Friday, February 16, 2024


Sweet dough desserts are among my top favourites, and that includes my dear strudels, in all forms and flavours. I do admit I have a soft spot for apple strudels, but I am definitely not very exclusive when it comes to other fruit, as well.
Beautifully enriched vegan brioche dough, lovingly rolled up and braided into one wonderful parcel, full of fragrant apples and robust, earthy walnuts. And a few almonds, for good measure.
The dough itself is simply marvellous to work with, and it can hold quite a bit of filling, if I do say so myself. And speaking of fillings, choose the apple variety you love the most, regardless of whether it is a cooking apple or an eating apple; always go for the ones you would enjoy on their own.
On a final note; this amount of sugar makes the strudel just pleasantly sweet, which is perfectly to my liking, but if you like your strudels on the sweeter side, do increase the sugar to your preference or glaze the freshly baked strudel with some apple honey.

For the vegan brioche dough
230 grams plain flour
120 grams strong bread flour
120 millilitres warm water
20 grams light brown sugar
20 grams fresh yeast
100 grams apple sauce
20 millilitres sunflower oil
10 grams salt
50 grams vegan block butter, cold
For the apple filling
300 grams apples, peeled, cored, and grated
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
75 grams light brown sugar
20 grams cornflour
50 grams toasted walnuts, chopped
30 grams flaked almonds

Start by making the vegan brioche dough. Pour the warm water into a large bowl, add in the sugar and fresh yeast, mix briefly, and then let it dissolve and activate. When the yeast becomes bubbly and fragrant, add in the apple sauce and oil, and mix well. Sift in the flours and salt, and mix vigorously with a wooden spoon until a very soft dough forms. It should not be overly sticky, but if it is, add another tablespoon of plain flour and mix it in well. Once a dough forms, add in the vegan block butter, and knead it into the dough. It may seem a tad too sticky at first, but be persistent, and the dough will absorb it. Place it into a large bowl, cover with a kitchen towel and let it rise, at room temperature, for about an hour, or until doubled in size.
Meanwhile, make the filling. Grate the apples and strain them well. Add them to a saucepan, and add in the lemon juice, sugar, and the cornflour. Mix well, and let it come to a boil over medium-high heat. As soon as you see the first wisps of steam, start stirring, so the filling doesn’t catch on the bottom or burn. As it starts to boil, whisk more vigorously for a few minutes, until it becomes glossy and thick. Remove from the heat and add in the walnuts and the flaked almonds. Set it aside to cool down.
Once the brioche dough is ready, transfer it to a nicely floured surface and roll it out into a large rectangle about 5 millimetres thick. Whisk the cooled filling vigorously to loosen it up, Divide the rolled dough into three strips, and place one-third of the cooled filling onto each one. Spread the filling nicely and evenly, making sure one of the edges of the dough strip is left plain, so it can be sealed.
Roll each dough piece into a roll, seal it well, and braid the three rolls into one long braid. Tuck the ends underneath it, and place it into a lined loaf pan. Cover it with a kitchen towel, and let it rest and rise for another 20-30 minutes. Turn the oven to preheat to 200˚C. As soon as the oven is ready, generously mist the strudel with cold water, and bake it for about 25-30 minutes at 200˚C, or until browned nicely. Let it cool down to your preference, and serve. Yields 9 rich servings.