Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Daring Bakers: May
It’s Daring Bakers time again, with yet another creative challenge – my tenth, hasn’t the time flown? One of the things I love most about the Daring Bakers is that I am constantly making recipes I’d never even thought to try on my own, and this is most certainly one of them.
The May challenge consisted of:
• Making strudel dough
• Our choice of filling
I found it quite easy to make the dough, and even though I rolled it very very thinly, I wonder if it was thin enough as I had a fairly thick layer of breadcrumbs. For my strudel filling, I chose apples a mixture of apples and pears, with pecans, vanilla and a splash of brandy. I also upped the amount of cinnamon to 2 teaspoons because half a teaspoon seemed nowhere near enough in an apple dessert!
I enjoyed this dessert and was pretty happy with the way it turned out. The apples and pears were beautiful together and the pecans gave it a lovely change of texture. I would like to play with other fillings if I make this in the future. Cherries, when they’re in season or bananas, walnuts and chocolate seem like delicious options.
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.
• 1 1/3 cups unbleached flour
• 1/8 teaspoon salt
• 7 tablespoons water, plus more if needed
• 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus additional for coating the dough
• ½ 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.
2. 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.