Monday, February 1, 2010

Apple Strudel Bread - HB in 5

A lot of Sydney cafe chalkboards pushed a breakfast combo of sultana toast and coffee for a walloping $6.50. At present, the Aussie dollar is worth about $0.93 to the American dollar. I hope there's more than just sultanas (nothing but raisins to us Westerners) in that toast! Yes, Sydney was outta hand expensive, but more on that later.

This installment of the HB in 5 Bread Braid included recipes for Soft Honey Whole Wheat Bread, Hamburger Buns, and an apropos Apple Strudel Bread that included sultanas. I mean raisins. The base dough for these recipes is enriched with whole eggs, similar to challah and brioche. The fat from the eggs produces a super tender, fine crumb and a soft, smooth crust. To make the Apple Strudel loaf, the dough went through and initial rise, was rolled into a thin rectangle and covered with chopped apples and sultanas (sorry, raisins) and a bit of cinnamon. It's rolled into a thick log and rested again before egg washing, sprinkling with a little cinnamon sugar, and baking.

This loaf looked straight up perfect straight out of the pan. It had great shape and was perfectly browned on all sides. When I cut into it, I wasn't surprised to find that there were gaps of air between the bread and apple and sultanas raisins, a problem that's also common when making pie with raw apples. As the fruit cooks, it releases it's liquids and shrinks and creates steam and the whole thing is a mess because the apples aren't holding up their end of the bargain. Next time, the apples and sultanas are getting cooked beforehand. The apples and raisins are getting cooked. Maybe with a splash of Calvados.

Even if it didn't look perfect, the bread tasted great. It's much less sweet than commercial brands I'm familiar with, and the cinnamon is faint. The tart apples and plump sultanas (Didja know sultanas are just raisins, mate?) add moisture and texture to the bread. It's perfect for brekkie or afternoon tea.

The HBin5 Challenge is hosted by Michelle at Big Black Dog. Michelle will be sharing the links to all the other participants in this week's challenge on February 1st.

20 comments:

Michelle said...

WOW...$6.50 for coffee and a sweet bread! That is ridiculous!

Love your Apple Bread which baked up so perfectly!

SavoringTime in the Kitchen said...

Ouch! That is expensive for a piece of raisin toast and coffee. I'll bet your strudel bread tasted a lot better too! Mine had that little gap on the top near the crust too but it tasted great. I used dried cherries instead of raisins.

petra said...

ouch, steep price. your comment about the cooked apple made me think of all the pie filling i have in my pantry. now why did i not think of that and use that filling for my bread. wonder what that would have tasted like. I think I will give that a try as well but with the brioche dough.

Bonnie said...

Wow, big price for toast.

I had similar problems with the fruit. I'm cooking mine next time as well.

Joanne said...

Good to know about the fruit. I will be cooking mine next time as well!

Looks delicious.

Heather B said...

$6.50 for coffee and bread...crazy! Your bread looks delicious! Great job!

Cristie said...

Thanks for the proper way to ask for a raisin the the land down under- I've heard you have to pay more for a lot of things, like gasoline, a hamburger to name a few. So happy you can make your own tasty bread!

Kim said...

Great tip about how the steam from the raw apples causes the air pockets. That seems to have been the case for many strudel makers. It sure does look pretty though!

Cathy (breadexperience) said...

Your strudel looks delicious even with the gap!

Aparna said...

To me, your strudel loaf looks just great!

Audax said...

I don't mind gaps in bread more places for the butter etc to run through on to my fingers LOL LOL. $6.50 WOW I live in Sydney and it costs only $3.30 at my local cafe, and remember in Australia cafe coffee is always made from good coffee beans in an Expresso machine so is always about $2-$4 per cup. I remember when I lived in the States I could buy 50c cups of coffee and they really where worth 50c! About sultanas and raisins I always thought that sultanas where semi-dried and raisins where totally dried they do have slightly different uses in Australia.

Elwood said...

I thought your apple bread looked great. Much better than mine.

Judy's Bakery & Test Kitchen said...

Everything looks wonderful! I just love your commentary.

I ended up checking my strudel bread with a thermometer. It wasn't the right temperature when the top was firm, but it was brown. So I covered the top with foil and kept baking it. No wet spots! :)

I like the "gaps" and swirl in yours.

bake in paris said...

Strudel bread looks simply delicious. Have experienced the shrinking apples..... yes, precooking apples would be the way out.

Sawadee from Bangkok,
Kris

Jenny said...

Bread looks great!
My DH is from England and will refer to sultanas, but he didn't have any explanation for the difference from raisins. I've seen recipes that call for both, though. I even googled it and came up with a Wiki answer that made it as clear as mud. I guess they are very close relatives.
~Jenny~

Danielle said...

look how perfect your spiral is! and the crust looks so yummy!

child brain injury said...

It's nice to eat when breakfast :)

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