Sunday, June 14, 2009

throw me a rope

Breaking news, "Farmer's markets get washed out. Soup kitchens rejoice". What a day. So far this market season, we rain was predicted, they were wrong. We counted on the Old Town Art Festival to bring a lot of people to the GCM, but, not. Just goes to show ya, not every day can be a good day. Store was very busy, so not all is lost.

I'm a member of a group of bakers, we call ourselves "The Bakers Dozen". Twelve bakers here in the midwest. Becoming a member of this group is probably the most important and valuable thing that ever happened to me as a baker. We share our successes, tragedies, travels and heartaches together. Very therapeutic. It is a very closely held group. One member is the third generation to represent his family bakery. We meet once a month, on the first Wednesday, 3pm. We meet and then have dinner together. Whomever is hosting the meeting calls for three items that he feels he needs help with. Al other members are required to bring the same items. A few months back, we all had to bring apple strudel made with hand stretched dough, or phyllo dough. we hadn't made this type of strudel in probably twenty years. I obliged and made our strudel. A batch made eight strips of strudel, I took one to the meeting and put the rest in the store. Sold immediately. We've been making it, almost daily, ever since.

This particular type of strudel has a Viennese origin. The dough is made from wheat flour, water, eggs, oil, salt and honey. We mix the dough and shape into a ball and let it rest for a couple hours. Once rested we use a bed sheet over a table and we pull the dough in each direction until you can see the hairs on the back of your hand thru the dough. It will be eight feet long and three feet wide. We brush it with melted butter, sprinkle it with toasted cake crumbs, chopped hazelnuts and cinnamon sugar. Along the eight foot length we pile up sliced, peeled and cored apples mixed with sugar, cinnamon and raisins. We use the cloth and roll it up into a cylinder that is about three inches in diameter. We cut it into sixteen inch lengths and bake it, very hot so the dough bakes before the liquid in the apples boils and splits open the dough. Once cool we dust it with powdered sugar and sell it by the pound. Remarkable stuff.

I'm mentioning this because we made it yesterday for the first time in two or three weeks. This type of product is an excellent example of why you should shop in your local retail bakery. You won't find stuff like this anywhere else.


Blogger Laminatrix said...

Was out for breakfast on Saturday and they advertised house-made peach & fig strudel. Tried to get a piece (they do pretty nice baked goods at this place), because I love figs, but they were out.

June 15, 2009 at 11:10 AM  

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