What makes strudel unique is the thin dough and the way it is handled when opening. It is a delicate thing to make but very rewarding! This is a twist on the traditional apple strudel, probably of eastern European origin; if you cannot find cottage cheese, you can substitute it with ricotta or any soft white cheese from around your region.
Ingredients for the dough
3 cups unbleached flour
1 tsp salt
1 egg slightly beaten
2 tbsp olive or sunflower oil
1 cup warm water
Ingredients for the filling
24 oz small-curd cottage cheese
3 eggs, separated
1 cup sour cream
3 oz cream cheese
4 tbsp vanilla instant pudding (the secret!)
1 ½ cups sugar
1 cup butter
Preheat oven to at 180°C
Mix together water, egg, salt, oil and add to the flour in a big bowl. Mix with dough hook of mixing machine, or by hand.
Add remaining flour as needed and knead vigorously until smooth.
Place smooth, non-sticky dough in oiled Pyrex pie plate.
Cover with plastic wrap and let stand two hours or overnight.
Beat egg whites stiff.
In large mixer bowl beat cottage cheese, sour cream, cream cheese and 3 egg yolks.
Add instant pudding and mix well.
Fold in beaten whites.
Turn oiled dough onto well-floured cloth over large table, and begin rolling to about 20x20 inches. Roll to avoid thick edges.
Stretch very thin with hands, to cover and over-hang table, spreading melted butter over entire dough.
Spread filling over 2/3 of dough (from short end) and over it, sprinkle sugar (also coconut if desired) on last few inches.
Flip any remaining dough over to enclose.
Lift cloth to roll strudel.
Place in 9x13 inch buttered pan in three strips to fit pan lengthwise sealing ends with thin patches of dough that have been trimmed off, or in S shape without cutting.
Brush top with melted butter.
Bake for 45 minutes.