Setting The Table
For my cookbook project, I will be making strudel. It is a pastry that’s origin lies in Austria and Italy (Strudel, 2019). Traditionally this pastry is a Jewish dessert that is made mostly during holidays and big occasions such as weddings but has become a much more common dessert. Strudel has been passed down for years and years making it important in their religion. The process of preparing strudel is similar to much pastries’. The pastry has a high gluten content as it is mainly made of dough. The process seems simple but at the same time is challenging. Once the dough is created, it will be very elastic and need to be worked vigorously to create the correct consistency which is very thin. You need to be careful to not tear the dough as you may need to roll the whole thing out again. I anticipate that the hardest problem will be finding a true Jewish recipe, making the dough correctly so that it will be flaky, golden and thin with as well as preparing all the ingredients correctly (Strudel, 2019). Though I am not Jewish I have had this dessert and rather enjoyed it, therefore it was interesting to find it again and challenge myself to make it on my own. In this pastry, the dough is often formed into rings and coins to indicate “May the new year be as round and complete as these” for the Rabbah Hosha’na. They see the bread as a gift from the Rabbah and have to at all of their big events. The pastry started at a small size of one and a half feet in length and now it is made as two and a half feet. This is to feed all of the guests as a dessert. Even though it stated as apples, I would probably add apples because the eater would get many more flavors to the inside of their strudel. They are still important to their religion but have also grown all over America and other countries. This has happened with many religious foods that once were their own and are now changed to fit the cultures of others. It is also now sold in many bakeries and is now more of breakfast food. It is amazing how time can change such a religious dessert, but still, be so relevant and strong in the faith of the Jewish people. I am interested and excited to try to make this delicious dessert. I just only hope that I can do it justice for their religion as it may be a challenge to recreate.
Strudel. (2019, January 05). Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strudel
The strudel has been around for as long as I can remember. Which means that it has changed a great deal it all of its time. It is now produced on a huge scale and has become quite popular. The way that it was produced has also changed as everything does. Although it is mass produced, it is still made in the everyday home and kitchen. Everything is produced in a different way and that is what makes it so interesting to look into and learn about. The dish and its production will also relate to individual well-being, social justice, environmental justice, and religious freedom. This dish is very interesting and ever-so changing. The process of making a strudel from start to finish is rather challenging to a point. I found the perfect strudel on a website called “The Guardian.” Felicity tells everyone how to make the perfect apple strudel, which is the most common kind of strudel and goes way back in time. She says that some people prefer the premade dough and that it is perfect for the strudel. Felicity prefers to make her own dough for her version of the perfect strudel. She starts the process by working on a clean space. Next, you are to sift 285 grams of plain flour with a pinch of salt (Cloake, 2011). When that is well sifted with no lumps, you can start to add the wet ingredients. It needs to have no lumps because if it does then the strudel will not fluff and you will bite into four. Next, you will add 1 egg, 150 grams of water, and 1 tsp of melted butter. Next, you are going to want to mix a little at a time so that you don't overdo it. You want the dough to be wet but not too wet (Cloake, 2011). Note this is the kind of fun part. This is when you throw the dough repeatedly to about shoulder height for about 15 minutes. You want the dough to become elastic be sure that it is no longer sticky. Now that the dough is elastic you wrap it in the clingfilm and leave it for about a half an hour at room temperature (Cloake, 2011). While the dough is sitting, this is the perfect time to make the filling. But first, preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius and also grease a baking pan and place it on the middle shelf. Now you should peel 425 grams of russet apples and 425 grams of granny smith apples, this can vary depending on your personal preference (Cloake, 2011). After they are peeled cut them into chunks and put them into a large mixing bowl. After the apples are in the large mixing bowl you want to add all of the other filling ingredients which are as follows, 75 grams of currants, one half of a lemon grated zest, 50 grams of soft brown sugar, one half tsp ground cinnamon and a pinch of nutmeg and cloves (Cloake, 2011). Now that you have mixed all of the filling ingredients you will clear your workspace again and cover with a tea towel. Then dust the surface lightly with flour and separate the dough into two parts. One of the halves keeps wrapped in clingfilm at room temperature (Cloake, 2011). Now roll out the first half of dough as thinly as possible without any tearing. You want the pattern of the tea towel to be impressed on the pastry for that nice design or pattern on the outside dough of the pastry. Once this it in thin and patterned you will want to brush the dough with butter and sprinkle some demerara sugar on it as well. (Cloake, 2011). Next, you want to take about half of the filling and spoon it into one half of the pastry. Now using the tea towel fold the other half of dough over and roll it into a kind of sausage form (Cloake, 2011). Now you have one pastry done you want to repeat all of the steps that were just listed with the second half of dough. Once you have finished both halves and have two sausage-like roles you are going to gently life both of the rolls of dough and filling on to a greased curved baking sheet. Next, brush both roles once again with butter. You may also crush up some almonds and flake them on, this is a preferred choice. Then you will bake for 30-40 minutes (Cloake, 2011). Waiting for the pastry to look golden and the apples seemed to be cooked all the way. Once you have to take them out of the oven you should let them both cool. Then to your preference, you may either dust with powdered sugar or drizzle with icing. Then allow to cool and serve. This dish of strudel than relates to well-being. If you have ever had a strudel you know that it makes you feel all warm and cozy and fills you up. So that means that this dish makes you feel comfortable and happy while eating. It makes you feel and home and like a kid again. It brings to make the days of good. Strudel is a dish of well-being and happiness. It can be fun to make and you can add your own personal touch. Though strudel may seem complex to make it is definitely worth it when it is done. All of the hard work warms your heart and stomach just by and simple dessert. It's amazing the meaning and background that this dish has. It is extremely tasty and meaningful all in one. Cloake, F. (2011, March 17). How to cook the perfect apple strudel. Retrieved from
I had to delay my kitchen time draft a little bit due to mother nature beating down on Northeast Nebraska. So, I did not really know where to begin with the process of the dish of apple strudel. First, the picture above is of me using a rolling pin on the breading, which the breading is on a piece of parchment paper. The picture above may make it seem like it was nice and easy, however that was not the case here. Sometimes it was easy, but majority of the time the dough was sticking to the rolling pin with the paper attached to it. Also, if you look closely, you can see that I had to pinch all the breading pieces together to make one big sheet of dough.
With the dough all spread out, I had to then cut about one to two inches gaps to make the breading go over the apples when I add them. I would have to say this part of the process was one my favorite things to do with this dish. I really enjoyed making the incisions in the dough. Again, the picture above makes it look all fine and dandy but the hard part was making sure the incisions were all the same size length and were able to cover the apples once they are on. I almost forgot to cut both sides of the breading and leave about three inches in the middle for the apples. I had to go back and cut the other side the same length and size as the other side.
In the pictures above, I had hard time not eating the apples because the apples were so good I could have eaten them all by themselves. The apples made the strudel at the end taste so good. The apples had cinnamon coating on that made the kitchen smell like cinnamon apples, which I could get to use to the smell of that every day. In the picture on the right, I had to put the apples in a pile stacked an inch high to make it not too skinny of the strudel. If you pay close attention to the picture on the right, you can see the cuts I made in the process before this.
After I put the apples in the breading, I had to wrap the precut incisions overtop of the apples. I had to overlap the two sides of the breading over each other to perfectly cover the apples to make it look a little more professional. This part of the process was pretty hard I wanted to cover the apples completely but I could not stretch the breading that far because I did not want to break off those parts of the bread. The picture on the left was product after the apples and the breading was laid over top of the apples.
In these pictures, I put the strudel in the over and this is where the smell of the cinnamon apples really took over the whole house. The whole kitchen smelled like a bakery which I love. The strudel came out of the oven and originally, I was a little nervous how it might turn out but it turned out a lot better than I had expected. So, I was pleasantly happy with the way it turned out to be. I like how it was the perfect color of golden brown on the bread. On the left picture, this is where I added the frosting. The frosting was honestly my favorite part of the whole desert.
This picture above was the final product of the desert. I would say overall that it was a good process. I had a few ups and downs but majority of the time it was fairly simple and straight forward to make. At the end, I had my little sister, my parents, and my grandparents try it and they all could not get enough of it. They would come back and get many more pieces after they tried the first piece. It is safe to say that the strudel did not last long in our house. The strudel last maybe twenty minutes after I had finished it. I tried a piece and I was pretty satisfied with how it tasted. So, I would have to say everyone really enjoyed the apple strudel I made for this class.
There are many traditions and practices that come along with food. Also, there many religions that use food as a way to connect with god, a spirit, or other superior beliefs that someone believes in. Some people believe that using food for religious purposes is good thing, however, there are just as many people who believe that connecting the two together is not a way to connect with the Lord. With that being said, I am one of those people who use food as a way to praise the lord is a good thing to do and practice.
Food has a distinct way of bring people from different backgrounds together. Before this class, I just thought of food as just fuel for our body and something we eat for joy and pleasure. After taking this class and learning the true meaning of food and how it impacts the way people live and base their lives off of it has really opened my eyes. For example, they have festivals, get-togethers, and parades of food from different countries that brings large groups of people together and join in eating the food. So, food has a gigantic impact on a person’s life and their choices that they make. Now, I would have guessed my dish, apple strudel, had any religious value for anyone but I was clearly proved wrong. Apple strudel has religious value for the Jews and the Jewish community.
It is hard to say if the dish has morally disagreements with well-being, social justice, environmental justice, and religious freedom. There are some disagreements with all of them but there not very detailed or that big of a concern. To begin, the definition for all the words are different in their own ways. Well-being means it is essential for a certain person’s mental, physical, and emotional state in the internal and external part of the body. Environmental means to be civil towards the environment around a person and to be involved with all kinds of people no matter what their background is like race, ethnicity, family matters, nationality, or what job they have. For social justice, this means kind of the same thing as environmental justice but this has to deal with larger populations and the society people live in. Lastly, religious freedom deals with people feeling comfortable to do religious practices in public or have the freedom to practice their religious traditions without getting harassed or made fun of publicly.
With talking about moral disagreements with each of the four elements, there are different thoughts, opinions, and ideas behind each one of these. For well-being, the discussion for being morally wrong could be about the health behind the desert itself. If you cannot guess, apple strudel is not the healthiest thing to eat because of the preservatives with the canned apples, the sugar, and the frosting on top of the strudel. People may put up the argument of how It tastes good, but that does not mean it genuinely goof for the person internally so it could go against the natural health of a person or people. For social justice, it can be hard to describe a disagreement because there really is not one that involves social justice. I say that because apple strudel is usually a good food to eat. It makes people happier and brings a group together. So, when a certain food brings people together, it is hard to find a moral disagreement that goes against, generally speaking, as more of a happier food. In addition to that, environmental justice is just like social justice in a way. Environmental justice and apple strudel can bring all kinds of people from different races, religions, and ethnicities together. So, again it is hard to find a negative of this food when in reality it only has positives. Now with religious freedom, this is a little different story because there are always people who have a problem with people displaying religious practices in public. With that being said, people go back and forth whether or not if this is logical to do it in public and I think that it is perfectly fine. So the only moral disagreement with this is whether or not people feel comfortable to do in public and if so if they feel like they will not be segregated and treated differently.
Overall, this project was pretty fun. I enjoyed learning about the religious part of the strudel. There is more behind food if you dig a little deeper. It was fun making the dish, but the favorite part was eating it. I was a little nervous that it was not going to turn out as good as I was hoping but I think it tasted good enough. I think I picked this dish for two reasons. The first reason is because a strudel tastes good and I wanted to learn how to make one. The second reason is because after doing some research on this dish, I found a lot of material and the significance this dish has on the Jewish community. I learned that this dish has a lot of background in the jewish community and I would never have guessed so this dish taught me that there is more that meets the eye with food. This dish is not something I normally eat. So i learned that the relationship between food and religion can be with any type of food. It does not have to be just a dessert or have to be a main dish, the relationship can be between any food the religion chooses.
Created with images by RitaE - "strudel apple strudel apple" • RitaE - "strudel apple strudel apple muffin" • jhfl - "chunks farm cake" • jhfl - "chunks farm cake" • HansiB - "cream apple sweet"