Two traditional Viennese strudels


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Apple strudel (Apfelstrudel)

Apple strudel (Apfelstrudel) is a traditional Viennese strudel and a popular pastry in Austria and in many countries in Europe that once belonged to the Austro-Hungarian empire (1867-1918).

A strudel is a type of sweet or savoury layered pastry with a filling inside, that gained popularity in the 18th century through the Habsburg Empire (1278-1780). Austrian cuisine was formed and influenced by the cuisines of many different peoples (Turkish, Swiss, Alsacian, French, Dutch, Italian, German, Bohemian-Moravian, Hungarian, Polish, Croatian, Slovenian, Slovakian, Serbian, and Jewish cuisines) during the many centuries of the Austrian Habsburg Empire’s expansion. Strudel is related to the Ottoman Empire’s pastry baklava, and came to Austria via Turkish to Hungarian and than Hungarian to Austrian cuisine. Strudel, a German word, derives from the Middle High German word for whirlpool or eddy.

Ingredients:

For the dough:

10-1/2 oz. bread flour
l/6 oz. salt
1-l/2 oz. vegetable oil
5-1/3 oz. water, lukewarm
For the filling:

4-1/2 lb. apples (Golden Delicious), sliced
5-l/3 oz. granulated sugar
1-1/2 oz. dark rum (Myers)
5-1/3 oz. raisins
1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 lemons (juice and peel)
For the buttered breadcrumbs:
10-1/2 oz. butter (unsalted)
10-1/2 oz. bread crumbs

 

Apfelstrudel

Apfelstrudel

Procedure:

 

Knead flour, salt, oil and water into a medium-firm dough. Divide into 3 small round loaves, brush each loaf with melted butter and let sit for 1 hour. Peel, core and slice apples. Mix in granulated sugar, raisins, grated lemon peel, lemon Juice, rum, cinnamon and blend together well.

 

Apfelstrudel

Apfelstrudel

Roll the dough loaves with a rolling pin, then stretch rolled dough on a strudel sheet with the backs of your hands. Coat 2/3 of dough sheet with buttered breadcrumbs, spread apple filling over remaining 1/3 of dough. Tear off edges, shape strudel into roll by lifting strudel sheet. Place strudel on a buttered baking sheet and brush with melted butter. Bake strudel for 60 to 90 minutes in a 400 degrees F to 425 degrees F oven.

 

Apfelstrudel

Apfelstrudel

 

Cottage cheese strudel

Cottage cheese strudel is regularly eaten in Eastern Europe, Austria and Germany. In Slovenia for instance this type of strudel is a very popular dessert the whole year round. Cottage cheese mixed with a few spoons of sour cream and sugar make a great filling for filo pastry dough. There are some variations of the basic recipe depending on where in this part of Europe you are. In Austria and Germany raisins and eggs are often added to cottage cheese and sour cream mixture, sometimes even lemon peel, but in Slovenia we prefer pure cottage cheese, sour cream and sugar filling. The cottage cheese strudel recipe presented here is the one I use in our kitchen for years and is a really, really great companion to coffee.

 

Cottage cheese strudel

Cottage cheese strudel

Ingredients:

- 200g (1 1/3 cup) plain flour
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 105ml warm water
- 2tbsp (30ml) sunflower oil
- 1/2 tsp cyder vinegar (apple)
- 50g unsalted butter, melted
- 900g cottage cheese
- 3-4 tbsp sour cream
- 4-5 tbsp sugar
- 50g sliced butter (put them on the strudel)
- icing sugar for dusting

Procedure:

- Place the flour in a bowl. Add salt, oil and vinegar. Mix all the ingredients together and start kneading the dough. Gradually add warm water and continue with kneading. Knead the dough until smooth and tacky but not sticky. (about 5-6 minutes). At the end throw the dough hard onto your working surface. Continue with this for 2-3 minutes.
- Form the dough into a small ball and cover it with pre-heated bowl (metallic) and leave to rest for about 30-40 minutes. I normally put a small metallic bowl on my gas cooker for 5-10 seconds. Always lift it up with protecting gloves on your hand!
- Meanwhile mix cottage cheese with 3-4 tbsp of sour cream. Add 4-5 tbsp of sugar to the mixture.
- Melt 50g of butter.
- Flour your working surface well and place the ball of the dough onto the surface. Take a rolling pin and roll out the dough as much as you can.
- Regularly lift the dough and dust it with more flour underneath to prevent sticking.
- Gently start stretching the dough (at the edges) with your hands. When you stretch the dough lift it gently at the edge, reach under and start pulling it towards you (with your flat hands). Keep stretching until it looks almost translucent.
- Brush your stretched dough with melted butter. Add the cheese mixture all over the rolled dough but leave an inch-wide borderline with no cheese mixture on all sides for easier folding.
- Stretch the edge of the dough over the filling and start rolling it gently. When you reach the dough without filling at the other edge fold it over the roll and trim away the rest (this dough leftover will be later used to cover the end of the roll where it was cut into half).
- Cut the roll into two halves and cover the end of the roll with remaining dough which was rolled out in the previous step.
- IMPORTANT! Put a baking sheet close to your strudel. When you transfer strudel on the baking sheet grab it with BOTH hands and lift it up very gently.
- Before baking cut the butter into small pieces and put them on top of the strudel.
- Bake the apple strudel for 50-60 minutes. First 20 minutes bake it on 220C/fan oven 200C/428F/gas mark 7. After 20 minutes reduce the temperature to 200C/fan oven 180C/392F/gas mark 6 and bake the strudel on this temperature for the rest of the time.

Place the flour in a bowl. Add salt, oil and vinegar. Mix all the ingredients together and start kneading the dough . Gradually add warm water and continue with kneading.

 

Cottage cheese strudel

Cottage cheese strudel

Knead the dough until smooth and tacky but not sticky. (about 5-6 minutes). At the end throw the dough hard onto your working surface. Continue with this for 2-3 minutes. Form the dough into a small ball. and cover it with pre-heated bowl (metallic) and leave to rest for about 30-40 minutes.

I normally use a metallic bowl pre-heated on my gas cooker for 5-10 seconds. Always lift it up with protecting gloves on your hands! Cover the dough with pre-heated bowl (metallic) and leave to rest for about 30-40 minutes.

Mix together cottage cheese, 3-4 tbsp of sour cream and 4-5 tbsp of sugar. Melt 50g of butter on a low temperature. Flour well your working surface. Place the ball of dough on the surface. Take a rolling pin and roll out the dough as much as you can.

Regularly lift the dough and dust it with more flour underneath to prevent sticking. Gently start stretching the dough (at the edges) with your hands. When you stretch the dough lift it gently at the edge, reach under it and start pulling it towards you (with your flat hands). Keep stretching until it looks almost translucent.

Cottage cheese strudel is not particularly sweet so it marvellously matches cappuccino. The two combine into a wonderfully light and refreshing mouthful and the experience is lifted to a whole new level if cappuccino is topped with cinnamon. Cafe latte doesn’t fall far behind cappuccino but flavors are more on the modest side. On the other hand, this kind of strudel dilutes espresso and Turkish coffee flavors hence two stars but it may well be what you want if coffee is too strong or, God forbid, bitter.
Useful baking tips

In the recipe above you can replace butter with sunflower oil.
DO NOT buy creamed cottage cheese because it has 4 to 8 percent cream already added. If you add additional sour cream the cheese filling will be to moist and runny.

Good to know
Cottage cheese is a type of soft white cheese with mild flavor. It is made from whole, part-skimmed or skimmed pasteurized cow’s milk. Cow’s milk is curdled and then drained, but not pressed. Draining removes much of the whey in the cheese. Later the curd is washed to remove acidity. Because of that this cheese tastes sweet.
Cottage cheese is not aged and colored.
Cottage cheese should ideally be eaten within 10 days.

 

Cottage cheese strudel

Cottage cheese strudel

 

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