Strudels for Dummies

I don’t usually post recipes, but since there was so much interest in yesterday’s post about my baking powder dilemma and so many people desperately searching for this recipe, so here goes.

Now, I’m not calling you a dummy, but I certainly was when I first tried to make it. My mom didn’t really use recipes and mostly said things like, “You add water until the dough is right.” Right? What does that mean? It made sense to her, but not to me. So I decided to put together a recipe that spelled out every detail.

This recipe evolved over time, starting with shadowing my mom. But I could never get the dough stretching down until I got some lessons from my dad’s cousin Marie and she showed me an easier “beginner” method (holding the dough by the edge and letting gravity work for me rather than flipping it around on the backs of my hands like mom did). Once I found Aunt Idella’s recipe (that called for resting the dough), I made my first successful batch.

German strudelsStrudels for Dummies

(Start process about 4 hours before serving time.)

With strudels as your main course for heavy-duty strudel-eaters, I usually estimate about 1 cup of flour per person. So this recipe serves about 3. If you’re having other dishes, or you’re more “average” strudel consumers, you would adjust accordingly.


  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 2/3 cups warm water (I usually end up adding a little more water to make the dough the right consistency)
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • Oil
  • Potatoes, cut into large chunks.
  • Chopped onions (to cook with the potatoes)
  • Gravy (however you choose to make it – package or from scratch)

1) Mix eggs, water, salt. Add flour & baking powder to make soft dough. (Be careful that it really is a soft dough, too much flour makes the strudels tough. If it’s annoyingly sticky, it’s about right.)

2) Let the dough rest 1 ½ – 2 hours (longer is better).

3) Divide the dough into 3 parts.

4) Let dough rest about 30 minutes.

5) Roll out each ball of dough. Pour small amount of oil (don’t use melted butter) in the center of piece of dough. Fold edges into middle to cover the entire top of the dough with oil, but let it lie flat. (Basically, you just want to let the oil help soften up the dough for stretching.)

6) Let dough rest about 15-20 minutes. At this point, start cooking the potatoes and onions slowly so the water will be simmering by the time you’re ready to put the strudels in the pot. (Some people also cook their meat in this pot and if so, you’ll want to start it sooner. I usually do my meat separately to simplify the timing of it all.)

7) Stretch dough until paper thin, either on the backs of your hands flipping it like pizza dough, or just by holding the edge and letting gravity stretch it. The oil makes it stretch pretty easily, sometimes too easily! When it gets hard to handle, I lay it down on a large cotton dish towel and stretch the edges out a bit more. It’s not the end of the world if it tears some…main thing is to get it stretched thin everywhere, even the edges.

8) Start rolling one edge of the dough, then pull the dish cloth up to let the dough “automatically” roll up.

9) Cut into approximately 2” lengths. Lay strudels on the top of the potatoes; the water should already be boiling. Try not to let strudels lie on top of each other and keep them from being completely submerged in the water. The potatoes should act as a “platform” for the strudels to lie on and steam. Cover and cook ½ hour without taking the cover off.

10) Serve with gravy and any meat dish you might choose to add.

Voila! A scrumptious Black Sea German treat!


  1. Marily Seidel Hinkle on November 17, 2015 at 9:48 pm

    My grandmother made her strudels with just flour, salt and warm water and spead bacon gearse or lard on the dough to soften it. She spread raisens along the edge and then rolled them up and cut them. Finally after many years I have finally been able to make them very good!! It takes alot of practice and like you my grandmother never measered anything , i love making them with ham and my family loves them. I hope my girle carry on the recipes from my grandmother. Soany great recipes from a few easy ingredients!

  2. Marilyn Speidel Hinkle on November 17, 2015 at 9:51 pm

    Sorry I left some letters out of my name I need to check before I send

  3. Kathie on November 18, 2015 at 1:57 am

    Thank you from the bottom of my heart for this recipe!

  4. Suzanne Heinitz-Dodge on November 20, 2015 at 7:28 am

    Thank you so much for the recipe. I can’t wait to make them!

  5. Kathryn Slama on January 18, 2016 at 4:43 pm

    Do you now what nepfla (sp?) is? My aunt made it. It is German/Russian. She served it with pork chops and sour kraut. It was wonderful, but I haven’t had it for 45 years. It might have been strudel. I am going to try that. It sounds delicious.

  6. Carolyn on January 18, 2016 at 5:13 pm

    Hi Kathryn – my mom made both strudels and knepfla. Knepfla is more like tiny chunks of dumplings, similar to spaetzle. Mmm…yum…just thinking about it has made me hungry. We always ate it with sauerkraut, too.

  7. Connie on June 19, 2016 at 6:49 am

    We have a similar recipe from by mom. The strudel dough was only flour/water and salt. Again rolled out extraordinarily thin ad then “bunched” up. These were then cut into pieces about 4 inches in length and placed on top of a pot with pork on the bottom then potatoes gravy and the strudel placed on top to steam. Always served with baby dill pickles. thanks for posting. I would like to see the traditions continue.

  8. Debra carvey on August 11, 2018 at 5:13 pm

    I make this with ham and potatoes on the bottom amd my aunt allways seved butter and bread and butter pickles with it I love it

  9. Carolyn on August 12, 2018 at 7:54 pm

    @Debra – I always cook them with potatoes, but I don’t think I’ve ever cooked meet with them. My mom always cooked chicken separately. But when I cook strudels, I don’t usually need anything other than strudels. 🙂 I eat a lot of them!Caro

  10. Strudla (German) on September 16, 2018 at 9:13 pm

    […] Image credit: Carolyn Schott, Author […]

  11. Doreen on January 4, 2019 at 7:49 pm

    What were the portions of flour, salt, and water?

  12. Carolyn Schott on January 4, 2019 at 10:53 pm

    @Doreen – the full recipe is above in the blog post.

  13. Tammy on January 13, 2019 at 11:58 am

    My grandmother taught us to have roast, potatoes, carrots in a stew, drop in the strudels the last hour to bake. They were always a treat growing up, I try to keep the tradition going.

  14. Carolyn Schott on January 13, 2019 at 4:52 pm

    @Tammy – a GREAT tradition to keep going!

  15. Lina Preszler on February 23, 2019 at 9:39 pm

    My grandma made the most amazing strudels. I was too young to think of getting her recipe but I actually don’t remember her using measuring cups. She stretched the dough very thin and sometimes I helped but she said don’t make holes in the dough. Sometimes she put small diced potatoes on the dough before she rolled them to slice. She had a wonderful old pan heavy and maybe from Russia. It fried the strudels golden on the bottom.
    I will try this recipe but I’m surely missing grandma’s strudels.

  16. Carolyn on February 24, 2019 at 9:51 am

    @Lisa – my mom and aunts never measured anything either. My mom’s first strudel advice to me was “Mix the dough until it’s right.”


    I needed a more methodical approach.

    This recipe doesn’t brown the strudels (although a cousin makes them more like that), so probably won’t be exactly as you remember your grandmother’s. But start here and experiment!

  17. Lisa Hopp on December 11, 2019 at 1:19 am

    My grandmother piled her flour right on the counter and added eggs to that. I can’t remember if any salt or water were added. She would roll it out thin and then spread bacon grease all over the top before stretching the dough from underneath. She said her mother could make a circle the size of her kitchen table, (more than 3 feet across!) Grandma always cut them about 1 1/2″ wide and then cooked her strudel on top of a pork roast with potatoes, carrots, and onion, so they soaked up the meat juices on the bottom but were browned on the top. Then, we were allowed to unroll them to eat them with butter and her homegrown strawberry jam. Her family came from Kulm, Bessarabia. Thank you for sharing this–it’s hard to find anything about strudel that’s not the pastry!

  18. Carolyn Schott on December 12, 2019 at 5:35 pm

    @Lisa – I think I’ve heard of people mixing the dough that way (eggs and flour on the counter), but I guarantee if I tried it, I’d create a huge mess! 🙂

  19. Gayla Matthes on December 20, 2019 at 9:07 pm

    Wow, my German Grandmother was from Bessarabia too and I remember when she made these when I was a kid and that was probably 50 years ago. I just happened to think about googling German Strudels and found this. I remember her getting the dough really thin and then rolling them up and cutting them. I think she steamed them on top of chicken and potatoes. All I know they were delicious! I’ll have to try it sometime. Thanks for sharing! Brought back a lot of memories!

  20. Carolyn Schott on December 21, 2019 at 10:02 am

    @Gayla – I know what you mean! Making strudels brings back many happy memories for me too!

  21. Pat constable on January 12, 2020 at 9:34 pm

    I cook onions and bacon. And put in side the strudels, then roll, , then. Also, Cook bacon. , onions , in frying pan put cut potatoes on on top of bacon , onions, add dill, cover with water until patators are covered, , bing to a boil, add the strudels, cover and cook ,, until water is,gone ,

  22. Carolyn on January 14, 2020 at 10:44 am

    @Pat – that sounds yummy too!

  23. Annette Kinkade on February 21, 2020 at 1:09 pm

    I ate these growing up. I am from the Geiszler Germans from Russia. My great Grandmother was a Schott. From North Dakota to Lodi California to Washington. We must be related.

  24. Carolyn on February 21, 2020 at 7:51 pm

    @Annette – who is your Schotg great-grandmother? If she’s from North Dakota or Bessarabia, we absolutely ARE related!


  25. Michele on February 26, 2020 at 3:20 pm

    I am making my Great Aunt Lualla Wolf’s strudel dinner tonight! I am so thankful that she took the time to teach me and I have written the recipe out in step-by-step detail. When Aunt Lualla makes strudel the dough is so large and thin it hangs over the edges of her kitchen table. I’m not as experienced, so I divide the recipe into more balls of dough than she does and that makes it easier for me to stretch it thinly. She taught me to boil half of them and steam-fry the other half with potatoes. Of course this meal is served with German sausages and plenty of rich egg gravy!

  26. CAROLYN SCHOTT on February 29, 2020 at 5:42 pm

    @Michele – Yum!

  27. LAURA FORSTEIN on April 21, 2020 at 8:35 am

    I too have great memories of these being made, it was a all day process. However what we do is have a Chuck Roast cooking in the oven, high take about 1/2 a cup of its juices add a little butter, mix the sauce and brush it onto the strudel when it’s strechted out. I let that sit for a couple min. Then slowly roll the dough up, and slice it with the side of my hand to close the dough ends. Then I place them all over the roast and let them steam for about 25 min. Yummy!!

  28. admin on April 21, 2020 at 1:51 pm

    @Laura – that sounds like a great addition. Wish my mom had thought of that! 🙂

  29. Bev Liebig on July 29, 2020 at 8:57 am

    My mother made the dough with only flour, salt , baking powder and water. The dough was divided in 3 and rolled out to about a 7 inch circle. Then it was spread with bacon grease and left to rest about 1/2 an hour. After that it wss stretched and rolled, sometimes plain and sometimes filled with well squeezed sauerkraut. Then it was placed on top of onions fried in bacon drippings and water to steam. The plain ones were then served with meat and gravy and the sauerkraut ones were eaten alone. I have always liked the sauerkraut version the best but these days I serve it with Harvard beets and sausage. My favorite meal! So good!

  30. CAROLYN SCHOTT on July 30, 2020 at 9:25 pm

    @Bev – yum!

  31. Cec Herrmann-Postma on September 18, 2020 at 5:35 pm

    My Grandma partially precooked potatoes, carrots, some onions and chunks of ham. She greased her heavy dutch oven, She used bacon grease to “oil” the struedel dough for stretching, Then she put some of the veggies, water and ham on the bottom of her heavy pan, arranged the struedela, vegetables and ham in layers with the struedela touching the pan here and there so you get some really nice crusty browned struedels. This was often served meatless on Good Friday. Grandma served it with pancake syrup, and pickles.

  32. Carolyn on September 19, 2020 at 1:07 pm

    @Cec – You had me there thinking “Yummy!” until you got to the pancake syrup. 🙂 That is really interesting. I haven’t heard of them being served that way!

  33. Joulie on October 22, 2020 at 4:21 am

    I,’m from Argentina, no related to germans, but I really wanted to this recipe. Here is very popular, and they called them wickel nudel or wickel klees or kibikles… its from Volga,’s germans… very interesting history! I made them filled/stuffed with ham and cheese over a tomatoe stew, for the dough its used baking powder so they rise and get fluffy. Yummy!

  34. Lina on December 31, 2020 at 7:44 pm

    My grandma was from the Odessa area and Protestant so there may have been areas divided by religions? She stretched the strudel dough thin like cigarette paper. I remember so well. She spread the dough first with Crisco but her sister used bacon fat. I liked grandmas way better! We ate strudels along with her homemade dill pickles, no meat, and grandpa drank buttermilk with his strudels. Sometimes she made cucumbers with a sour cream dressing and we kids poured tomato juice on top of our strudels, not a lot, just to give a little more taste. My strudels were too hard and my husband Portuguese so I don’t know if I’ll try again. He said These taste like peasant food!
    Well….yes. My grandma would be 130 years old now and came to America with her sister leaving parents and brothers behind in Russia.

  35. Carolyn on January 2, 2021 at 1:40 pm

    @Lina – yes, each German village tended to have people only of one religious background – Lutherans and Catholics and Separatists and Mennonites all tended to live in separate villages.

    So interesting your comment about the tomato juice – I’ve never heard of that one! 🙂 But I definitely recognize the cucumbers with sour cream and vinegar dressing – yum!

    On the hard strudels, did you include a little baking powder? That tends to make mine a bit fluffier (but not too fluffy!)