This traditional Czech Apple Strudel recipe is made with homemade buttery and flaky dough, juicy apples, brown sugar and more!
Apple strudel is a traditional Czech pastry that dates back to the late 15th century in Czech and Austrian archives. It’s a very popular dessert in Czech cuisine and is also very popular in our family. My Grandma Zett made it often and passed on the recipe to her children and grandchildren. My mom makes is now and it’s a treat that we all look forward to!
Thanks to the option of buying prepared pastry dough, Apple strudel is quite easy to prepare, however, our family still makes it all from scratch, and I think it’s the best!
Tips for the best Strudel dough:
- Divide dough into three batches. It may not seem like enough dough to make 3 strudels, but keep in mind that you are rolling it out paper-thin to get the best results. If you don’t want to serve all three at one time, they freeze very well!
- Prepare filling first. To avoid the dough drying out, having your filling ready so that it can be used as soon as your dough is rolled out.
- Use a thin flour sack dishtowel. A thin cotton dish towel that is very smooth can be floured and the dough will not stick to it. My grandmother always used flour sack towels, which are very thin and large, making rolling out the dough much simpler.
- Have the apple filling prepared in advance! You don’t want the stretched out dough laying around too long or it will get dry.
- Remove all shop jewelry and roll up your sleeves. You’ll be stretching the dough using the back of your hands. Rings, bracelets and your sleeves can create holes in your dough.
- To freeze: Lay the unbaked strudels on a parchment-lined baking sheet and freeze until solid. Once strudels are frozen solid, wrap in plastic wrap and then place into freezer zip-top bags and freeze. Freezes well up to 3 months.
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Czech Apple Strudel
- 1 ½ sticks butter melted
- 1 cup milk lukewarm
- 2 egg yolks lightly beaten
- 3 cups flour
- 3 granny smith apples grated
- ½ cup chopped pecans
- ½ cup coconut
- ½ cup raisins
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 cup granola
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- Additional melted butter for assembling
- In a medium bowl, combine grated apples, pecans, coconut, raisins, brown sugar, and cinnamon; mix well and set aside.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook, mix the flour and salt on low speed to combine.
- In a small bowl, whisk the milk, egg yolks, and butter to combine.
- With the mixer running, add the liquid to the mixer in a slow, steady stream.
- Mix on low speed for 10 minutes. At this point, the dough should have formed a ball around the dough hook, and should appear relatively smooth. It should be slightly tacky (not sticky) but not dry — if it seems dry, add water 1 tablespoon at a time, mixing for a full minute before checking the texture.
- Raise the mixer speed to medium and continue to mix for 10 minutes more. Transfer the dough to a medium-sized oiled bowl and turn the dough over a few times to coat it lightly with oil. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 3 hours or overnight. The finished, rested dough is now ready to be stretched and filled.
- Line a tabletop with a vinyl tablecloth; oilcloth or a large flour sack dish towel work especially well. A folding card table, kitchen table, or any surface you can walk all the way around will work; it will make the stretching easier.
- Remove the strudel dough from the refrigerator and divide into 3 parts.
- Dust the surface of the flour sack dish cloth or table cloth lightly with flour and lightly dish your rolling pin with flour.
- Roll out dough as thin as possible until you can almost see through it.
- Roll dough into a large rectangle, about 12x17.
- To get dough even thinner, lightly oil hands - front and back - and gently lift up the dough, letting it rest on the back of your hands as your raise your hands in front of you and gently stretch and work your way around the dough like you would a pizza.
- To assemble the strudel: Drizzle the dough with additional melted butter (don't brush it on; you may tear the dough) and top with granola, then apple mixture, and gently spread evenly across the dough.
- Working with one of the shorter sides, gently grab the dough and roll it up into a tight spiral, like you would cinnamon rolls. Use the dish towel to help you — the less you handle the dough, the less likely you are to rip it.
- Use scissors to cut any excess dough away from the ends of the strudel, and discard.
- Lift up the rolled strudel, and place it seam side down onto a 12x17 jellyroll pan. If it's too long to fit, you can angle it diagonally across the pan.
- Lightly brush the tops of each strudel with melted butter and then sprinkle with ½ cup granulated sugar (divided over each strudel).
- Bake 30 minutes at 350 degrees or until golden brown.
- Allow strudel to cool to lukewarm or room temperature, then slice into portions to serve.