Nov 172015
 

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.

Ingredients:

  • 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!

  16 Responses to “Strudels for Dummies”

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

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

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

  5. 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. 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. 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. 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. @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. […] Image credit: Carolyn Schott, Author […]

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

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

  13. 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. @Tammy – a GREAT tradition to keep going!

  15. 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. @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.”

    Huh???

    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!

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