There are as many apfelstrudel recipes as there are grannies in Austria, Germany and the Balkans. This one is representative of the tradition, but feel free to improvise a bit if you so desire.
For the Filling
This filling is best made the day before your strudel so you have it on-hand once the dough is stretched and waiting.
5 pounds apples, gala or golden delicious, peeled, halved, cored and sliced into wedges
2 ounces (4 tablespoons) lemon juice
2 ounces (2/3 cup) raisins or black currants
4 tablespoons rum (optional)
3 ounces (6 tablespoons) butter
5.25 ounces (3/4 cup) granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons lemon zest
2 ounces (generous 1/2 cup) chopped, toasted almonds or walnuts
Begin by processing the apples. You want 5 pounds of slices in total (not pre-peeling and coring weight). Dribble the lemon juice over the apples as you work to prevent them from browning too much.
Heat the butter in a large pot or Dutch oven that has a lid. When it’s melted and bubbling, add the apples, sugar, cinnamon, lemon zest and lemon juice. When the apples start sizzling, cover the pot and let the apples cook 10-15 minutes. Uncover the pot and cook another 10-15 minutes until the liquid has evaporated. Stir in the raisins and nuts (or you can reserve them for the assembly if you prefer). Spoon the filling out onto a sheet pan to cool.
Meanwhile, combine the raisins and the rum in a microwave-safe bowl and zap them at full power for about 30 seconds. Let them soak until you’re ready to use them.
For the Dough
Gezogenem is what this dough is called in Austria, or so I understand. “Pulled dough.” That word will make more sense when we get to the tutorial, where photos will speak louder than typewritten words. You’ll need to assemble:
15 ounces (3 cups) all-purpose flour (King Arthur is ideal for this)
pinch of salt
2 eggs, room temperature
1 tablespoon vegetable or canola oil
6 ounces (3/4 cup) milk, room temperature
In the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle, combine the flour and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs and oil. Set the bowl on top of a digital scale and add enough of the milk until you have 10 total ounces. You can do the same thing in a clear glass measuring cup, whisking the egg mixture with a fork and adding milk until you reach 1 1/4 cups. Turn the mixer on low and pour the milk and egg mixture into the bowl. Keep stirring until a shaggy dough comes together, then switch to the dough hook and knead for about two minutes until a smooth and elastic dough is formed.
Turn off the machine, form the dough into a ball and rest it at room temperature for at least an hour, or up to two.
about 8 ounces butter, melted
about 3 cups bread crumbs, dried