Sweet and Savory Strudel – May 2009 Daring Baker’s Challenge

May 27, 2009

1st berries and cream strudel Savory meat strudel Second berries and cream strudel

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.

I have to admit, coming into this challenge, I was not entirely sure what a strudel really was.  I mean, I’d heard of them.  They’re in the song from The Sound of Music and all, but I don’t think I’ve every actually seen one in person.  Well the joys of Google enlightened me as to what it was supposed to look like (plus all the finished products at the daring baker’s forum).

We, my friend Beth and I, opted to do a berries and cream strudel. You can find the recipes in this video. The berries makes a wonderful topping for toast or an English muffin, or heck, a spoon.  It’s super tasty without being super sweet.  The confectioner’s cream is a mild flavor but very creamy.  I think the next time I make it I’ll put a little more vanilla in.

The dough rolled out beautifully.  We used cheesecloth to roll it on and we were able to roll it out to the specified size.

1st strudel dough

Now, at the time, we thought this was great luck as we were both a bit nervous about the whole stretching process.

1st strudel dough close up

However, the end result was much too thick once it baked and broke off in chunks when you tried to eat it.  Looked like baked potato chips.

buttered dough confectioner's cream berries 1st flip rolling still rolling all done ready to bake1st strudel

Tasted lovely, but the texture was wrong.  We also forgot to put the breadcrumbs on it before we rolled it up, so there was no space between the layers to allow them to bake up and get flaky.

We’re going to try it again tonight!  I’ll let you know how it goes… we’re also going to try a savory one and put some potatoes in it too!

**EDIT** We made the second berries and cream strudel and the savory meat strudel last night.

Second berries and cream strudel Savory meat strudel

Wow!  What a difference a bit more filling, a little stretching and some breadcrumbs will do!  The second berries and cream strudel was sooo much better than the first.  It was full, flaky and just scrumptious!

Savory strudel fillingsavory strudel one side in Savory strudel 1st roll savory strudel almost rolled Savory strudel ready for the oven Savory strudel in the oven Savory strudel ready to come out Savory meat strudel

The savory meat strudel was so good.  Granted the fact that it was 10 pm before we got to eat it and we were all starving didn’t hurt, but it was still very good.  It was a little liquidy, so I think we’ll cook it a bit longer to let some of the juices evaporate next time.  It smells heavenly when it is cooking.  It nearly drove us crazy waiting for it to come out then letting it sit and cool off.  It was so worth the wait. This was my first adventure with savory as well.  I had no idea it was an herb; I just thought it was an adjective 🙂

Here’s the full DB recipe if you’d like to try your own!

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

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
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 raisins (including the rum), 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.



  1. Good to see that you tried a 2nd strudel – yes some things do take more than once and it fab that you got such an excellent result I like all the photos you did. The pixs are great. Bravo on this challenge. Cheers from Audax

  2. Loves all your photos! I love the filling idea…sounds terrific. 🙂

  3. Berries and cream…that sounds divine! Great job on the challenge and very nice photos as well!

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