FOR THE DOUGH:
1/3 cup (80 grams) lukewarm water
1 tablespoon plus ½ teaspoon canola oil
¾ teaspoon white vinegar
1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (145 grams) all-purpose flour
FOR THE FILLING:
3 tablespoons (40 grams) unsalted butter
¾ cup (80 grams) fine bread crumbs
5 tablespoons (65 grams) granulated sugar
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 tablespoons (50 grams) raisins
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon orange zest
3½ cups (700 grams) sweet tart apples (such as McIntosh or Braeburn)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
3 tablespoons melted butter
Egg yolk for glazing.
Confectioners sugar and whipped cream for serving (optional)
MAKE THE DOUGH:
Mix lukewarm water, oil, vinegar, flour and salt in big bowl. Knead dough about 5–10 minutes. Dough should be moist but not sticky—an elastic dough. Let dough rest for 30–45 minutes while you make the filling.
MAKE THE FILLING:
Melt butter over medium heat, add bread crumbs, toast them until they are golden, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and let cool. Mix sugar and cinnamon together, then add mixture to the buttered bread crumbs and stir well. Set aside.
Soak raisins in rum and vanilla for about 10 minutes to soften. Peel the apples (or not); I do not. Quarter and core them. Chop quarters into 1/8–¼-inch slices and cover them with lemon juice to prevent apples from getting brown. Add the soaked raisins (discard water) and mix well. Stretch and fill the dough:
Roll out the dough with a rolling pin on a clean and lightly floured surface. Flour the surface every now and then while rolling. When the dough is 13–15 inches in diameter, pick it up and stretch it a little more with little tugs. Some people use the back of their knuckles. Stretch it. When dough gets thinner, put it down on a lightly floured tablecloth and straighten out the wrinkles on both the tablecloth and the dough. Gently stretch the dough paper thin from the inside to the outside, working your way around the sheet of dough. It should begin to look translucent. The sheet of dough should be stretched into a rectangular shape with a shorter edge fitting a baking sheet lengthwise.
Brush half the dough with melted butter. Spread bread crumb mixture on other half of the dough and pat down evenly. One side is brushed with butter now, the other side is covered with breadcrumbs. Save a 1–1½-inch edge around the dough. Spread the apple-raisin mixture over the bread crumbs.
Fold in the sides of the dough about 1 inch on each side. Then, using the tablecloth or whatever cloth you have chosen, roll the strudel, starting at the apple-topped end and continuing until it is all rolled up. Then gently roll the strudel onto the sheet of parchment paper with the seam side down.
Put the dough onto a baking sheet and brush it with the remaining melted butter or egg yolk.
BAKE THE STRUDEL:
Put the baking sheet in the middle of the preheated oven at 375° F and bake it for 30–35 minutes until it looks golden.
Let cool if you can wait that long. Bravo!
Pro tips: Measure by weight; bake in the middle rack of the oven to avoid over-browning; and double coat the top of the strudel with egg yolk for an even look. Serves 8.
Anina Marcus is just now starting to understand how to make good bread after five years of scraping dried flour out from under her fingernails. She currently has 30 subscribers to her “bread-of-the-month club” and has a waiting list for those interested in joining as soon as there is an opening.