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.