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Megans Cookin: Apple VS Mushroom Strudel

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Apple VS Mushroom 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.

OK, now that we got the requires verbiage out of the way, lets start this battle of the strudel. I made it two times. Once with disastrous results and once that was over the top delicious. Let's start at the beginning, shall we?

I was on Twitter, tweeting that I was about to start my DB challenge. Do you tweet? I'm addicted. If you do tweet, add me! If you don't, why not??? Give it a try. But let me make one recommendation. Use one of the platforms like tweetdeck. Replies and direct messages are laid out on one page. So mush easier to enjoy the fun.

Anyway, where was I? Oh yea, I was tweeting!

So Barbara of Barbara Bakes tweeted back that she was just starting her challenge too. So we went back and forth, comparing notes, asking each other questions, actually doing the strudel together in real time. Oh the power of tweeter!

My first strudel was a bomb. A series of comical events if you will.
Here is how it all played out.

Apple VS Mushroom Strudel!

Let's start with the dough. I mixed everything in my KA mixer. The first time the dough was too wet. April had already made hers and said (tweeted) that her dough was real wet. So I thought it was OK. But it was to wet to even knead for the 2 minutes by hand, like that the recipe said.

Second time, I had to add about 2 TBS of more flour. That was MUCH better and I was able to slap and knead the dough just as directed. I pretty much knew at this point that strudel #2 would be better. But at this point on strudel #1, I had no idea the mess I was making.

Strudel #1 would not stretch at all. It was more like one big hole. I wouldn't even take a picture.
Strudel #2 worked like a dream! Pictured below in all it's glory! :)

For the filling on #1, I went with the apple filling. I used orange flavored cranberries (from Trader Joe's.) for my raisins. They complemented the apples really well and
I was happy with the filling.

For the filling on #2, I went with caramelized onions and mushroom
with shavings of Parmesan Cheese. This one was awesome.

Now after stretching the dough, you are suppose to brush butter evenly over the pastry and sprinkle the bread crumbs over it. Before I got that far on strudel #1, I get a tweet from Barb. It said:

Oh Megan!!! I just made a huge mess of it!
I forgot the butter and the bread crumbs and it stuck and it's so ugly!

Well, I wasn't having such a good time myself and that tweet just cracked me up. I wasn't laughing at barb, I was laughing with her. But I don't think she was laughing. So I go back to the stretching of my dough, or in my case, the patching of my giant hole. I was deep in thought and remembered April had also said it was hard to move to the pan. Oh crap, I better get it on a tray now I thought. Still deep in concentration, I slide my pastry on to a cookie sheet and dumped my apples on top, and patch worked it to resemble a strudel. You can't roll a hole and besides with my pastry on a cookie sheet, there was cloth to aid me in the rolling
even if you could roll a hole!

Now... did you notice anything? Nothing? Read it again!

I forgot the butter and bread crumbs!

And I damn near forgot the second time too but thank God
I remembered and was able to still scatter them on top before I started rolling.

And with the aid of the cloth, I just rolled that strudel right onto the baking sheet. Although I have to admit, it looks a little scary right now!

Wallah! The finished mushroom project!

I sprinkled the top of this one with Black Hawaiian Sea Salt.

This was a great challenge. I would have never tried it again if Barbara hadn't done it over and said it was killer, I needed to try again. Thank you Barbara for baking with me, inspiring me, and being my blogger buddy!

Go make strudel!

Strudel Dough
from 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 salt
7 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.

2 tablespoons (30 ml) golden rum (I used my homemade vanilla)
3 tablespoons (45 ml) raisins (I used orange flavored cranberries)
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon (80 g) sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick / 115 g) unsalted butter, melted, divided
1 1/2 cups (350 ml) fresh bread crumbs
strudel dough (recipe below)
1/2 cup (120 ml, about 60 g) coarsely chopped walnuts (I didn't use nuts)
2 pounds (900 g) tart cooking apples, peeled, cored and cut into ¼ inch-thick slices (use apples that hold their shape during baking)

1. Mix the rum and raisins in a bowl. Mix the cinnamon and sugar in another bowl.

2. Heat 3 tablespoons of the butter in a large skillet over medium-high. Add the breadcrumbs and cook whilst stirring until golden and toasted. This will take about 3 minutes. Let it cool completely.

3. Put the rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Line a large baking sheet with baking paper (parchment paper). Make the strudel dough as described below. Spread about 3 tablespoons of the remaining melted butter over the dough using your hands (a bristle brush could tear the dough, you could use a special feather pastry brush instead of your hands). Sprinkle the buttered dough with the bread crumbs. Spread the walnuts about 3 inches (8 cm) from the short edge of the dough in a 6-inch-(15cm)-wide strip. Mix the apples with the raisins (including the rum), and the cinnamon sugar. Spread the mixture over the walnuts.

4. Fold the short end of the dough onto the filling. Lift the tablecloth at the short end of the dough so that the strudel rolls onto itself. Transfer the strudel to the prepared baking sheet by lifting it. Curve it into a horseshoe to fit. Tuck the ends under the strudel. Brush the top with the remaining melted butter.

5. Bake the strudel for about 30 minutes or until it is deep golden brown. Cool for at least 30 minutes before slicing. Use a serrated knife and serve either warm or at room temperature. It is best on the day it is baked.

Mushroom Filling
3TBS Olive Oil
2 sweet onions, sliced thinly
10 oz sliced mushrooms
1/4 Cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 TBS chopped fresh parsley
1/2 tsp pepper
Sea Salt for sprinkling on top
Saute onion in olive oil till wilted. Add mushrooms and cook till juices evaporate. Add cheese and parsley.

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Blogger Maria said...

Glad it worked out in the end:)

May 27, 2009 at 8:19 AM  
Blogger Dragon said...

Great job! I like the apple but I'm loving the mushroom. Yum!

May 27, 2009 at 8:20 AM  
Blogger Judy@nofearentertaining said...

The second time is a charm in this case. It turned out beautifully!

May 27, 2009 at 8:23 AM  
Blogger glamah16 said...

I think we all made that mistake but it all turns out yumm in the end. Great job.

May 27, 2009 at 8:25 AM  
Blogger April said...

Megan, I am glad that your second one turned out! It looks great, and the filling sounds awesome!!

May 27, 2009 at 9:21 AM  
Blogger Deeba PAB said...

Well done & YAY for Twitter. Wonder where I would be without it oo. Great job the second time around; glad you remembered. Love the mushroom filling...totally YUM!

May 27, 2009 at 9:52 AM  
Blogger Beth said...

Ha! I almost forgot the breadcrumbs too! Glad to hear your shroom strudel succeeded.

May 27, 2009 at 10:04 AM  
Blogger Sara said...

Haha, great post! The mushroom strudel sounds awesome. Yum!

May 27, 2009 at 10:38 AM  
Blogger Heather B said...

Yea! I'm glad it worked out for you. Your strudel looks great! Twitted is pretty helpful at times!

May 27, 2009 at 10:44 AM  
Blogger Laurie said...

Strudel has always been my number one fear factor food. You did a great job Megan.. kudos to you!! :)

May 27, 2009 at 10:56 AM  
Blogger Anna said...

Apple v Mushroom strudel! Definietly Apple one :) but both looks great and delicious!

May 27, 2009 at 12:28 PM  
Blogger stephchows said...

Man this is one seriously intensive task!! Great job!!!

May 27, 2009 at 3:01 PM  
Blogger steph- whisk/spoon said...

forgetting the butter and the crumbs-- that's what you get for laughing at barb! just kidding! looks great--mushroom and caramelized onion strudel is awesome, right!?!

May 27, 2009 at 3:11 PM  
Blogger Andrea Meyers said...

Whenever I mess up a recipe, it's always an error of omission. I forget to add stuff regularly! It looks like your strudel turned out wonderful in the end.

May 27, 2009 at 3:15 PM  
Blogger Katy ~ said...

Applause! Applause! You did great!

May 27, 2009 at 5:49 PM  
Blogger Shelby said...

I read Barbara's post first and then came here to read yours....I love it! You ladies did awesome!

May 27, 2009 at 6:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I loved reading about your two strudel experiences..I laughed out lous because I went through a similar situation with my uncooperative lump of dough! Both of yours turned out gorgeous, and I want that mushroom-onion one badly!!!

May 27, 2009 at 6:48 PM  
Blogger Zoe Francois said...

Your strudel is fantastic! I just love the mushroom filling, great idea to go savory.

May 27, 2009 at 9:00 PM  
Blogger Teresa Cordero Cordell said...

Good job Megan! You didn't give up, and you succeeded. I can't tell which one I like better - apple or mushroom. They both look divine.

May 28, 2009 at 8:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, that is so impressive, I'm glad it worked after all and the strudel looks beautiful and delicious! I love the idea of the Hawaiian black salt sprinkled on the mushroom one.

May 28, 2009 at 1:08 PM  
Blogger Kerstin said...

I'm glad you second one turned out - it looks very yummy!

Cute blog :)

May 28, 2009 at 3:14 PM  
Blogger Elyse said...

Megan, both of these strudels look divine! Sorry about the wet dough incident. Oh well, didn't seem to make too much of a difference, though...everything looks AMAZING! Great job!

May 28, 2009 at 7:51 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Ha! The things we tell ourselves we're not going to do or forget and then do just that! :-) Looks fantastic.

May 28, 2009 at 9:09 PM  
Anonymous Dimah said...

Both of these strudels look amazing!
Great Job!
Thanks for visiting my blog!

June 3, 2009 at 10:09 AM  
Blogger Y said...

Great story! I particularly love the savoury strudel.

June 6, 2009 at 5:26 AM  

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