Daring Bakers Strudel!

finished layered strudels

finished layered strudels

Brandy honey banana, chilli and lime strudel

makings of strudel #1

makings of strudel #1

1 banana chopped

juice of a lime

1/4 dried red chilli, crumbled

1/4 cup brandy

2-3 tbsp honey

 Slice the banana and squeeze a quater of lime juice over it. Mix the honey, brandy, red chilli and rest of lime juice, and simmer in a saucepan till it reduces to a syrup. Add banana slices and simmer in the syrup for a few minutes, till banana softens, but still keeps it’s shape. Once cooled the banana mix is ready to fill the strudel dough. A handful of chopped walnuts can also be added for crunch. I regret not adding a pinch of cinnamon to the banana mix, as I think it would have made it a nicer, warmer spiced dish.

 

Poached pear in pimms and tamarillo syrup strudel

makings of strudel #2

makings of strudel #2

1.5 pears peeled and chopped

1/2-1 cup pimms liquer

1/2 c sugar

1/2 c water

1 tsp vanilla extract

pulp of 2 tamarillo’s

Cut pears into chunks. Put pimms, water and sugar in a sauce pan and bring to simmer. Add pear and simmer till just starting to turn tender (as it will cook more in the strudel). Remove the pear, and boil the pimms till it is a thicker syrup. Towards the end add tamarillo flesh, and mash it through the syrup. Add vanilla. Poor syrup back over pear, and this is ready to fill the rolled strudel dough.

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.

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

1 1/3 C plain flour

1/8 tsp salt

7 Tbsp water (I used the whey from making ricotta)

2 Tbsp vegie oil

1/2 tsp apple 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.

baked strudels

baked strudels

Mmmm ice creamed and ready to eat...

Mmmm ice creamed and ready to eat...

The strudels were lovely to eat, I even had plenty left over to freeze, which has been a yummy treat getting home from a long day at work, now our nights are feeling more wintery. I prefered the pear to the banana. I love the caramely banana flavour, but there’s something nice about the way the pear held it’s shape baking. The nuts in the banana strudel however, were a nice addition that made up for the lack of bite in the pieces of fruit. I was really happy with how both the strudels layered and had flakiness with air between the layers of pastry, I think I must have been able to roll it thin enough, even though I used an improvised, floured cloth, that was a bit slippy and slidy. I just wish I had more people at home to share the strudel with. If you try it out, I hope you enjoy yours 🙂

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