Posted by Dani Crickman
Today marks one week until our Twitter Book Club with Julie Orringer, author of The Invisible Bridge. The book is full of all sorts of little details that bring the time and place of the story to life, but the ones that stuck with me most were the mentions of food. I love trying to recreate foods that pop up in novels; it helps make what I’m reading that much more real to me. And since I’m more of a baker than a cabbage-stuffer by inclination, I decided to try my hand at Hungarian walnut strudel — a dessert Andras and Klara share more than once over the course of the novel.
I drew largely from this recipe, but my version is vegan because that’s the way I roll. As it were. (This version is also pareve!)
Hungarian Walnut Rolled Strudel
2 T sugar
1 packet dry active yeast
½ c lukewarm water
1 c whole wheat pastry flour
1 c all-purpose flour
¼ c Earth Balance or other non-hydrogenated margarine, softened (or butter)
1 T ground flaxseed + 3 T water (or 1 egg)
½ t salt
½ lb freshly ground walnuts
1 c sugar
½ c milk substitute, boiled — I used oat milk (or milk)
2 T Earth Balance, melted (or butter)
Preheat oven to 350°F.
In small bowl, add yeast and sugar to lukewarm water and stir until dissolved. In larger bowl, blend flours and Earth Balance with a pastry blender. Add yeast mixture, flax mixture, and salt into larger bowl. Mix until dough is smooth and pulls away from side of bowl. Divide dough in half. On floured surface with floured rolling pin, roll out each portion into a rectangle, about 11”x15”.
In medium-sized bowl, mix walnuts and melted Earth Balance. Boil milk and add all but about 2T to walnut mixture. Stir to create thick, spreadable paste; add more milk if necessary.Spread half of the walnut filling on each dough rectangle. Roll up dough from narrower side, jelly roll style.
Place rolls seam side down, 2” apart in greased baking pan. Prick sides and top with a toothpick. Bake for 30 – 45 minutes until browned. Cool and dust with sugar. Cut into ½‑inch thick slices. Makes about 20 pieces.
Recommended for nibbling on as you make your way through the last chapters of The Invisible Bridge in the days leading up to our Book Club, or as a lunchtime treat the day of.