As good as it gets Strudel


Viennese Poppy Seed Strudel

This is by far the best strudel dough and poppy seed strudel recipe I've come across. Actually, I think this is as good as it can get outside of the professional circles and their secrets of the trade.
The dough was not stretching, but flowing in the direction of my hands and then when baked, it held it's shape perfectly and produced a beautifully crispy and flaky home for the moist, yet not runny filling. Heaven!  I knew that it was going to be a good recipe, like many more of  Nick Malgieri's I'd tried already. With this one however, as a great fan of strudels and anything made with poppy seeds, I was seriously impressed! Then, whilst preparing to write this post, I went back to read the instructions and found out that he had adapted the recipe used at Demel, Vienna's most famous pastry shop. No wonder I liked it so much.

Viennese Poppy Seed Strudel
by Nick Malgieri

Strudel Dough:

200g bread flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp oil or melted butter
1 medium egg 
warm water

1 Stir the flour and salt together 
2 Beat the oil and egg together and add enough water to make 150 ml
3 Mix the liquid into the flour
4 Mix the dough ( using the dough hook if possible) until the dough is elastic and smooth
5 Scrape the dough onto a floured work surface knead a bit more then coat a small bowl with a thin layer of oil and invert the dough into it;turn it over so the top is also oiled, cover and let rest for 1 hour.
 Whole the dough is resting make a filling;

Poppy Seed Filling:

120 ml milk
60 g unsalted butter
1 tbsp honey
pinch of cinnamon
1 tsp grated lemon zest
180 ground poppy seeds
60 g dry breadcrumbs
1 medium egg yolk
60 ml orange juice 
35 g raisins ( I didn't use them)
splash of rum
2 medium egg whites
60 gr sugar

60 g melted butter
icing sugar for dusting
Rehrucken tin for baking ( or 30 cm loaf tin)

1 Bring the milk, butter and honey to the boil in a small pan and remove from the heat. stir in the cinnamon, lemon zest, ground poppy seeds and breadcrumbs mix and let cool.
2 Once the mixture has cooled, stir in the egg yolk, orange juice and rum
3 Whisk the egg whites in a stand mixer on a medium -high speed using the whisk attachment, and when it begins to hold their shape add the sugar, bit by bit, continue whisking until the egg whites hold a soft peak
4 Fold the egg whites into the filling and set aside.
5 Preheat the oven to 190C/ gas 5 and butter the tin

Stretching the dough:

1 Cover the table with the cloth and dust flour all over it
2 Take the rested strudel dough out of the bowl without folding it over on itself and set in the centre of the table. Use the palms of your hands to flatten the dough.
3 Dust a little flour on the dough and roll it in all directions. Make it as thin as you can.
4 Brush the top of the dough with oil then begin to stretch it - place both hands under the centre of the dough, make fists and stretch from the centre outward over the backs of your hands.It will lighten in colour and become thinner 
5 Again place your fists under the dough, this time work them hand over hand to strech the outer thicker part of the dough, going all around the piece of dough
6 continue stretching from all directions, pulling on the thick ends of the dough until the dough is slightly bigger  60 cm x 75 cm, secure the corners over the corners of the table if you can.
7 Let it dry for 10 minutes, use the scissors to to trim away the thick edges, you should have a 60 x 75 rectangle


Putting it together:

1 Spread the filling on a 25 x 30 cm rectangle with the 25 cm side centred about 7 cm in from the edge of the 60 cm side.
2 Use a brush to drizzle the melted butter over the unfilled portions of the dough
3 begin rolling the strudel - fold 7 cm of dough over the filling, then fold the unfilled dough in from each side. Lift the cloth and roll the strudel, end with the edge of the dough on the bottom of the strudel
4 Fold back the excess cloth so that the strudel is right side up at the cloth's edge, then invert it into the tin seam side up, brush the top with butter and snip vent holes with scissors.
5 Reduce the temperature to 180C/ /gas 4 and bake for 30 minutes  until light golden in colour, lower the temperature to 160C/gas 3 and bake for another 15 - 20 minutes.
6 Unmould to a rack to cool, then dust with icing sugar.

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