Wednesday, May 27, 2009

DBL: Strawberry-Kumquat Strudel

Strudel. Sounds exotic, and sweet, and like something I want to eat. Sounds good, but I don't know if I've ever actually had it and was not sure what all the hype was about. I have to confess, it is grossly overrated in my opinion, or maybe that's just because of my poor interpretation. I'm not sure. Sadly, I won't be making this again. Maybe I'll try it from a real bakery. Granted, as you can see in the picture, my dough looks a little thick, definitely not paper thin. It tasted like chalk. The only yummy part was the filling, which should have had twice the amount of sugar to offset that crust. We were allowed a little bit of creative freedom in the filling, so I decided to do a Strawberry-Kumquat filling. Strawberries are in season here in Va, and I keep seeing kumquats in Kroger, so I thought they would be a good match. Kumquats by the way are delicious!! So sour and sweet, just the right balance... kind of like a lemon and an orange together, but more tart, and more sweet all at the same time. It's a crazy intense burst of flavor. Kumquat and strawberry- match made in heaven.

Here were my issues with the recipe:
1. The dough was too wet. Mine was too wet to work with easily, I had to add quite a bit more flour to get it to form a ball and be dry enough to handle.
2. The rolling out process. Whoa. I'm definitely over rolling things out to paper thin. When you have to use other things like tablecloths etc my work/benefit ratio goes askew and I ask myself is this really work all the effort??
3. The dough just dosent taste good to me. Maybe I'm a sweet dough kinda girl, but it was pretty gross. The dough is half the strudel! If the dough's gross the strudel will be too.

Oh well. I gave it a good try, but like I said, definitely not on my list of "things to make again." sigh.
Without further adieu, the recipe. Good Luck!

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.

Preparation time
Total: 2 hours 15 minutes – 3 hours 30 minutes

15-20 min to make dough
30-90 min to let dough rest/to prepare the filling
20-30 min to roll out and stretch dough
10 min to fill and roll dough
30 min to bake
30 min to cool

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

1 pint strawberries chopped

5 kumquats, chopped

5 tbsp sugar

1. Put strawberries, kumquats and sugar in saucepan over medium heat. Cook 8-10 min or until strawberries have released juices and started to macerate.

2. Let cool, drain liquid off (save and serve as a syrup for pancakes yum!)

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 strawbery mixture along one end of dough.

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.

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