A dessert made from layers of tissue-thin dough that surround a fruit or cheese filling. The name comes from the German word for whirlpool, which describes the look of the many spirals in a slice of strudel. Strudel dough is a simple flour, water, egg and margarine or butter mixture. The dough generally is stretched on a large, floured, cloth-covered surface until it is so thin you can see through it. The stretching task is accomplished by using the palms of your hands, working underneath the dough, and gently stretching from the middle, working to the edges from one corner to the next. The thinly stretched dough makes for a very flaky pastry when baked. After stretching, the filling is spread near one edge of the dough. Then it is rolled up as you would a jelly roll. Traditionally, the roll is bent into a crascent or horseshoe shape before baking. Strudels are best when eaten warm just after baking.

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