Wednesday, May 27, 2009

May Daring Bakers - Oodlez of Strudels

Boy did the month blow by fast, here we are again, time for the montly installment of Daring Bakers!

The May Daring Bakers' challenge was hosted by Linda of make life sweeter and Courteny of Coco Cooks. They chose Apple Strudel from the recipe book Kaffehaus: Exquisite Desserts from the Classic Cafes of Vienna, Budapeset and Prauge by Rick Rodgers.  Because I'm in a rush, you can find the recipes for this month's challenge at the hosts' site(s).

Strudel dough is one of the few things I haven't dealt with in my varied baking past. Didn't seem that hard, considering there's only flour, water, oil, salt & vingar in the dough. I must say, my first attempt turned out the best, I forgot to oil the dough before resting, and the resultant texture of the strudel was crispy and flaky. The attempt I made yesterday afternoon/evening had a better dough feel, plus I oiled it this time, but after baking, the crust was crisp and tasty, yet the flakyness was gone. Granted there is a significant difference in the climatic conditions from the beginning of the month to now (its a lot warmer and humid), so maybe that has something to do with it.

Regardless the dough tasted the great both times and MY OH MY that apple filling recipe has to be one of the best I have ever tried! My first attempt I made a savory strudel with a mushroom filling. I reduced equal parts red wine and basalmic vinegar by half then added chopped mushrooms (used white, crimini, portabella, and oyster - both fresh and reconstituted dry) and cooked until all the liquid was gone and the shroomies were glazed. I topped with chives and gouda cheese wrapped and baked. (This topping is a total winner for putting on pizza or foccacia) The crust was perfect... I left it out to cool for pictures, and came back to an empty pan.... The hubs thought I already taken pics and ate it.

The apple filling was amazingly good. Usually I don't like raisins with apples, but it was a great combo. I let the raisins soak in the rum overnight.

Strudel is certainly as versitale as puff pastry, though without all the hassle of turning multiple times and with out the tons of butter! Stretching was fun, and i was surprised how elastic the dough actually was. I think I would default to studel vs danish for everyday recipes because of how easy it really is!

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