I haven’t baked in a while, partly because the summer calls for the resfreshing, no bake, fruity desserts and partly because I was on vacation and just didn’t feel like doing much except relaxing, painting, shopping, and such… Well, last night I got a huge urge to bake! Without a particular reason, without an occasion in sight I just HAD TO BAKE SOMETHING! Those passionate about baking will understand!
Ideas started forming in my mind while I was still at work – something yeasty, but not too heavy and good for breakfast… Strudel! That’s it! We, Eastern European People love our strudel! I think most of every nation of Eastern (and some of Western EU) has one or the other version of the strudel. I usually make two types of strudel – one with a very thin, phyllo-like dough and the other with the yeast dough. Fillings can vary – from a lighter cherry, apple or jam filling to a richer poppy seed, walnut, hazelnut, almond or cream cheese and raisins filling. More info about strudel here.
Yeast Strudel with Hazelnuts Printable recipe
Yields two 5 X 9 inches (13 X 23 cm) loafs
- 12-14 oz (350-400 g) ground hazelnuts
- 3/4 cup (180 ml) milk
- 1/2 cup (100 g) sugar
- 1 pack vanilla sugar (or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract)
- 2-3 tablespoons honey
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 pack of dry yeast (or 20 g fresh yeast)
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 2 tablespoons warm water
- 4 cups (512 g) all-purpose flour (used King Arthur)
- 1/2 cup (100 g) sugar
- A pinch of salt
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest (if desired)
- 1 egg (beaten)
- 1 cup (236 ml)warm water
- 6 tablespoons (85 g) butter (very soft)
Pour the milk into a cooking pan and let it boil lightly. Add hazelnuts, sugar, vanilla, honey and cinnamon and mix well for a few minutes until the filling thickens. Make sure the filling is spreadable. If is too runny add more hazelnuts. ***You may divide filling into two parts and add 1 tbsp of cocoa or melted chocolate in one half (or add some different flavor to it).
- Mix the yeast, 1 tsp sugar and 2 tbsp warm water. Set aside for 5 minutes until becomes foamy.
- Combine flour, sugar, salt and lemon zest. Make an indent in the flour and pour in the yeast mixture. Mix lightly, add the egg and then start adding water. When almost combined, work the butter into the dough.
- Lightly dust your working surface with flour and knead the dough by hand for about 5 minutes. Grease a bowl with butter and place the dough ball into the bowl. Cover with a kitchen towel and let it rise until double in volume.
- Prepare two 5 X 9 inches (about 13 X 23 cm) loaf pans, grease them with butter. Cover your table with a cloth which will be used for rolling the dough. Sprinkle the cloth with flour.
- When the dough is ready, divide it in two. Using a rolling pin roll the dough as thin as possible. Make sure it keeps its rectangular shape. The size of my dough was approx. 12 X 20 inches. Spread the filling as thinly as possible. Lift up the cloth and roll the dough as a jelly roll. Do the same with the second piece of the dough.
- Shape one roll into “S”, form the other dough into a two-strain braid and place each into a loaf pan. Cover and let is rise for about 1 to 1.5 hours.
- Bake at 375 F (190 C) for 10 minutes, then lower the temperature to 350 F (175 C) and bake for another 30 minutes. Cool for at least 30 minutes in the pan. Remove from the pan and cool for another 30 minutes, slice and serve.