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Authentic Streudel at home?

Has anyone actually ever made streudel at home--the whole "stretch the dough as big as your dining table on a clean, floured tablecloth, so thin you can read the newspaper through it?"

It's another one of those baking projects I've had on my to-do list for 20 years and not gotten to. I am proficient and confident with most any type of dough, but I just have a hard time thinking I'll get this dough stretched like when I've seen it done on TV and that the results will be as worthwhile as, say, homemade croissants or danish.

What say you?

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  1. Yes I've done it, not more than two or three times, last time probably 25 years ago. The hard work was making the strudel pastry, 15 or was it 30 minutes working the dough by hand. In comparison the stretching out was easy if still time consuming. Was it worthwhile? Yes, absolutely, for the experience, and the results were delish, better than I've ever been able to buy even in Austria. And not so wonderful that I've felt the need to make it since!

    1. If you are like me and have sort of a bucket list of things to make and check off you should make this. It is worth it at least once. I would love to make it again but have since been diagnosed with celiac disease so alas cannot. :(

      1. I've done it a few times. I recommend Rose Levy Beranbaum's streudel recipe. The streudel dough is easy to make and it really does have a lovely, silky feel to it while you're kneading it. If you follow her directions it's really shockingly easy to do.

        1. I've wondered this. Can I also add--how many times does it take for you to be proficient at it, before results are at least tasty? If it's like croissants which take several times at least (the first results are tough), is it worth the time investment?

          1 Reply
          1. re: chowser

            For me personally, it took two tries to get the strudel to look right. I rolled it up pretty messily the first time. Looks aside, it tasted great.

          2. been 30 years since my sister and I made it. It turned out wonderfully on our first effort. I think it was easier with 2 people on either side of the huge table. Patching holes that appeared was easy and didn't affect the end result which was delicious, can remember it to this day!

            1. There are recipes on Youtube and online.

              I would classify strudel as an easy recipe, almost as easy as apple pie.
              It is amazing how thin the dough stretches.

              2 Replies
              1. re: dave_c

                Whether making strudel is as easy as pie might depend on your strudel standard. ;-)

                How to cook the perfect apple strudel article from the Guardian:

                http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyl...

                1. re: prima

                  That's for the recipe link.

                  "Easy" is to encourage Splatgirl to just go for it!

                  The dough is easy to make, surprisingly easy. You don't need to worry about butter melting as with laminated doughs (croissants and danish) or too much gluten development as with pie crust.

                  Even if the dough is off, the end result still should be tasty.

              2. I come from a long line of Hungarian Jewish women, and making strudel was taught to me at an early age. When my grandma showed me how to do it, she stressed over and over NOT to use your fingertips, but curl your fingers under and use the knuckles of your hand to stretch the dough. Much less likely for dough to tear this way.

                We had a special tablecloth for making the strudel, and we didn't do it when it rained (too humid). One of my treats this past summer when we visited Hungary was going into a couple of strudel shops and asking politely if I could observe. In 3 of the 4 places we went to, turns out Grandma was right.

                Good luck to you and report back or ask questions.

                1. Thank you all! This is very encouraging. One of these deep, dark winter days I'm going to go for it.