Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Daring Bakers: Strudel Heaven

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.

In the late 1970s I moved to Tucson, Arizona. At the time I was a young lady of leisure, meaning no children and no job, so I used my free time to take cooking classes. There was a kitchenware shop/cooking school in town back then, called the Parisian Kitchen, run by Marie-Odile, a young French woman who excelled in sharing her culinary knowledge.

One of my favorite classes focused on making strudel from scratch. We experimented with different kinds of fillings, from the traditional apple to spinach & cream cheese, from mushrooms to sausage.

I became a strudel-making machine.

As a result, I became the proud owner of a strudel table, built specifically for making that delicious pastry. No measuring was necessary since I knew the stretched-out dough had to be the size of the table. Occasionally, the table consented to do double-duty when it was canning season, but primarily it held out for strudel.

I carried it around with me for years on my various moves, stored away in the garage or in a box. Silly

Thanks to the Daring Bakers, though, the table has a new life and will no more languish in a dark garage.


The Strudel Table!

Truly, I was thrilled when I read about May’s challenge. It felt so good to realize I had a reason to make strudel again, to re-assemble the table and search for my old standby recipe.

The recipes were very similar. My original recipe called for one egg, some lard, and a bit more flour, but, then, it did make two strudels. After making the DB recipe, I will have to re-make the original one and compare the results.

I mixed all the ingredients by hand, then kneaded the dough until it was smooth and satiny.

It didn’t take too long to stretch the dough out, completely covering the table. I had no holes and very little thick edge to remove. In places, the dough was nearly invisible.

I used a Viennese filling, adapted from my standby recipe. Instead of fresh apples, I took dried Granny Smiths, dried sour cherries, and currants, reconstituted them with boiling water, and added several splashes of Amaretto liqueur.

After brushing the dough with melted butter,

I sprinkled on bread crumbs, the fruit mixture, coarsely chopped walnuts, some cinnamon sugar, lemon zest, and some additional melted butter.

I carefully rolled it up, using the towel to help.

I’m pleased with the results, and I have to say that if felt pretty good to make strudel again after many years.

Do visit the Daring Bakers blogroll to see the other bakers' creations. For the recipes, check either Linda's or Courtney's blogs.


Heather B said...

Love the strudel table! Great job on your strudel! It looks delicious!

Nichicakes said...

Way to excel in the kitchen gadget department with that one. A strudel table...who knew! Looks like it works because that came out beautifully.

Anonymous said...

How cool, and true strudel maker!! I love how perfectly thin to the table you got your dough! I need to take a class, great job!

Anonymous said...

YOur strudel is fantastic! I didn't know there was such a thing as a strudel table. You certainly are a strudel queen. Great job!

Tammy said...

wow, you really are a strudel making machine. yours looks just like the strudel in Austria!!

Engineer Baker said...

Wow, a strudel *table* ?!? How awesome is that? Gorgeous looking strudel, so I'm glad you got back in the strudel-making mode!

Sue said...

Your strudel looks perfect! Great job!

Unknown said...

That table is AWESOME! It provides its own "thickness checker" as well with the lovely change in grains. Fantastic job. Hope this table gets used more often again!

NKP said...

I bow down to you and your strudel table. I just ran into the bedroom to tell hubby that you have one. I had never even heard of one before, so impressive!
Great strudeling, my dear.

TeaLady said...

That strudel looks fantastic. I completely forgot about DB, but plan to make the strudel asap. Great job.

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

I am so impressed with your strudel history! That is grand. (Lady of leisure)!
The table is beyond awesome.
Your strudel looks grand. I was in awe that I could actually do this.

Lauren said...

Ooo! Your strudel looks amazing =D. I'm glad you re-discovered your love for strudel!!

Madam Chow said...

I am totally envious. A strudel table?! I made strudel for the first time last year, and it was a learning experience. I still have to get my post up for the DB, but it should be going up this weekend.


Megan said...

If anyone would own a strudel table, it would be you.

With that being said, do you offer strudel lessons?