Sweet and tender Golden Delicious apples mingle with cinnamon, raisins, and walnuts in this traditional Austrian dessert. Martha and Nick Malgieri made this recipe on Martha Bakes episode 503.
Combine apples, sugar, cinnamon, and raisins in a medium saucepan. Add 1/4 cup water and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Cover and let cook for about 5 minutes. Uncover, increase heat to high, and cook until thickened, about 2 minutes. Pour filling into a baking dish and stir in the walnuts; let cool to room temperature.
In a small saute pan, melt 5 tablespoons butter and add breadcrumbs. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring often, until toasted and golden brown, about 5 minutes. Set aside to cool. Wipe pan clean and melt remaining 3 tablespoons butter; set aside to cool.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees with rack positioned in the middle of the oven. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with a double thickness of parchment paper.
Lay a large, clean cloth or sheet (at least 3 feet long and wide) on a work surface, and sprinkle well with flour. Remove strudel dough from bowl without folding it over on itself and set it in the center of your work surface. Use the palms of your hands to flatten the dough. Dust dough lightly with flour and roll it in all directions, as well as rolling over the edges, making it as thin as possible. Lightly brush entire surface with oil.
Slide both hands, with slightly curved palms facing down, under dough toward the center. Holding this position, lift the dough off the cloth with your knuckles, and begin stretching from the center out to the edges until it is too large to stretch easily with your hands. Carefully set dough back on cloth, spreading it to smooth out any wrinkles or folds. Starting in the center again, continue to stretch out the dough in all directions, maintaining a rectangular shape, until the dough is almost translucent everywhere except the edges, which should be thicker. If the dough tears while stretching; you will be able to patch any holes with some of the excess stretched dough.
Once dough is stretched, let dry for 10 minutes.
Using a pizza wheel or kitchen scissors, trim all the thick edges until the dough is approximately 24-by-30-inches. With the 24-inch edge facing you, scatter the breadcrumbs on a 12-by-4-inch rectangle of dough centered about 3 inches in from the 24 inch side so the 16 inch side of filling is parallel to the 24 inch side of dough. Scatter the cooled filling on the same space.
Use a brush to drizzle the remaining 3 tablespoons of cooled butter all over the unfilled portions of the dough, reserving a little to brush the strudel with once it has been rolled.
Roll strudel by folding 3 inches of dough from the 24-inch side of dough over the filling, then fold the unfilled dough in from each side. Lift the cloth and roll the strudel, stopping to fold the edges inward as you roll. Transfer to prepared pan, seam side down, positioning diagonally if necessary.
Brush the top of the strudel with remaining butter, and snip vent holes in with sharp scissors.
Place strudel in oven. Bake, rotating pan halfway though, until deep golden brown and crisp, about 30 minutes. Transfer to wire rack to cool for at least 30 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature, cut on the diagonal into slices. Dust lightly with confectioners' sugar and serve with lightly sweetened whipped cream.