Hand-pulled Apple Strudel has a long tradition in Austria. Whether it is served cold (at room temperature that is) or still warm from the oven, many Styrians have fond memories of this culinary delight which has always had a special place in our dessert-loving hearts.
Apple Strudel recipes have been handed down from generation to generation, from grandmothers to mothers to daughters. Hereabouts there is even a saying that goes: The best Apple Strudels are made by cooks who are in love. That is so, because only they will manage to stretch the dough to such a degree as to be able to read their love letters through the dough.
Fortunately there happens to be a grandmtoher on our editorial team and we’ve had the chance to watch her make a hand-pulled Apple Strudel. With our step-by-step tutorial including photos, you will also be able to make your own delicious Grandma’s Apple Strudel!
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For the dough recipe, combine flour and salt in a large mixing bowl, add lukewarm water and oil and knead into a flexible dough using an electric handmixer.
Knead for about 5 to 7 minutes, in order to get a smooth dough.
Once this is done, form the dough into a ball, place it into a bowl and lightly brush it with oil to avoid drying out.
Now the dough should rest for at least one hour, the longer the better! Our tip: The longer you let the dough rest, the easier it will be to pull and stretch it out later.
For the filling, peel and core the apples before cutting them into thin slices and keep in a bowl.
The breadcrumbs need to be sautéed in butter until golden brown. Be careful! Once they start browining, it is very easy to burn them.
How to pull out the Strudel dough
Cover a large rectangular worktop or table with a clean cloth and generously flour the cloth.
Cut your dough ball into half and start working with one part.
Place the dough in the centre of the cloth, flatten the dough ball with your hands, then roll it out with a rolling pin and finally stretch it over the back of your hand.
The last and most delicate part of pulling and stretching is done on the floured cloth. Now is the point, when we have to try to shape the dough into a roughly rectangular form, while at the same time avoiding to make holes in it.
Remember! The thinner you stretch out your dough, the lighter and flakier will your Strudel be.
When placing the filling on the dough, remember to leave a rim of approximately 5 to 10 cm around the edges. Start by spreading the golden brown, buttered breadcrumbs, followed by half of the apple filling. Let's not forget, there is a second dough ball for another Strudel!
Sprinkle with cinnamon, raisins and sugar if necessary – this will largely depend on the kind of apples you are using. Some old varieties might not be sweet enough.
Now brush the dough with oil or liquid butter, fold in the edges, roll the strudel with the help of the cloth and place it on a previously oiled baking sheet.
Using the cloth to transfer the Strudel onto the baking sheet
The floured cloth not only serves us well to pull out the dough and roll the Strudel, it is particularly helpful, to hoist the Strudel onto the baking sheet undamaged. For this step we need to fold the cloth under the rolled Strudel, making sure that the part with the breadcrumbs is on top.
By grabbing hold of the two ends of the cloth, we lift our masterpiece off the worktop and gently push it onto the baking sheet. Ideally, the breadcrumbs will come to lie beneath the apples again, which is where they are supposed to be as it is their job to absorb the apples juice during the baking process.
We'll do the same with the second half of the dough, drizzle some butter or oil onto the surface of our Strudel before baking them for 45 minutes at 200 ºC. After a short time the sweet smell of apples and cinnamon will waft through our house, creating a cosy feeling all around.
The best way to enjoy Apple Strudel is to eat it while it is still slightly warm from the oven!Our tip: If you want your Apple Strudel to have a shiny surface, you only need to brush it with a beaten egg before baking it.
Grandma’s Apple Strudel: Step-by-step tutorial with photos
1. Prepare the dough
2. Thinly slice the apples
3. Sautée breadcrumbs in butter until golden brown.
4. Flatten out the dough
5. Pull the dough over the back of your hand
6. Continue pulling and stretching into a rectangle on the cloth
7. Spread breadcrumbs on the dough
8. Follow with apples, raisins, cinnamon and sugar
9. Drizzle with oil and roll
10. Fold the cloth underneath the Strudel
11. Put the Strudel into the oven
12. Enjoy the Strudel while still warm
Before serving the Apple Strudel we recommend covering it with powdered sugar. You can also serve a little vanilla sauce with it. We hope you enjoy our recipes!
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