Friday, July 22, 2022


First time I had a sweet dough strudel, I was about five or six years old, and I remember clearly my Grandmother telling me to be careful, because the filling was still molten and hot. Being myself, I did not listen. Regrets were had that day.
However, despite all of that, my love for sweet dough desserts was born. Fluffy dough, aromatic filling, and just enough tartness to give a nice balance to the dessert. Just heavenly with the afternoon coffee.
If you do not have fresh raspberries, frozen ones can be used as well, just drain them well and use the liquid they release instead of the water, to dissolve the cornflour.

For the soft vanilla dough
400 grams plain flour
200 millilitres water
50 light grams brown sugar
25 grams fresh yeast
45 millilitres vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
1 teaspoon salt
For the raspberry custard filling
400 grams fresh raspberries
100 grams light brown sugar
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
40 grams cornflour
45 millilitres cold water

Start by making the raspberry custard filling, as it needs to be somewhat cool when assembling. Place the fruit, sugar, lemon juice, and the vanilla paste into a heavy saucepan, and place it over medium-high heat. In a separate small bowl, whisk together the cornflour and the cold water. Once the fruit starts to simmer, start to stir until it comes to a boil. As soon as it starts to boil, stir in the cornflour mixture, and cook, stirring constantly, for about 2-3 minutes, or until thickened and glossy. Remove it from the heat, and set it aside to cool.
Pour the tepid water into a large bowl, add in the sugar and the vanilla, and mix well. Crumble in the fresh yeast, mix briefly, and then let it dissolve and activate. When it starts to become bubbly and fragrant, add in the oil, and mix well. Finally, sift in the flour and the salt, and vigorously mix with a wooden spoon until a very soft and sticky dough forms. It should not be overly sticky, but if it is, add another tablespoon of flour. Cover the dough with a kitchen towel and let it rise, at room temperature, for about an hour, or until doubled.
Once the dough is ready, transfer it to a floured surface, lightly knead it, and roll it out into a large rectangle of about 5 millimetres thickness. Whisk the custard vigorously to loosen it up, and spread it evenly all over the dough, making sure one of the edges is clean, so the strudel can be sealed nicely. Starting from the longer edge, gently roll the dough into a tight roll. Press and seal the roll really well, so the filling does not leak out during baking.
Place the strudel on a large baking sheet lined with baking parchment, seam side down, cover it with a kitchen towel, and let it rest and rise for about 30 more minutes in a warm place. Just before baking, generously mist it with room temperature water, and bake, in a preheated oven, at 200°C, for about 20 minutes, or until golden. Let it cool down completely, so it firms up, and then slice and serve. Yields 12 servings.