Vegetable Strudel Recipe (Gemüsestrudel)

 

Although vegetarian and vegan dishes have become much more common on Austrian restaurant menus, the Gemüsestrudel (vegetable strudel) has traditionally been one of the token veggie dish on many Gasthaus menus. Quite remarkably for Austrian Gemüsestrudel recipes however, these typically come with ham (!). Dairy products (curd cheese, crème fraiche, milk, cheese) are also heavily used in Austrian vegetable strudel recipes.  I left the ham out of this version of my mum’s vegetable strudel recipe, but you will see, it is still a far cry from a vegan recipe. It’s delicious though, and all the hard work that goes into the preparation is definitely worth it!

Vegetable Strudel
Vegetable Strudel

Austrian Vegetable Strudel Recipe

This vegetable strudel recipe can perhaps be more accurately described as vegetable-cheese strudel as cheese and other dairy products including curd cheese feature heavily in the filling.

Vegetable Strudel Recipe
Vegetable Strudel with a lovely golden brown colour, sprinkled with sesame seeds

As the strudel dough needs to be rolled out quite thinly, it’s advisable to use a very large soft linen cloth (Strudeltuch e.g. 120 x 100 cm) or otherwise a large cotton kitchen towel to roll out the dough and assemble the strudel. This makes it much easier to transfer the dough to the baking tray.

The vegetable strudel recipe below is made with homemade Strudel-dough, but if you are short in time, you can use shop-bought puff pastry or filo pastry.

Any leftovers can easily be frozen.

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Savoury vegetable strudel recipe

A deliciously cheesy vegetable strudel, as per an Austrian recipe from my mum. Put together your own vegetable mix based on your preferred veggies or based on seasons. Spring Strudel (Kohlrabi, cauliflower, asparagus, broccoli, spinach, wild garlic, leeks), Summer Strudel (mushrooms, beans, tomatoes, courgettes, fennel, peppers, aubergines, peas, sweet corn), Autumn Strudel (pumpkin, cabbage, root vegetables, potatoes), Winter Strudel (carrots, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, shallots). 

Course Main Course
Cuisine Austrian
Servings 6 people

Ingredients

Strudel Dough Ingredients

  • 250 g plain flour
  • 1 tbsp olive or rapeseed oil
  • 125 g water lukewarm - this will help with dough elasticity
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Béchamel Sauce Ingredients

  • 40 g butter
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 40 g plain flour
  • 250 g milk
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg ground

Filling

  • 200 g curd cheese full fat
  • 125 g crème fraîche
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 250 g mature cheddar or other flavoursome hard cheese (in Austria I would use Bergkäse) grated
  • 4 tbsp fresh herbs mix of parsley, thyme, oregano, rosemary, marjoram, basil, dill, fennel etc. whatever you fancy or you have to hand
  • 100 g oats
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 tsp corn starch or potato starch
  • 300 g potatoes
  • 1 green or red pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 small leek
  • 50 g frozen peas
  • 50 g frozen sweet corn kernels
  • Salt & freshly ground pepper to taste

Topping

  • 25 g butter melted
  • Sesame seeds

Instructions

Prepare the vegetables for the filling

  1. Boil 300g potatoes and mash them. If you prefer a finer texture, you can also use a potato ricer to process the boiled potatoes.

  2. Cut the pepper and the carrot into small cubes, mince the garlic and thinly slice the leek. Using a knob of butter, fry these vegetables for around 10 minutes. Briefly simmer the frozen peas and frozen sweetcorn kernels, then strain well and add to the fried vegetable mix. The vegetables should retain 'bite' and not be overcooked. Altogether, you should use about 500g of vegetables (fresh and frozen). Make sure there is no excess liquid left in the vegetable mixture by the time you set it aside to cool.

Prepare the Béchamel Sauce

  1. Start by placing the butter in a pot to heat up, then add the diced onions. 

  2. Fry for a few minutes - don't let the onions brown.

  3. Add the flour and stir thoroughly for a minute.

  4. Add the milk and nutmeg and continue stirring until the sauce has thickened.

  5. Take away from the heat and leave to cool.

Prepare the dough

  1. Combine the dough ingredients in a medium bowl and mix together. I do this with my hands.

  2. Knead well until you have a formed a smooth dough. Don't be tempted to add any more water to the dough. It will come together well, just give it some time.

  3. Shape dough into a ball, brush with a little oil, place back in the bowl and cover the bowl.

  4. Leave to rest for 30 minutes at room temperature. This helps the dough structure to relax and makes it easier to roll/shape later on.

Prepare the filling

  1. In a large bowl, combine the cooled Béchamel Sauce, curd cheese, crème fraîche, egg yolks, grated cheese, herbs and oats. Mix well.

  2. Add the vegetable mixture and mashed potatoes and mix well. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

  3. In a smaller bowl, combine the egg whites and starch and whip until stiff.

  4. Carefully fold the stiff egg whites into the remaining filling. The filling should not be wet so it doesn't soak through the dough while you assemble the strudel.

Shape the dough

  1. Preheat the oven to 175℃.

  2. Flour your work surface (ideally a large linen or cotton kitchen towel) and use your hands to form the dough ball into an even rectangle.

  3. Flour the dough rectangle to prevent it from sticking and - using a rolling pin - take care to roll out the dough into a bigger rectangle.

  4. Line a suitably big baking tray with baking paper.

Assemble the Strudel

  1. Distribute the filling across two thirds of the strudel dough, leaving at least 1 cm around the edges free.

  2. Brush the final third with butter.

  3. Fold in the sides of the dough slightly over the filling to seal the sides.

  4. Roll into a strudel and carefully seal all the ends. If you are using the linen or cotton towel, the rolling can be done just by lifting the towel to roll the dough.

  5. Place seam-side down onto the baking tray. Again, this process is easier if you are using the cloth, as you can lift the strudel much more easily like this and carefully roll it onto the baking tray.

  6. Brush with the egg and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Bake & serve

  1. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes until golden brown.

  2. Serve warm with a side salad.

Recipe Notes

Add variety to your vegetable strudel by adding ground spices such as caraway, paprika, cayenne pepper or chili flakes. You can also add seeds such as sunflower and pumpkin seeds or boiled grains (e.g. rye grains or millet) into the strudel filling if you like. Make sure the grains are no longer wet before you add them.a

Serve with a crisp side salad.

 

Low glycemic index bread: barley flour bread recipe

 

Although barley is almost exclusively used in the brewing industry on account of its very low gluten content, barley flour is a really nice ingredient to introduce into bread baking. You’ll have even more reason for using barley if you are looking to keep the glycemic index (GI) of your home-baked bread as low as possible. I’ve been baking with barley flour ever since I came across the delicious barley rusks (used to prepare Dakos) hugely popular on the Greek island of Crete and after lots of research and experimentation I’d like to share my barley flour bread recipe with you.

Dakos
Dakos – If you’d like to make Greek barley rusks at home try this recipe which uses 44% barley flour… https://akispetretzikis.com/categories/snak-santoyits/kritharokoyloyres

 

Firstly though, I want to give you some background on barley flour and the glycemic index GI/ glycemic load GL values of different types of grains.

Barley flour bread is low GI bread

I’ve recently looked into low glycemic bread options as I’ve had to ensure my blood sugar levels were as stable as possible throughout the day for health reasons connected to my pregnancy. Out of all the grains, barley seems to come out on top. It contains a soluble fiber called beta-glucan which has been shown to slow glucose absorption and thought to help lower blood cholesterol.

The table below shows (reasonably) comprehensive information comparing the GI and GL of different grains, flours and one specific brand of bread. Data source: http://www.diogenes-eu.org/GI-Database/Default.htm

“The Glycemic Index (GI) is a relative ranking of carbohydrate in foods according to how they affect blood glucose levels. Carbohydrates with a low GI value are more slowly digested, absorbed and metabolised and cause a lower and slower rise in blood glucose and, therefore usually, insulin levels. Glycemic Load (or GL) combines both the quantity and quality of carbohydrates.  It is also the best way to compare blood glucose values of different types and amounts of foods. The formula for calculating the GL of a particular food or meal is: Glycemic Load = GI x Carbohydrate (g) content per portion ÷ 100.Source: https://www.gisymbol.com/

The Glycemic Index Foundation suggests that a GI of 45 or less is classified as low GI. For GL, 10 or less qualifies as low GL.

From the table below, we can see that only barley is low GI and none of the grains or flours listed qualify as low GL. Nonetheless, barley scores well.

Food nameGI valueGL
Pearl barley raw2521
Vogel’s sunflower and barley brown bread4016
Porridge Oats5820
Crispbread rye6445
Bran wheat7019
Wheatgerm7031
Rye bread7032
Wheat flour wholemeal7045
Wheat flour brown7048
Wheat flour white for breadmaking7053
Rye flour  whole7053
Wheat flour white plain7054

My barley bread recipe has taken inspiration from the above-mentioned Vogel’s sunflower and barley brown bread, incorporating both wheat and barley flours as well as sunflower seeds.

Barley flour bread recipe (sourdough barley bread)

Opt for barley bread if you are looking for a hearty addition to a low-GI diet. 

Barley flour bread recipe
Barley flour bread recipe

It is best to use barley flour in conjunction with high-gluten flour. My barley flour recipe uses 50% barley flour and 50% wholewheat flour to ensure the bread rises better. By adding at least 50% wheat flour benefits the crumb. In the interest of flavour and extensibility, I wouldn’t recommend to increase the % of barley flour. The higher the percentage of barley in relation to wheat, the less extensible the dough. I increased the dough hydration as well in order to account for the higher water absorption of the flours.

Barley flour bread low glycemic
Barley flour bread – low glycemic index bread
Barley bread recipe
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Barley flour bread recipe

Barley flour adds a pronounced sweetness and a suggestion of maltiness to this loaf. This is even more pronounced due to the added barley flake soaker. Add in some pre-boiled barley kernels to make a coarser type of barley bread if you wish.

Servings 8

Ingredients

Ingredients

    Sourdough Ingredients

    • 100 g wheat sourdough starter 100% hydration
    • 50 g wholewheat flour
    • 50 g water lukewarm
    • Barley Flake & Sunflower Seed Soaker Ingredients
    • 50 g barley flakes
    • 50 g sunflower seeds
    • 100 g hot water

    Main Dough Ingredients

    • 250 g wholewheat flour
    • 250 g barley flour
    • 10 g salt
    • 320 g water lukewarm
    • 100 g natural yoghurt

    Toppings

    • 1 handful of sunflower seeds
    • 1 handful of barley flakes

    Instructions

    How to make barley flour sourdough bread

      Day 1  - Refresh your sourdough starter & prepare the soaker

      1. In a medium bowl, combine all the sourdough ingredients, cover with a lid and keep at room temperature until the next day.

      2. Toast the barley flakes and sunflower seeds in a frying pan (no oil) to release the nutty flavours, then take off the heat, add the boiling water and cover immediately. Set aside at room temperature.

      Day 2 (about 24 hours later) - Prepare the main dough, proof & bake

      1. Combine 100g of the refreshed sourdough (the rest goes back into the fridge for future bakes) with all the remaining ingredients (the soaker you prepared the day before and all of the main dough ingredients) and knead for about 10 mins. The dough will be sticky yet pliable.

      2. Leave the dough to rest for about an hour.

      3. Oil a bread baking tin and distribute a handful of sunflower seeds across the bottom of the tin, covering the surface evenly.

      4. Transfer the dough into the oiled and seeded bread baking tin, evenly distribute the barley flakes across the top of the dough and cover with a lid or a polythene bag to keep the moisture in.

      5. Rest until fully proofed (this takes a good 4 hours in my cool kitchen) and preheat the oven to 220°C in time.

      6. Bake at 220°C for 10 mins, and at 200°C for a further 40 mins.
      7. Leave to cool on a wire rack.