Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Two Strudels = One Toodle?

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.

Mango Coconut

Woo hoo! This was indeed, a Tasty One befitting this blog. I can't say I completed it without swearing, but I did so through I smile!


The challenge was to make our own dough, like my Gram Zupsic used to make. Apparently she was a real champ at strudelling. Unfortunately, my mom has been out of town and had no time to track down her recipe, so I used the apple filling provided in the challenge for one strudel, and a mango/cardamom/cocunt filling for the other.

My plan was originally, like my friend Kathleen, to stretch out the batch of dough and then fill it with two fillings at once, but I got a few giant holes in my first stretch (hence some of the swearing), so I just trimmed it smaller to the less-holy center, and mushed the scraps together and let them rest again an hour or two before I made the second one, which ended up stretching even better than the first one.

The second stretch was a lot more successful... as was the second filling. With the first filling (the apple and walnut), I managed to forget to put it in a strip. Instead, I spread it over the whole dough, which resulted in only one layer on the outside and a bunch of soggy dough layers in the middle (hence a touch more swearing). Duh.

Log of DOOM. Just kidding.

It was decent, but to be honest, I was not thrilled about the overall flavor. However, my German friend gave it a good review, so if it passed as apfelstudel, I can't complain.

The mango one was a true delight. I plan to make it again. And that's all I really need to say on that... onto the recipes and more pictures! First my notes:

- I made a half recipe of the apple filling, but the full recipe is posted; anything I deleted is crossed out and my additions are in italics.

- The mango/coconut filling is my recipe, just made it up... the measurements might be wrong, sorry.

- I don't have a mixer, and it is very easy to do it all by hand-- I had no trouble.

- 1 and 1/3 of a cup of flour is not 200 grams. It is 160, so that is about what I used.

- The instructions for stretching the dough don't make sense to me-- just do what feels right, as long as you make sure to start at the center in the beginning.

Mango Coconut Strudel

1 large, ripe mango cut into strips
5-6 cardamom pods, seeds ground
25 g creamed coconut, chopped up
100 ml hot water
100 g dessicated coconut

Melt the coconut in the boiling water until there are no lumps. Add the dessicated coconut, sugar, cinnamon, and half of the cardamom, mixing to form a creamy cookie-dough-ish paste.

Sprinkle the mango with the other half of the seeds.

Once the dough is stretched, spread the coconut mixture first, then lay the mango slices on top, and you're ready to roll.

Apple strudel

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

2 tablespoons (30 ml) golden rum
3 tablespoons (45 ml) raisins

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
juice of one lemon
strudel dough (recipe below)
1/2 cup (120 ml, about 60 g) coarsely chopped walnuts
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 lemon 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.

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.

Pre-oven strudel.

Post-oven strudel.


  1. Beautiful strudels! I especially LOVE the mango coconut! Mouth watering!! Very nicely done!

  2. 1. The mango/cardamom sounds like an inspired idea! I will have to add that to my list of next strudels to make (along with cherry-ricotta :)

    2. If you have the urge to make "apfel" again, I'd try adding the rum, or do what I did and use balsamic vinegar and honey instead - I think this is what really put it over the edge for me as my favorite of the two I made. (Of course, I didn't have the mango to compare it to ;) Though I'm sure also having flaky dough around it rather than soggy dough layers helps, too... lol.

    3. Very nice photos, Leanne!!! Really, really nice. Even your doughball looks pretty. Seriously, very nice.

  3. Wow...that mango filling looks just wonderful! I'd eat it right now if you could beam it to me (Scotty!). :-) Great job.

  4. You're brave by streching your dough twice, the strudle looks very crispy and crunchy, love your choices of fillings :)

  5. What a magical combination the mango and coconut sounds like! I am just drooling at the thought of it! :D

  6. Mmm, your strudels look awesome and the flavours sound wonderful =D!!

  7. Sounds absolutely delicious- I love the idea of a coconut/mango strudel! Great work on this challenge!