Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Daring Bakers, May: Apple Strudel

I present this month’s Daring Bakers Challenge!

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 Caf├ęs of Vienna, Budapest and Prague by Rick Rodgers.

Daring Bakers, May: Strudel; Come hither shot

You can find the recipe on bothCourtney’s and Linda’s blogs.

I’d made strudel before, back in cook school. That time, we stretched the strudel dough out to the size of a brigade table, about 5 feet by 3 feet. I won’t lie—it was daunting. About 20 pairs of hands, pulling and stretching. It was actually horrifying, like the breach birth of baking. We had some minor tears, but it happily, it worked out, and we birthed a beautiful and gigantic apple strudel. This month’s Daring Baker’s challenge was that same exercise, in miniature. It was the first time I’d braved an at-home strudel, but because it was so crazy easy, it won’t be the last time.
Daring Bakers, May: Strudel; Prepped area Daring Bakers, May: Strudel; Small dough Daring Bakers, May: Strudel; Rolling out
My little 2 feet by 3 feet gate-leg IKEA table was perfect for this project, as was the linen dish towel I use to proof bread on. Looking at the teeny wad of dough that was expected to reach almost all the way to all four sides, I felt a little discouraged. And excited.

Daring Bakers, May: Strudel; Super thin
The goal is to stretch the dough out so thinly, that you can read through it. Here’s the recipe, showing through the dough.

Daring Bakers, May: Strudel; Big enough
It made it!
Daring Bakers, May: Strudel; Buttered bread crumbsDaring Bakers, May: Strudel; Landscape
Simple buttered bread crumbs soaked up the juicy juice from the fruit filling.

Daring Bakers, May: Strudel; Apples figs and toffee
In my case, I used three types of apples (Braeburn, Golden Delicious, and Granny Smith--each apple brought something to the strudel, and all held their shape, added a good texture and mouth feel, and remained juicy), Mission figs, and toffee bits. YUM. Here’s where I admit that I messed things up. Apparently, we were supposed to line all the filling up in a line at one end of the dough to roll it up, not spread the filling out all over the dough. I could've sworn we spread it out like this in class, though. And I just had to trust that the dough would tough out the points and edges on the apple slices . . . trust in the dough . . . trust in the dough . . .

Daring Bakers, May: Strudel; Rolling--and ... action!

Daring Bakers, May: Strudel; Like a fish or a limb but not a fish limb
Whew! Were there any doubts? Nahhhhhh!

Daring Bakers, May: Strudel; Caterpillar
Before baking.

Daring Bakers, May: Strudel; Baked
After baking.

Daring Bakers, May: Strudel; Crispy crust
Yay for crunchiness!

Daring Bakers, May: Strudel; Show me attitude
There it is. And it tasted awesome! One of my friends made some rosewater rhubarb compote that we served it with, and it was a lovely pairing.

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