Strudels consist of flaky pastry wrapped several times around some sort of filling, typically fruit (though there are other kinds as well). Originally, strudels are an Austrian dessert; the dough is stretched thinly enough that you can read printed text through it, then wrapped around an apple and raisin filling. Watching Chef Marco stretch his dough was quite the sight. This isn’t a dessert either of us are very familiar with, but we could definitely appreciate that this wasn’t your average strudel!
“A sticky dough is a happy dough.”
- 400 g bread flour
- 1 g salt
- 3 eggs (150 g)
- 45 mL olive oil
- 100 mL water
- Sift the flour and salt onto the table, and form into a “fountain” by making a large well in the middle of the dry ingredients.
- Add eggs, oil, and water into the centre of the fountain.
- Gradually work the flour into the liquid to form a dough, and knead.
- Knead the dough using the heel of your palm and long strides until the dough passes the gluten window test.
- Cover the dough in some oil and saran wrap, and then refrigerate for 4 hours/overnight.
Gluten Window Test:
Using the bench scraper, cut a piece of the dough off. Slowly stretch it out using your knuckles and see if you can form a “window” from the dough. If you can, that means the dough has been worked sufficiently and there is adequate gluten development. If a lot of holes are forming, then keep kneading the dough.
- Coating the dough in oil helps to prevent drying.
- Don’t add more flour to the dough because it’s sticky.
- 1 medium sized egg should be around 50 g.
- The gluten window test can be used on any wheat based kneaded dough.
SAUCE ANGLAISE (VANILLA SAUCE)
- 160 mL full fat milk
- 160 g cream (36%)
- 75 g granulated sugar
- 4 egg yolks
- ½ vanilla bean
- Put 2/3 of the milk and the cream into a saucepan.
- Scrape the vanilla bean seeds into the saucepan and put on low heat.
- Mix the sugar into the remaining milk until dissolved, then add egg yolks.
- Bring the cream mixture to a rolling boil. Add a little bit of the boiling mixture to the yolks to temper the eggs, then add back to the saucepan.
- Using the wooden spoon technique*, bring the mixture to exactly 82˚C.
- As soon as the sauce reaches the right temperature, take it off the heat and strain it through a sieve into a container.
- Boiling the milk/cream at the beginning pasteurizes the mixture. This helps prevent bacterial growth and will allow you to keep your sauce for longer.
- Once the eggs are whisked into the cream mixture, switch to a wooden spoon.
- When the sauce starts to coat the back of the spoon, and you can blow on it and form a “rose,” it’s done. Alternatively, you can draw a horizontal line on the back of the spoon using your finger. If the top line stays in place, your sauce is done.
- Dissolve the sugar into the milk prior to adding the egg yolks.
AUSTRIAN APPLE STRUDEL
- 5 apples
- 60 g sponge crumbs
- 50 g raisins
- 60 g sugar
- 6 g cinnamon
- lemon zest
- strudel dough
- melted butter
- Peel, core, and slice the apples into relatively thin pieces.
- Toss apples with sponge crumbs, raisins, sugar, cinnamon, and lemon zest. Set aside.
- Put table cloth on half of table and flour generously.
- Get strudel dough out of fridge, and put copious amounts of flour on it.
- Roll it out to a reasonable size, and place on top of table cloth.
- Using the knuckles of your hands (and maybe your elbows) on the edges of the dough, stretch it out to the size of the table. You should be able to read a newspaper through it.
- Brush melted butter over the stretched dough.
- Pour the apple mixture onto the dough and roll up using towel, packing apples tightly together. Usually, 3-4 layers of dough should be sufficient.
- Transfer the strudel to a tray, brush with butter, and poke venting slits into it.
- Bake for 10 – 15 minutes at 380 F.
- When putting apples onto the dough, make sure you keep the size of the pan in mind, and also pour the apples on the area of the dough over the linen. Cut off the thicker edge of the pastry before you begin rolling. After you finish rolling, cut the pastry quite close to the roll.
- If you break the stretched dough, “glue” it back together with water.
- This dough can freeze very well, but it does not maintain it’s crispness after baking because of the moisture from the apples. They are best served immediately.
Roopa gettin’ that stretch on! It was definitely an intimidating process at first.
No tears! Or tears!
Rolling the strudel
Buttered, vented, and oven ready!