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Recipe: Poppy Seed Jam Strudel
From Brian Levy's 'Good & Sweet'
Poppy Seed Jam Strudel
Makes one 16-inch log; 15 to 20 slices
ACTIVE TIME 35 minutes
TOTAL TIME 2 hours 40 minutes to 3 hours 25 minutes
Toasted and tender yeasted dough swirled with a delicately crunchy poppy seed jam makes for a lovely combination at breakfast or coffee time. For me, poppy seed strudel will always evoke Korcarz, the Jewish bakery in Paris where I ﬁrst fell in love with it in 2002. There, it’s presented as a square with a thick layer of ﬁlling sandwiched between two thin layers of pastry. When I started making the strudel for myself, I conﬁrmed that I prefer the dough-to-ﬁlling ratio of the rolled-up version below.
What makes it sweet? Dried apples and raisins.
FOR THE DOUGH:
⅓ cup (75 g) whole milk
¼ cup (35 g) date sugar or apple powder (see Notes)
1 tablespoon (10 g) active dry yeast
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 ¾ cups + 1 tablespoon (220 g) bread ﬂour
1 teaspoon fine salt
7 tablespoons (100 g) unsalted butter
FOR THE FILLING:
1 ½ cups (200 g) poppy seeds
4 tablespoons (60 g) uinsalted butter
½ cup (120 g) whole milk
½ cup, lightly packed (80 g) dark raisins
1 cup (80 g) dried apple (soft type), chopped (see Notes)
grated lemon zest from ½ lemon
⅛ tsp ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Make the dough: In a small saucepan, heat the milk over medium low heat until it reaches 105° to 110°F (it should be barely warm when you test it with you finger; overheating will kill the yeast and prevent them from doing their job).
In a stand mixer, combine the date sugar and yeast. Add the warm milk and the egg to the bowl and whisk to combine. Add the flour and salt. Snap on the dough hook and mix on low speed to moisten the dry ingredients. Set a timer for 8 minutes. With the mixer running, drop in the butter, about 1 tablespoon at a time, letting each piece of butter get absorbed before adding the next. Once you’ve added all of the butter, increase the speed to medium-low and continue to knead until the timer goes off and the dough is unified, smooth, and elastic. If the dough hasn’t come together fully after machine-kneading, gather it into a ball by hand. Cover the bowl with a damp kitchen towel and let it rise at room temperature until it has doubled in size, 1 to 2 hours. You can use the proofed dough immediately, or you can refrigerate it for up to 18 hours. You can also freeze the dough at this stage for up to 2 weeks (just thaw it in the refrigerator overnight before using it).
Make the ﬁlling: In a clean coffee grinder, spice grinder, or high-powered upright blender, grind the poppy seeds. You just want to crack the seeds open and release their oil and flavor, not to grind the seeds to a fine powder.
In a small saucepan, bring the butter and milk to a simmer. Remove the pan from the heat.
In a food processor, combine the raisins, apple, lemon zest, cinnamon, and vanilla. Add the warm milk/butter mixture and puree until smooth, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the poppy seeds and pulse to incorporate them into the puree. Spread the filling out on a dish and let it cool to room temperature.
On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to an 11-inch square. Use an offset spatula to spread the filling evenly over the dough, leaving a 1-inch border of dough uncovered at the top and bottom of the square. Fold each of the 1-inch borders over to wall in the filling, then roll from the bottom edge to the top edge to form a log with a spiraled interior. Roll it snugly into a sheet of parchment, leaving the sides open, and place seam-side down on a baking sheet. Let the roll rest for 15 minutes while you preheat the oven.
Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 375°F.
Transfer the strudel to the oven and immediately reduce the oven temperature to 350°F. Bake for 50 minutes. Remove the parchment—the strudel should have a firm, deeply golden crust—and cool on a cooling rack.
Serve slices warm, at room temperature, or toasted. Store cooled strudel in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days or in the freezer, pre-sliced, for up to 1 month (just toast before serving).
Apple powder can be made by pulverizing baked apple chips or freeze-dried apples.
If you can’t get your hands on the soft type of dried apple, substitute 2 cups (70 g) baked apple chips and 2 tsp (10 g) water.
Excerpted from Good & Sweet. Used with the permission of the publisher, Avery. Copyright © 2022 by Brian Levy.