Okay, so as promised, I tried the strudel recipe again....and again. And will likely try it again this week sometime.....it's really that easy to put together.
I don't have pictures to post, but if you happen to browse this blog, I wanted to give you a fair review of strudel-making for this challenge.
The first attempt below was made with AP flour, but I left out the butter and the bread crumbs. If you go to the sites of our hosts, you'll find the recipe (which I'll post tonight, because it's a bit rude not to, sorry 'bout that!). I assumed the butter and bread crumbs were part of the apple strudel recipe and therefore left it out since I made a different filling. That was a mistake. I think that's why the dough was a bit flavorless and not flaky at all. Although, I must say that when we let the strudel cool completely and tried it again, the dough improved. So my first impression was a premature one.
By suggestion from M, the second attempt was made with bread flour. That dough stretched like a dream....not a tear in sight. It was fun the first time, but the bread flour made the second attempt at stretching strudel really fun. This time, I left out the bread crumbs again, but spread the melted butter over the dough before adding the filling. I cut the stretched dough in half to make two smaller strudels. One was brie and apricot preserves, the other was cream cheese and apricot. This attempt was definitely flaky but more bread/cracker like. I wasn't impressed, but M was. Although he's a sucker for bread flour and it's merits. As always, it tasted yummy....I mean c'mon....brie - apricot. Yum!
Third attempt....yep, again. This time I went for savory. Because these hips just can't take more brie right now. ;-) Back to AP flour and I kneaded the dough a bit longer hoping that would help develop more gluten and therefore lessen the tears and allow the dough to be stretched further. I think I had more tears this time than the first. This dough seemed wetter though and indeed, I added more flour as it was kneading in the KA. And I added flour to the counter as I hand-kneaded.....for much more than two minutes. I think I could've added even more and it would've been fine. The filling was empanada filling. Although I made my own....the kind I grew up with....I have to give a nod to Jen over at Use Real Butter for the idea. It's the strudel she made for the challenge. Have I ever mentioned how much I LOVE her site. Love it.
Okay, so onto the review of the third attempt. I'm getting close to cracking the code of strudel. Well, I'm at least getting some good practice in at making strudel and developing a recipe or technique to get the results that I want. So, this time it was very flaky and thin and strudel-y. Not only did I spread the melted butter over the bottom of the dough, but I added the toasted bread crumbs. AND, I buttered everything in sight. Meaning....I rolled the strudel over and buttered, rolled again, and buttered, and again....until it was all rolled up and every inch, inside and out had melted butter.
I think AP flour is the better choice. But M wants me to try bread flour again with the butter onslaught and see how that comes out. I'm game. I'm also going to try playing with the amount of flour in the AP version and kneading times. I'm on a mission. And since you can fill this with absolutely anything, it doesn't have to get expensive to keep trying this over and over.
Okay, I must actually work today. So, I will post recipes and maybe a picture of the savory strudel tonight. Happy Baking!