Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Daring Bakers: Strudel

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.

Instead of doing the apple strudel, I chose to make a pear, brie, and walnut combo. I saw a strudel recipe in Bon Appetit (Feb. issue) and cut it out just waiting for the right time to make it. The filling called for pears and roquefort cheese, and just reading the recipe made me drool. When the recipe for this challenge was announced, I knew what filling I was going to use. Unfortunately, the grocery store by my me did not have roquefort, so I used brie. The recipe for the dough in Bon Appetit was very similar to the dough recipe here, so I was thrilled that I was finally going to make this wonderful strudel.

This was a fun challenge, and the result was a very yummy strudel. Thanks Linda and Courtney!

Preparation time Total: 2 hours 15 minutes – 3 hours 30 minutes

15-20 min to make dough
30-90 min to let dough rest/to prepare the filling
20-30 min to roll out and stretch dough10 min to fill and roll dough
30 min to bake
30 min to cool

Strudel doughfrom “Kaffeehaus – Exquisite Desserts from the Classic Cafés of Vienna, Budapest and Prague” by Rick Rodgers

1 1/3 cups (200 g) unbleached flour
1/8 teaspoon salt7 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

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.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.

Pear, Brie and Walnut Filling
(modified from Bon Appetit February, 2009)
1 1/2 lbs. Bosc pears, peeled and chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons plus 4 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted
8 oz. brie cut into small pieces
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 Tbs. flour
1 1/2 tsp. lemon juice
1 Tbs. sugar
1 Tbs. breadcrumbs
Heat a medium skillet over medium heat and add the 1 1/2 tsp. of butter. When melted add chopped pears and let saute for about 4-5 minutes.
Remove and strain juices and put in fridge to chill.
After pears have chilled put into a bowl and add the cheese, walnuts, flour and lemon juice. Stir to combine.
Strudel Assembly:
With hands spread half of the melted butter over dough. Sprinkle rolled dough with sugar and breadcrumbs. Spread pear mixture over the dough leaving about a one inch margin on all sides.
Roll up like a jelly roll and transfer to a parchment paper lined cookie sheet.
Bake for 40 minutes, and cool for 30. Serve warm.


Jessica of My Baking Heart said...

Great pics, Ally! :) This strudel was soooo yummy!!

Rachel said...

Wow pears...definitely a lovely filling

Fahrenheit 350° said...

That looks wonderful! You can't go wrong with pear!

Engineer Baker said...

That's an awesome filling combo! And your dough is just gorgeous - tissue thin.

Ellie said...

Talk about combining all of my favorite things into one - this looks delicious!

sweetakery said...

thank you! looks delicious! love the layers, thanks for dropping by! =)

Kitchenlander said...

That's a good combination!
I'll be trying for sure the pear-roquefort, or maybe I'll settle with some strong gorgonzola.

jillian said...

Pears with cheese are so good! This looks wonderful!

Shirley said...

I love pears or apples with brie!

Chantal said...

Wow! You got your dough SUPER thin, great job!

Cakelaw said...

Pear, brie and walnut - it sounds like heaven to me! Like a really good cheese platter with Friday night drinks - but in a dessert form.

Unknown said...

I was wondering when I'd see pear...but pear, brie, AND walnut. YUM! You have some great pictures as well. That last one is so tempting.

Aparna Balasubramanian said...

Pears, cheese and nuts. I think I shall try this next time. Sounds very good.

Erin said...

It looks like yours turned out great! I am making mine today... better late than never, right? Your flavor combo sounds really elegant and yummy!

Arlette said...

What a great dough Ally,
I love the stuffing you used, pears is one of my favourite, and like to use them in any recipe if I can you go wrong with a beautiful combination like this..
Bravo my dear... you did a great job on this challenge.

Laila said...

Looks really delicious ... great flavors .. Laila ..