Mohnstrudel (Poppy Seed Strudel) Recipe

 

Poppy seeds feature frequently in Austrian baking. Sprinkled on top of bread rolls, mixed into multi-seed wholemeal loaves or swirled up in sweet dessert bakes, they add a wonderful contrast colour, very distinctive earthy flavour and are fun to bake with.

For this month’s #TwelveLoaves theme ‘Seeds’, I’m showcasing the delightful Mohnstrudel (poppy seed strudel) as one of my favourite poppy seed bakes.

In Austria, poppy seeds are used for both sweet (Mohnschnecken, Mohntorte, Mohnnudeln, Germknödel) and savoury (Mohnflesserl, Mohnstangerl, Mohnsemmel) bakes. They are even grown locally, so if you should ever find yourself in the Waldviertel region of Austria, you can visit Mohndorf, a village build around Waldviertler Graumohn (a variety of breadseed poppy papaver somniferum).

Poppy seed strudel

Soft, enriched yeast dough swirled with a moist poppy seed filling

The recipe requires the poppy seeds to be ground as this will make for a much smoother filling and will also allow the seeds to release their oils and flavour. Unfortunately, you will not be able to use a food processor or pestle and mortar to grind the seeds and you will need to employ the help of your coffee grinder instead.

The trick to grinding poppy seeds for desserts is to do so just enough to break them open, releasing their oils, while letting them hang on to traces of their crisp contours.” Kay Rentschler, NY Times

Poppy seeds ground and whole

Ground poppy seeds (left) and whole poppy seeds (right)

Ingredients (makes one Mohnstrudel)

Dough

  • 50g unsalted butter, softened
  • 85g milk, at room temperature
  • 5g dried instant yeast
  • 15g white caster sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 200g flour
  • 1 tiny pinch of salt
  • Zest of 1/2 lemon
  • Egg wash for brushing

Poppy Seed Filling

  • 30g water
  • 20g unsalted butter
  • 50g honey or brown caster sugar
  • 25g Powidl (similar to thick plum jam)
  • 1 pinch of ground cloves or cinnamon
  • 20g ground porridge oats
  • 100g poppy seeds, ground
  • 25g currants (I prefer currants to raisins as they are smaller, harder and not as sweet, which works well for this delicate bake)
  • 1 tsp dark rum (I used Austrian Stroh rum at 80%)

How to make Mohnstrudel

  1. Combine butter, milk, the dried yeast, sugar and egg yolk in a medium bowl and mix together with a whisk.
  2. Add the flour, salt and lemon zest and use your hands to work the ingredients into a pliable dough. The dough should not be stiff but also not too sticky. It should be nice and soft and easy to shape. Knead for 5 minutes.
  3. Place a cover on the bowl with the dough. Keep at room temperature/in a wam place until the volume of the dough has expanded sufficiently.
  4. Prepare the filling about 15 mins before your dough is ready to be shaped.
  5. To do this, add the water, butter, honey (or sugar), Powidl, ground cloves (or cinnamon) into a pan, heat up until it starts bubbling up.
  6. Take the pan off the heat and add the ground porridge oats, poppy seeds, currants and rum and combine well.
  7. Now back to the dough which should have almost doubled in volume by now. On a slightly floured surface, roll out the dough into a 30 x 20 cm rectangle. Use your dough scraper to chop some of the protruding edges off in order to get to the rectangular shape.
  8. Distribute the filling evenly across the dough rectangle, leaving 0.5 cm around the edges free.
  9. Roll up the dough lengthwise. Make sure that no air bubbles get trapped as you do this. Try not to add more length to the Strudel as you roll it up, it should still end up being 30 cm long.
  10. Place the Strudel seam side down onto a baking tray lined with baking paper. Flatten it slightly in order to achieve a more oval than round shape without lengthening it.
  11. Cover with a kitchen towel and leave to rest for approx. 1 hour (depending on the temperature in your room).
  12. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  13. Just before the bake, brush the Strudel with egg wash.
  14. Bake for 30 minutes or so on the second lowest shelf of your oven, until golden brown.
  15. Cool slightly before serving.

#TwelveLoaves is a monthly bread baking party created by Lora from Cake Duchess and runs smoothly with the help of Heather of girlichef, and the rest of our fabulous bakers.

Our host this month is Lora from Cake Duchess and our theme is Seeds. For more bread recipes, visit the #TwelveLoaves Pinterest board, or check out last month’s selection of #TwelveLoaves Malt Breads!

For more bread recipes, visit the #TwelveLoaves Pinterest board, or check out last month’s selection of #TwelveLoaves Malt Breads!

If you’d like to bake along with us this month, share your Seed Bread using hashtag #TwelveLoaves!

Recipe for German Spätzle Pasta

 

Fancy some homemade pasta without the work and effort usually involved with homemade pasta? Spätzle – small, squiggly egg dumplings from the Southwest of Germany, are easy to prepare and can be ready in a matter of minutes.

Spätzle

Lovely irregular shapes, perfect for sauces

The flour

Austrian flour type 480 (“griffiges Mehl”, flour type 405 in Germany, Italian 00 flour and soft pastry flour in the UK and US) should be used to make Spätzle.

The ingredients (to serve 6 people as side dish) –

  • 500g Austrian flour type 480 / Italian 00 flour or types as specified above
  • 375g water
  • 2 eggs
  • 6g salt

Please note that I am using a Spätzle maker (in German Spätzle-Sieb) to help me with the Spätzle making. Alternatively, you can use a sieve, colander or steamer with large (5-6 mm) holes.

Spaetzle Maker

  1. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well. All flour should be folded into the dough well. The dough will be more like a batter (it should drip, but not be too thin), so not the same as typical pasta dough.
  2. Heat a large pot of water until it reaches simmering point.
  3. Place the Spätzle sieve on top of the pot, put a few ladles of dough onto the Spätzle board and scrape the batter through the holes directly into the simmering water.
  4. The ‘dough droppings’ will sink to the bottom but they’ll pop up to the water surface once cooked through. Stir to make sure the Spätzle separate. The cooking will take only 2 to 3 minutes.
  5. Using a slotted spoon, take out the Spätzle as soon as they float to the top.
  6. Place them into a colander, rinse with cold water and drain.
  7. Toss in a little melted butter to keep them from sticking and warm through before serving.
  8. You can keep Spätzle in the fridge for a couple of days; heat through before serving.

Spätzle

Serve as a side dish to sauce-based meat dishes. Warning: very filling!