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Thüringer Klösse

Thüringer Klösse are THE traditional potato dumpling made from raw potatoes. In Thuringia, a state in the center of Germany, it is said that "a Sunday without dumplings is no Sunday at all." Following are two recipes for these ... my Mutti's and Tom's!

Mutti's Thüringer Klösse

Ingredients:

  • 2 lb potatoes, baking-type
  • 1 cup milk
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 5 tbsp Cream of Wheat (semolina)
  • 4 slices bread (day old)

Instructions:

  • Make croutons by cutting bread into cubes and browning in 2 tbsp butter.
  • Peel and grate potatoes into pan of cold water. Put grated potatoes into cheesecloth or clean dishtowel and squeeze out as much liquid as possible.
  • Bring milk to boil. Add 1 tsp salt, 2 tbs. butter, and Cream of Wheat. Simmer and stir until mixture forms a ball and leaves sides of pan.
  • Mix Cream of Wheat mixture with grated potatoes.
  • Shape into potato-sized dumplings (sprinkle flour on hands to keep from sticking to dough).
  • Press 1 or 2 croutons into center of each dumpling.
  • Gently drop into boiling water and simmer for about 15 minutes.
  • Remove with a slotted spoon and serve, especially with meat and gravy!

Hints:

  • Test cook one dumpling to make sure it stays together, before you cook the rest.


My Memories of making these ...

I remember spending hours with my Mom making her Thüringer Klösse. My job? Peeling pounds and pounds of potatoes!

This, however, is not a pleasant memory.

Vati had built a potato storage bin in the basement under the stairs (As a child, the basement was my least favorite spot in the house!) Since the potatoes were already down there, and peeling can be a messy job, the laundry tubs were the place to do this.

Pounds and pounds of potatoes.

Or so it seemed. It was probably only about 10 pounds at a time, but for me, it seemed endless. Then grating them (OUCH - the fingers!). Then squeezing the grated potatoes to remove as much liquid as possible.

Then came mixing them with the other ingredients. Finally, they were ready to be cooked. A long process indeed! BUT I LOVED TO EAT THEM!!


Another recipe for Thüringer Klösse

One of our Facebook Fans sent in his recipe for these. Here's what Thomas Loeffler wrote:

The ingredients (and instructions) are as follows:

  • 2/3 up to 3/4 of potatoes to to be used should be peeled, grated, and drained of as much water as possible.
  • The remaining potatoes are cooked, and riced while hot.
  • Meanwhile roast some cubed bread in butter, set aside (I usually leave them out of my dumplings).
  • In meantime heat large pot of salted water to point of simmer.
  • Mix hot riced and drained raw potatoes together, salt, and add hot milk as needed to make a dough that should be neither liquid nor too solid. On depending on moisture contents of potatoes this could be around 250... 300 mL for an original potato weight of 1500 G.
  • Divide dough, for dumpling, and add a few roasted bread cubes in center (if desired).
  • Slowly let them into the simmering water, making sure they have enough room to move inside without touching neighboring dumpling.
  • Depending on type of potato used one may have to add potato starch (from pressed potato water/juice). This comes with experience after the first few attempts.

When dumplings are floating, they are removed from water, drained, and served immediately with meat, gravy, and cabbage. The dumpling should be torn apart with knife and fork prior being drenched with gravy.

I made dumplings a few times, and not every time they are a success. They easily fall apart if the mixture of potatoes and milk isn't right. 

Aber, Uebung macht den Meister! :)


Why are the above two recipes so different?

 ... because there is no ONE recipe for any dish, unless of course it's been copyrighted by someone. Traditional means 'handed-down' and my Mutti's recipe was handed down in her family ... and others have the 'same' recipe handed down in their family ... called the same thing, but a totally different recipe. For example, there is no 'ONE traditional German potato salad' ... rather there are as many traditional German potato salads as there are Omas! 

So, if you're trying to replicate something you've eaten, ask that person for their recipe. If that's not possible, you may need to try various recipes, called the same thing, to get what you remember. On my site, you'll find things that are traditional for me, handed down by my Mutti and Oma. :)

Serve these Thüringer Klösse with ...

What would Mutti serve with these dumplings? Almost anything with gravy.

Of course, special were rouladen. With that, was sweet/sour red cabbage as a side dish. Roast pork was another favorite. With that, Mutti often served “Weisskohl.”

Another specialty Mutti had was “Sauerbraten.” Now that was a treat with these dumplings. This was a meal that Mutti would plan days in advance. The meat was always tender, and the gravy was so-o-o good with these potato dumplings.

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