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 opted to split the dough in half, making a smaller savory version and a sweet dessert version. I must not have split the fillings though, because my strudels, although very tasty, lacked a few flaky layers. I enjoyed stretching the dough tissue-thin, watching my hands work underneath it, knuckles pulling slowly and gently to resist tearing.
My savory strudel was loaded with Yukon Gold potatoes, crimini mushrooms, caramelized onions, and roasted garlic cloves. I seasoned the mixture simply with olive oil, salt, pepper, and oregano before roasting in a 400 degree oven for 30 minutes. This strudel tastes wonderful, and uses easily accessible, inexpensive ingredients. The presentation though, is fancy enough for special occasions.
My dessert strudel threw up all over itself. The translucent dough just couldn't hold in all of the sweet-tart strawberry rhubarb goodness, and out it flowed. I really should have poked the top a few times to allow the steam to escape. Oops. The finished strudel was nearly hollow, so it was served along side the oozed fruit compote and a dollop of sweetened whipped cream.
In the world of pastry, strudel is somewhat simple. There is no yeast involved, no lengthy proofing. The dough doesn't need multiple chillings, or to be turned a certain number of times. It's just a simple flour, salt, water, and oil mix that stretches beautifully and welcomes so many kinds of fillings. Don't be afraid to make homemade strudel. It's worth the effort!