Kala dibbs’d this recipe when I first posted my Winter 2011 menu. The idea of brie with walnuts and strudel makes us both very excited. We had no idea what we were in for…
I should have known!! I have been through a similar experience before. My good friend Kristen and I decided to make cinnamon buns from scratch when we were young. It was a disaster and we vowed to never ever make them again. Cinnamon buns and paper mache are the two things we have decided are well worth the money to buy from a store. Worth every penny when it comes to our sanity and arm hair.
This strudel is tasty, but it makes far too much and I just don’t believe that it is worth the effort.
Here is what we learned;
1. Strudel dough = a pain in the butt. Next time just buy the strudel.
2. If you do choose to make it from scratch (it was VERY good) don’t leave it on the counter to dry out while you are working with the rest of it.
3. If you do choose to make it yourself, watch a youtube video or two on how to stretch it out properly, we learned the hard way.
4. Don’t start making it at 5:15… or you won’t eat until 9:30pm.
5. More or Less wine would have helped. We aren’t sure which would have been better… but we definitely needed to either drink more or maybe we should not have had so much.
6. Anna’s expectations of us are far too high. Getting this dough to the thickness of phyllo is just silly!
7. Feed the poor bystander in the living room more than a cupcake before 9pm. Sorry Jay <3
Walnut Brie Strudel
1 1/4 cups hot water
1/3 cups unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup + 2 tbsp sugar
4 cups bread flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup creamy ricotta cheese
1 clove garlic, minced
6 oz brie cheese
dash black pepper
3 cups walnut pieces, lightly toasted
2/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 ½ cups dry breadcrumbs
1 egg mixed with 2 Tbsp water for brushing
1 ½ Tbsp poppy seeds
Place all dough ingredients in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix for 2 minutes on low speed and then increase speed to medium.
Knead dough for 10 minutes, pulling dough off paddle once or twice, until dough takes on a stringy appearance. Wrap and let rest at room temperature for at least 1 hour before using. If chilling, let dough come fully to room temperature before pulling
For filling, stir ricotta and garlic, cut brie into small pieces and beat vigorously into ricotta. Stir in pepper and chill.
To assemble strudels, preheat oven to 375F (190C) and line a baking tray with parchment.
Lay out a small tablecloth over work surface and sprinkle cloth with flour. Cut dough into 3 pieces. Coat hands with flour and press flat the first piece of dough. Carefully start dstretching the dough into a square shape, pulling gently and evenly (using the back of the hands is easiest). Use the table or counter edge to secure the dough once it reaches (these are small strudels, so won’t take up the whole table). Strudel dough should stretch to about 16-inches by 24 inches. Brush the entire surface lightly with butter and sprinkle with ½ cup breadcrumbs. Spoon a third of the cheese filling along one short and of the strudel and sprinkle 1 cup of walnuts over the cheese and a little over half of the dough. Trim edges of strudel dough. Lift dough up using the tablecloth from the cheese-filled end and let the pastry roll itself up as you lift the cloth. Pinch the ends closed and lift onto prepared tray.
Brush with eggwash, sprinkle with poppy seed sand repeat with remaining 2 pieces of dough.
Bake strudels for 18 to 25 minutes until rich golden brown. Cool for 15 minutes before slicing.
Serve strudel on its own or as an appetizer with a salad, or as a starch as part of a main course