This was supposed to be easy-ish. The filling was. But the dough was another thing.
You have to do a lot of pulling and tugging and stretching to it--until you get it tissue paper thin. And when you get it tissue paper thin, it tears so easily.
So you start over and then start over again and then realize that it's not going to stop tearing so you just learn to live with the fact that your strudel dough is going to look like Freddy Kruger's wretchedly burnt skin.
It was sort of a frustrating endeavour but on the plus side, it tasted really good!
I do have one note about assembly.. I suggest that once the dough is rolled out, do one of two things: Either place it over a piece of parchment paper or silpat that you will then transfer to the baking sheet. Or, find a second person to help you pick it up and transfer it to the baking sheet. I suggest this because I did not do either of these and once the strudel is rolled out, it's kind of unwieldy. It took a bit of maneuvering to get it in place after I rolled it out and I was cursing myself for not thinking ahead.
From the beautiful blog, lilvienna.com
1/3c/80g lukewarm water
1T+1/2tsp/15g vegetable oil
1/2tsp vinegar or lemon juice
1/8tsp table salt
1c + 2T/145g all-purpose flour
1/2tsp vegetable oil for brushing dough
flour for dusting
3 1/2T/50g unsalted butter
3/4c/100g fine plain bread crumbs
5T/65g granulated sugar
1/2tsp ground cinnamon
3T rum or lukewarm water
2lbs tart apples--I used granny smith
1T lemon juice
2T melted butter for brushing dough
confectioners sugar for dusting the finished product
For the dough:
-Using a big bowl, mix the lukewarm water, oil and lemon juice together
-Add in the flour and mix until everything comes together
-Knead the dough on a clean, lightly dusted work surface until it is tacky but not sticky
-Slam the dough against your counter a few times. According to lilvienna.com, this helps promote gluten development.
-Shape the dough into a ball and place in a lightly oiled bowl. Brush the dough with oil, cover with plastic wrap and set aside at room temp. for 1 hour
For the filling:
-Using a small bowl, soak the raisins in the rum--or lukewarm water--for at least 10 minutes
-Using a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat
-Add the breadcrumbs to toast them stirring them constantly so you don't burn them. You want them golden brown. Remove them from the heat and let cool completely.
-In a small separate bowl, mix the sugar and cinnamon together and set aside
-Peel, core and slice the apples into 1/8-1/4 inch wedges or slices
-Using a large bowl toss the apples with the lemon juice and the raisins (not the rum)
-Once the bread crumbs are cool, mix them with the cinnamon and sugar mixture and set aside
-Start by rolling out the dough on a lightly floured clean surface
-When it starts getting about somewhere between 1/8 and 1/4 inch thick, start to stretch it gently with your hands and or place the dough over the back of your hand and use the back of your fingers/knuckles to stretch it (lilvienna.com has a good tutorial on this--although I do think it requires practice)
-Then when it gets to be too big or thin to handle, place it back on the work surface and lightly stretch it to a large rectangular shape--trying to avoid tearing it all the meanwhile. You want it to be paper thin (so you can basically see through it) so whatever sized rectangle it takes you to reach that goal, then that's the size. It will be a big rectangle.
-Once you have your rectangle, move it to a silpat or piece of parchment paper that will allow you to transfer the rolled up strudel to the baking sheet with some ease
-Next, spread the bread crumb mixture over half of the dough leaving about an inch or two around the edges
-Spread the apple/raisin mixture atop the bread crumbs evenly
-Then, fold the edges in--about an inch or two--and starting with the filled end, carefully roll the thang
-Transfer the rolled strudel to a baking sheet (good luck!)
-Brush the rolled strudel with the remaining 2T of melted butter and set aside while you preheat the oven to 375 F
-Bake the strudel for 30 minutes
-Remove from the oven and let cool completely, dust with confectioners sugar and then slice it up and enjoy--it maybe with some whipped cream or vanilla ice cream...