Austrian Apple Strudel Vienna-style

Serving amount: 16 portions
Preparation time: about 1 hour
Leavening time: about 2 hour
Baking time: 30-40 minutes

The apple strudel, or Apfelstrudel in German, is probably the most tasty cake an apple could dream of becoming one day. This marvelous pastry is a story that came to life around the 17th century, when the Ottoman Börek fell in love with an Austrian apple. Since then the Strudel of Vienna has traveled the world and astonished people and nations with some virtuous appearances, sometimes flirting with other fillings and doughs but always loyal to its beloved apple.

Growing up in Israel we ate many apple strudels, which were all vegan for the religious reason that the practicing Jews mustn’t ever eat dairy products at the same meal with meat. This cake is so intrinsically assimilated in the east-European Jewish culture that in the Hebrew language the address keyboard sign @ is named “strudel”.

We decided to unveil our own version of the Apfelstrudel with wholemeal flour and our childhood flavors and textures. The wholemeal flour that we recommend in our recipe will not stretch as much as plain white flour, but we prefer to compromise on the “readthrough” or “paper thin” thickness that the traditional recipe requires for a tastier and healthier cake.

Ingredients

Leavening dough

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Filling

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Before baking

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Decoration

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Preparation

  1. Pour all the ingredients of the leavening dough into a large mixing bowl in the order indicated above, in order to give the yeast the optimal activation conditions, and wait for 5 minutes while the yeast wakes up. Note that the yeast in the dough and raisins in the filling are Jewish variation of the traditional recipe, and it is disapproved by Viennese bakers.
  2. Mix and knead the dough intensively for about 5-10 minutes until achieving a soft dough that separates easily from the bowl without leaving separate sticky pieces.
  3. Cover the dough with a matching lid or a plastic bag and let it rest for about 1 hour at room temperature.
  4. In the meantime prepare the filling. Put the apple chunks in a wide cooking pan and cook them on strong stove heat while steering and scraping the bottom of the pan for about 30 minutes, until the apples get softer to chew and smell great.
  5. Add the walnuts, cane sugar (or the raisins instead) and spices to the pan and keep cooking while steering for about 3-5 more minutes to melt the sugar and bring all of the flavors together. Turn off the stove and put the pan to cool down outside of the window.
  6. Prepare on the side a baking tray covered with a sheet of baking paper.
  7. To rollout the strudel dough we strongly recommend to work on a large clean table or countertop of at least 150 cm in length.
    Dust with flour the working surface and lay the dough over it.
    Roll out the dough to a large and the thinnest possible rectangle, about 1 mm in thickness. Start rolling from the center outwards. Use your palms to gently lift and stretch the dough as much as possible without ripping it.
  8. Gently cover the thin leaf of dough with oil using your hand or a soft brush. Sprinkle cane sugar and cinnamon allover the leaf of dough.
    If you have only a small working surface you can rollout the dough in parts and then lay them on top each other with oil, cane sugar and cinnamon between each layer.
  9. Spread the cooled filling along the short edge of the dough leaf.
  1. Roll the dough from the filling side and up to the opposite edge. Cover the closed strudel roll with some more oil and pass it onto the baking tray, lying over its fold to prevent it from opening when baked. You can bend the roll to fit it into the baking tray.
  1. Cover the rolled strudel with a large plastic bag or a towel and let it rise for about an hour at room temperature.
  2. Warm up the oven to 180°C-190°C (top and bottom convection heat) or a bit higher temperature if it’s a weak oven.
  3. Bake the strudel for about 30-40 minutes until a golden-brown crust has formed.
  1. Just before serving powder the slice of strudel with cane sugar powder.
Luckily we managed to take a photo of the last slice of strudel before it was all gone…

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