Strudel is a staple dessert in my family, and this is my mum’s recipe. She used to make a stunning strudel dough, not puff or filo pastry – just flour, water, oil and vinegar. Rest it for 1 hour and then stretched it by hand to make it really thin. Then use your favourite filling from sweet curds with sultanas to cherry or pumpkin. This one uses rhubarb. —Irina Life in small bites
Make the dough and leave to rest for 1 hour: put all the ingredients together and mix thoroughly. I like to knead the dough by hand and feel it grow silky and soft, but if you prefer to knead it by machine, it is perfectly ok. The kneading should take about 15minutes by hand, 8-10 by mixer. Then rest in the fridge for 1 hour.
Make the crumble and leave to cool completely: melt the butter in a pan over a medium heat, add the breadcrumbs and the orange zest. Keep stirring gently until the breadcrumbs turn golden brown. While they are cooking, keep a close eye on them, because they can burn very easily. Put them aside to cool.
Make the rhubarb filling: put all the rhubarb with the sugar in a pan over a gentle heat. Leave for 8-10 minutes until the rhubarb is just a bit soft but still retains its shape. Put aside for when needed – it doesn’t have to be completely cool.
Shape the strudel: place a clean linen tea towel on the kitchen table. Dust it with flour and place the dough in the middle of it. Flour your hands and start stretching the dough gently. Use the back of your hands or/and your fingers to pull it outwards until it is very thin. It needs to go over the edge of the tea towel, but don’t worry if you don’t manage to stretch it that far.
Distribute the crumble evenly over the pastry. Then spread the rhubarb filling.
Grabbing one edge of the towel, roll the strudel gently away from you and over itself. Place it on to a baking tray and brush it generously with melted butter
Bake in the oven: at 450F/230C for 40 minutes. Let it cool, sprinkle with almonds, zest from one orange and icing sugar