Strudel is one of those treats that everyone loves. If I met someone who was anti-strudel I'd back away if I were you. Strudel has origins in Austria and Hungary dating back to the late seventeenth century. Traditional Austrian strudel is not made with phyllo dough or puff pastry but with a thin dough with a high gluten content that gives it elasticity. Traditionally, strudel can be filled with cherries, apples, spinach, saurerkraut or cheese. This Vegan Apple Strudel recipe features apples picked fresh from an apple orchard in Pennsylvania and is enhanced with rum, raisins, cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice.
Vegan Apple Strudel Recipe
For the strudel dough1 1/3 cups bread flour
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup water
1 Tablespoon canola oil
½ teaspoon apple cider vinegar
For the strudel filling3 Tablespoons rum
3 tablespoons raisins
2 pounds apples that are best for baking, such as granny smith or braeburn, peeled, cored and sliced to 1/8 inch thick.
1/3 cup + 1 Tablespoon sugar
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
¼ teaspoon allspice
1 ½ cups fresh bread crumbs
3 Tablespoons (40 grams) Regular Vegan Butter or non-hydrogenated stick margarine, melted
about 1/3 cup Regular Vegan Butter or non-hydrogenated stick margarine, melted (for brushing)
½ cup coarsely chopped walnuts
1) Prepare the strudel doughMake the strudel dough by combining the bread flour and salt in a medium mixing bowl. It's crucial that you use bread dough because it has a higher amount of gluten which will allow the dough to be stretched out paper thin. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the water, canola oil and apple cider vinegar. Now mix this mixture into the flour and salt, using a spoon until just incorporated.
2) Knead and allow the dough to riseTransfer the mixture onto a clean lightly floured surface and knead it for 5 minutes. Lightly coat it with canola oil, place it back in the bowl, cover it with a plastic bag and let it rise for 1 ½ hours.
3) Soak the raisins in rumWhile the dough is rising, prepare your filling by placing the raisins and the rum into a small bowl and microwaving it for about 15 seconds. This will allow the raisins to soak up as much of the rum as possible. Set aside.
4) Prepare the strudel fillingPeel and slice your apples then weigh them to 2 pounds. Place them into a large mixing bowl and stir in the sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and the rum and raisins until well incorporated.
5) Prepare the breadcrumbsTo make fresh breadcrumbs, process bread in a food processor until it has the consistency of rough sand. On a large skillet, heat the 3 Tablespoons of Vegan Butter until hot then add the breadcrumbs and saute until golden, about 3 minutes.
6) Roll and stretch out the strudel doughPreheat your oven to 400F (204C). Now we're ready to roll out our strudel dough. Remove any jewelry you have on your hands. Place your dough ball on a tablecloth or something similar that's at least 2 x 3 feet. This is crucial because later we're going to use it to roll up the strudel. Due to the thickness of the dough, it's not possible to roll it up without something underneath it. Roll out your dough as much as you can with a rolling pin. Now pick up the dough and placing it on the back of your hand, carefully stretch it. You'll want to support the dough on the back of your hand in different areas of the dough as you stretch it out slowly and consistently.
Once you feel that you can no longer safely stretch out the dough this way due to the risk of tearing it, transfer it to the tablecloth and gently lift up the dough and stretch it into place. Since we used bread flour, this dough will stretch to remarkable limits. As a rule of thumb, you should be able to stretch the dough enough to where it's transparent enough to read a newspaper through it. If you tear the dough and make a small hole, don't worry. It's going to get wrapped up anyway.