The Daring Bakers Make Strudel

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Andrea's Recipes - The Daring Bakers Make Strudel - Kaffeehaus: Exquisite Desserts from the Classic Cafés of Vienna, Budapest and Prague, by Rick RodgersThe 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 felt a lot of excitement for this challenge because I adore puff pastry and have wanted to try making my own for some time, and of course anything with apples, spices, and rum-soaked raisins just has to be good, right? And besides, this gave me a chance to play around with my long-forgotten high school German and prepare for my trip to Germany in a few weeks!

Though I didn’t get the dough perfect this first time, I was pleased with how the strudel turned out overall. The pastry was thin and flaky, though not as thin as it probably could have been if I had more experience, but I learned a lot and that’s what these challenges are all about. The dough cracked a bit when rolled and moved to the baking pan, but it held together when baked.

Andrea's Recipes - The Daring Bakers Make Strudel

We really liked the flavor of the rum-soaked raisins and spiced apples. Next time I will divide the dough and make two smaller strudels with different fillings, perhaps cherries or a savory strudel with spinach.

Tips for Success

I am by no means a strudel expert, but here are a few tips I picked up from fellow Daring Bakers as well as some things I learned along the way.

  • You may want to make a second batch of dough to keep on hand in case you have problems with the first batch. And if everything turns out perfect you can always make another.
  • Give yourself plenty of room to work when stretching the dough, perhaps on a table. Make sure you can walk all the way around it.
  • Use a large tablecloth or an old cut sheet to cover the surface. Just make sure it is larger than 2 feet (60 cm) by 3 feet (90 cm). My cloth had a hem all around it, and next time I would make sure it didn’t have a hem because it got in the way when I was rolling and stretching.
  • Rub a lot of flour into cloth because the dough will stick if there isn’t enough flour. When you rub your hand on the surface of the cloth, you should feel the flour, not the cloth texture.
  • Work quickly. My dough started to dry out a bit as I worked and it cracked when I rolled up the filled strudel.

Many thanks to Linda and Courtney for hosting this month and choosing a fun and delicious challenge for all of us. To see more strudels, visit The Daring Kitchen Blogroll and the Daring Bakers Gallery at Foodgawker.


Adapted from Kaffeehaus: Exquisite Desserts from the Classic Cafés of Vienna, Budapest and Prague, by Rick Rodgers.

Makes 1 large strudel, serves 6 to 8.

Preparation Time

Total: 2 hours 15 minutes – 3 hours 30 minutes
15-20 min to make dough
30-90 min to let dough rest/to prepare the filling
20-30 min to roll out and stretch dough
10 min to fill and roll dough
30 min to bake
30 min to cool

Daring Kitchen logo - The Vanilla FairyEquipment

small bowl
large skillet
food processor (for bread crumbs)
stand mixer with paddle and hook attachments
baking sheet, lined with parchment paper or silicone baking mat
table or large counter space
tablecloth or large cotton cloth or sheet, smooth weave


2 tablespoons (30 ml) golden rum (I used Captain Morgan Spiced Rum.)
3 tablespoons (45 ml) raisins
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon (80 g) sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick / 115 g) unsalted butter, melted, divided
1 1/2 cups (350 ml) fresh bread crumbs
1/2 cup (120 ml, about 60 g) coarsely chopped walnuts
2 pounds (900 g) tart cooking apples, peeled, cored and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices (Use apples that hold their shape during baking. I used Granny Smith.)

1-1/3 cups (200 g) unbleached all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
7 tablespoons (105 ml) water, plus more if needed
2 tablespoons (30 ml) vegetable oil, plus more for coating the dough
1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar


1. DOUGH: Combine the flour and salt in a stand-mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix the water, oil and vinegar in a measuring cup. Add the water/oil mixture to the flour with the mixer on low speed. You will get a soft dough. Make sure it is not too dry, add a little more water if necessary. Change to the dough hook. Let the dough knead on medium until you get a soft dough ball with a somewhat rough surface.

2. Take the dough out of the mixer and continue kneading by hand on an unfloured work surface. Knead for about 2 minutes. Pick up the dough and throw it down hard onto your working surface occasionally.
Shape the dough into a ball and transfer it to a plate. Oil the top of the dough ball lightly. Cover the ball tightly with plastic wrap. Allow to stand for 30-90 minutes (longer is better).

Andrea's Recipes - Strudel dough

3. FILLING: While the dough rests, mix the rum and raisins in a bowl. Mix the cinnamon and sugar in another bowl.

4. Heat 3 tablespoons of the butter in a large skillet over medium-high. Add the breadcrumbs and cook whilst stirring until golden and toasted. This will take about 3 minutes. Let it cool completely.

5. SHAPE: It will be best if you have a work area that you can walk around on all sides like a 36 inch (90 cm) round table or a work surface of 23 x 38 inches (60 x 100 cm). Cover your work area with a table cloth, dust it with flour and rub it into the fabric. Put your dough ball in the middle and roll it out as much as you can.

6. Pick the dough up by holding it by an edge. This way the weight of the dough and gravity can help stretching it as it hangs. Using the back of your hands to gently stretch and pull the dough. You can use your forearms to support it.

7. The dough will become too large to hold. Leave the thicker edge of the dough to hang over the edge of the table. Place your hands underneath the dough and stretch and pull the dough thinner using the backs of your hands. Stretch and pull the dough until it’s about 2 feet (60 cm) wide and 3 feet (90 cm) long, it will be tissue-thin by this time. Cut away the thick dough around the edges with scissors. The dough is now ready to be filled.

Andrea's Recipes - Strudel dough, rolled out

8. Put the rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat the oven to 400° F/200° C. Line a large baking sheet with baking paper (parchment paper).

9. FILL:Spread about 3 tablespoons of the remaining melted butter over the dough using your hands (A bristle brush could tear the dough, you could use a special feather pastry brush instead of your hands).

10. Sprinkle the buttered dough with the bread crumbs. Spread the walnuts about 3 inches (8 cm) from the short edge of the dough in a 6-inch-(15cm)-wide strip. Mix the apples with the raisins (including the rum), and the cinnamon sugar. Spread the mixture over the walnuts.

11. ROLL: Fold the short end of the dough onto the filling. Lift the tablecloth at the short end of the dough so that the strudel rolls onto itself. Transfer the strudel to the prepared baking sheet by lifting it. Curve it into a horseshoe to fit. Tuck the ends under the strudel. Brush the top with the remaining melted butter.

12. BAKE: Bake the strudel for about 30 minutes or until it is deep golden brown. Cool for at least 30 minutes before slicing. Use a serrated knife and serve either warm or at room temperature. It is best on the day it is baked.

Previous Daring Bakers Challenges

You can see all of my previous Daring Bakers Challenges in the the Daring Challenges tag list.

[Disclosure: This blog earns a small commission through affiliate links.]


  1. says

    i love the kaffeehaus book – it’s got such a wonderful collection of all that I grew up with! i am glad you had such a good experience with making strudel, it’s not the easiest thing. my mum always used one particular piece of cotton sheet to make her strudels, the secret being that the cloth has to be tightly woven and very smooth – an old bedsheet is perfect for that!

  2. says

    I vaguely remember that you mentioned going to Germany a while back — HOW COOL! You must be so excited! I agree with you on this challenge. It was quite tasty, and I loved learning about this dough. Mine never quite made a perfect ball like yours, though. Still can’t figure that one out. Your stretched dough looks perfect and the strudel nice and flaky. Lovely work!

    kellypeas last blog post..Strudel Two Ways: Sweet and Savory

  3. says

    Nothing beats rum soaked apples! In Germany you will get to try lots I’m sure. Great job and happy that you had fun with this.

    Courtneys last blog post..Daring Bakers Make Strudel… Apple Strudel and Caramelized Onion /Apricot Strudel

  4. says

    Well done indeed Andrea. It’s gorgeous. I love how well the dough rolled out!

    deebas last blog post..GETTING STONED ON STRUDEL…DARING BAKERS MAY ’09

  5. says

    Oh, who doesn’t love some rum-soaked *anything*? :) Your strudel turned out great. I really like how lovely your dough is when stretched out. I thought this was pretty fun (albeit daunting at first). Awesome job!

    Jen Yus last blog post..daring bakers: strudel

  6. says

    I love the pic with the table and the dough spread out. Looks so professional! This makes me want to join DB!

    Oh, I loved the lemon-thyme sorbet and have bookmarked it!

  7. says

    your dough came out so lovely and flaky, i’m so jealous!
    you are so right that anything with apples, spices and rum-soaked raisins is good.
    have a wonderful and safe time in Germany.

    Lans last blog post..Lạp Xưởng Pasta

  8. linda says

    Your strudel looks wonderful, glad you liked the challenge!
    Soon you can compare it to real German strudels 😉

  9. says

    Yum! I am wishing I soaked my cranberries in some form of liquor! 😉 You asked about my circle not breaking…my down didn’t dry out and was quite elastic while working with it. I am not sure what the diffence was. hmmm.. Nonetheless, yours look fantastic!

    Chriss last blog post..Peas with Prosciutto & Mint

  10. Kim da Cook says

    I remember making this in school part of Home Economics and I just loved it, the only thing that I did not enjoy was getting the pastry that thin with out tearing it. Going to have to try making this again make a stunning desert. :)


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