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Hearty Bavarian Meals (Part 2)

This article was written by Kristel Matousek and was featured in our November issue of Home By Design magazine. Recipe and photographs by Kristel Matousek from www.photoricalfood.com. To visit the original Home By Design article, click here.



Yields 8

  • 4 cups flour (500g)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1¼ cups warm water, 110 degrees F
  • 1½ teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 2 tablespoons malt barley syrup
  • 12 ounces water
  • ¼ cup baking soda
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tablespoon coarse salt

Beer Cheese Dip
Yields 16 ounces

  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • ¼ cup light beer
  • ½ teaspoon Hungarian paprika
  • ½ teaspoon hot paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground caraway
  • ¼ teaspoon white pepper
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 4 ounces Camembert cheese
  • Salt, season to your tastes
  • Chopped chives, for garnish
  • Pretzels, radishes, and thinly sliced red onions, for serving

For the pretzels, combine the flour and salt. In a separate bowl, combine the warm water, yeast, and barley syrup. Let yeast bloom for 15 to 20 minutes. Mix yeast with flour to form dough, and kneed for 5 minutes. Let dough rest and rise for a minimum of 1 hour. Divide dough 8 ways and form the dough into the desired shape. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Combine the 12 ounces water with the baking soda in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower the formed pretzels 1 at a time into the water, cooking until they float to the surface. Remove and place on a wire rack to drain off excess water, then transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Brush the surface of the pretzels with egg, sprinkle with salt, and place in the oven to bake until golden brown, approximately 15 minutes.

For the beer cheese dip, whip the cream cheese until smooth, then slowly add the beer. Whip until beer is fully incorporated. Season with paprika, caraway, and pepper. Add the butter, whip to combine, removing any clumps. Cut the Camembert into the cream-cheese mixture. Do not overmix. The final texture should be slightly lumpy. Taste and season with additional salt as needed.

Refrigerate the beer cheese dip for 1 hour. Garnish with chives, and serve with warm pretzels, radishes, and thinly sliced red onions.

TAKE A DIP. Beer cheese dip goes great with pretzels, radishes, and thinly sliced red onions too.


Serves 4


  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¾ cup mineral water
  • 2 eggs
  • Water, as needed for cooking noodles

Mushroom Gravy

  • ¼ cup oil, divided
  • 8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) onion, fine diced
  • 3 tablespoons corn starch
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • ¼ cup red wine
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • Fresh chopped parsley, for garnish

For the spaetzle, combine the flour, salt, and garlic powder. Mix in the mineral water and egg to create a runny dough. Place a large pot filled with water over moderate heat and bring to a simmer. Place a food mill with large holes over the simmering water and pour the dough into it, letting the dough pass through the food mill and drip into the water below. Alternatively, use a grill pan with large holes or a spaetzle grater; for a more authentic method, use a spaetzle board to cut the thin dough into 4-inch-long noodles as you scrape them off the board and into the water. Once the noodles float to the surface, remove them from the water and rinse under warm water to remove excess starch.

For the mushroom gravy, preheat a sauté pan over moderately high heat. Add 2 tablespoons of oil to the pan. Toss the mushrooms in the oil to coat. Sauté the mushrooms until golden brown, then remove from the pan.

Add the remaining 2 tablespoons oil to the pan and reduce to moderate heat. Cook the onions in the oil to soften and brown slightly. Mix in the corn starch and season with paprika, pepper, and salt. Blend in the tomato paste and cook to darken slightly. Deglaze the pan with wine, stirring to combine. Cook and reduce to almost dry.

Slowly add the broth to the corn-starch mixture, whisking to incorporate. Stir in the mushrooms and bring to a simmer, cooking to sauce consistency.

Top warm spaetzle with warm mushroom gravy. Garnish with fresh parsley, and serve.


Serves 10

  • ½ cup butter, divided
  • 3 cups rustic French bread, small diced
  • 5 cups (1½ pounds) shredded or diced apples
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ⅓ cup raisins
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons dark spiced rum
  • 6 layers phyllo dough
  • Powdered sugar, for dusting
  • Whipped cream and/or ice cream, for serving

Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a skillet over moderate heat. Toss the diced bread in the butter to coat and toast until crisp and golden brown, then remove from the skillet and set aside. Let cool fully before using a blender or food processor to process into crumbs.

Return the skillet to moderate heat. Add the apples, sugar, raisins, walnuts, cinnamon, and rum, and cook to soften the apples. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Divide the phyllo layers into 2 stacks of 3 sheets to make 2 strudels. Lay the phyllo dough on a flat surface atop a towel or piece of parchment to aid in rolling and shaping the dough. Brush each layer of phyllo dough with melted butter and layer one on top of the other.

Spread half the apple mixture in a 3-by-10-inch rectangle, 1 inch from the bottom and 1 inch from the sides of the phyllo sheets. Sprinkle half the bread crumbs across the top of the apples, then fold the ends of the dough inward over the filling to enclose. Fold the bottom of the dough over the filling and continue to roll the strudel upward (away from you) until the filling is fully enclosed in dough, brushing the dough with butter as you roll. Transfer strudel to a parchment-lined baking sheet, brush the top and sides with butter, and place in the oven to bake for 30 minutes. Repeat these steps to use the remaining bread crumbs and phyllo sheets to make a second strudel.

Liberally dust with powdered sugar and serve warm with whipped cream or ice cream.