Strudel
Mix the rum and raisins in a bowl. Mix the cinnamon and sugar in another bowl. 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.
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.
It was very hard for me to spread melted butter over the dough although I used my fingers. The dough was super thin and I was left with no option but to sort of lightly pat the butter on top. But it dint hinder the taste and it came out beautifully even then
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.
Make sure the filling is without any liquid. Sometimes if you leave the mixture (apple +cinnamon) for a while, the apple will ooze out liquid. Avoid it. This will help
To make this step easier, it is v essential to flour the tablecloth liberally. I used my instincts to flour generously though I thought may be I over did it, but I hardly had any problems. In fact I had no issues and then when I lifted the cloth, the dough rolled beautifully and did not stick at all
Transfer the strudel to the prepared baking sheet by lifting it.
I was apprehensive to use my hands, so used a wide spatula and lifted it slowly. It worked well
You gotto make it to believe the aroma that filled the house. It was too good to be true!Cool for at least 30 minutes before slicing.
For the Strudel Dough
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).
Since I made it on a weekend, I had time to kill, hence I allowed the dough to stand for close to 2 hours. The dough turned out to be amazing to work with!
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
To repeat what I mentioned previously : Flour welland roll it out as much as you can.
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