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

Strudel Dough

• 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.


Aparna said...

Your strudel looks very nice, crisp and flaky. Love your polka dot plate too.
I wouldn't have done this either, if it wasn't for the DBs.

Tartelette said...

Beautiful Lisa! Nothing more comforting than aples and pears together! I bet this was the perfect breakfast :)

Sneh | Gel's Kitchen said...

Wow! Another beautiful Daring Baker's Challenge accomplished. You are just pulling at my heartstrings with apple and pecan now aren't you? Good Work, that looks abs delish!

Amanda Nicole said...

That looks like something found in an authentic bakery! Looks delicious.

Sara said...

YUM, this looks really delicious! :)

Kendra said...

Looks great! Pear sounds wonderful

tres jolie said...

Mmmmm apples and pears, great combo!!

Stephcookie said...

I'm glad you upped the amount of cinnamon, you can never have too much cinnamon in an apple dessert! Love that you added pears as well as apples, it looks so good! Did I mention how much I want your plates?

Betty said...

Ooh that flakey pastry looks really good! So yum! Good work :)

Y said...

Well obviously I can't taste it from where I'm sitting (travesty), but your strudel looks so delicious and crispy!

Engineer Baker said...

Wow, that looks beautifully flaky! Gorgeous! And pears and pecans sound like great additions to the filling.

Arwen from Hoglet K said...

I agree, half a teaspoon of cinnamon is never enough :)

gine said...

Looks lovely :-)!! XOXO

jillian said...

I agree with the extra cinnamon. I love the polka dot plate!

Manggy said...

I am glad it's forced you to move out of your comfort zone. Look at all the delicious rewards you've reaped! Apple strudel is one of my favorite childhood memories-- yours looks absolutely dreamy. Can't wait to see your pudding :)

Audax said...

Wonderful looking strudel and yes it is so delish the nice soft filling and the crisp layers of flaky pastry. Great effort on this challenge, Cheers Audax

Isolated Foodie said...

Your strudel looks delicious and so lovely on that polka dot plate!

sweetakery said...

oh wow love the combo yum!! so flakey,gorgeous!


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