➤ by Oma Gerhild Fulson
German Potato Dumplings, aka Kartoffelklöße or Kartoffelknödel, invoke great memories of my Mutti's Sunday dinners. Her recipe uses cooked potatoes to create a traditional dumpling that goes well with almost any meat and gravy.
I found this recipe, the one I've added below, in my Mutti's handwritten cookbook.
This page in her cookbook for potato dumplings is so worn!
Why? It's THE traditional side dish that she served with almost anything.
Although it often was served with rouladen, it was just as delicious with her sauerbraten or pork pot roast.
Best of all was that if there were leftovers. They tasted so fabulous sliced and fried in butter the following day. Served plain or with leftover gravy ... memories! Below, I've served them with some leftover Dicke Bohnen and Speck. (That recipe is in my book, German Meals at Oma's.)
Perhaps make a double batch of Kartoffelklöße, just to have leftovers!
These dumplings really taste best when they've got the butter-fried bread croutons in the middle, so try not to miss that step, even if you're in a hurry.
There's also a super good reason to put the crouton in there. They ensure that the center of the dumpling is cooked!
Well, since there's no 'raw' dough in the middle, the dumplings cook quicker and through and through. I don't think I explained that well, but, I think you'll understand once you make them. :)
The best potatoes to use for potato dumplings are Russets (a starchy baking potato) or an all-purpose potato such as Yukon Gold (my favorite).
Do make sure you cook your potatoes the day before. Don't peel beforehand. Cook them in their skins.
Once they are done (a knife poked in them slides easily to the center) , you can either peel them while they are still warm, or wait until they are cold. Place in fridge until the next day.
You'll want to mash the potatoes for the potato dumplings, the following day once they are cold. DO NOT USE A MIXER!
The best is to use a ricer ...
Alternatively a food mill or just an old-fashioned potato masher will work.
Now then, it's on to make the potato dumplings!
But first you'll want to make the bread croutons, if you are using them. I explained the purpose for the croutons above, but for me, the real reason for including them in the middle of the dumpling is the flavor. They just taste so great!
Once the croutons are ready, it's time to make the dumplings. Add the ingredients to the potatoes, either on the counter or in a bowl.
Mix together with your hands until the dough holds together. Then divide the dough into portions and form the dumplings.
To keep the dumplings from sticking to your hands when you are forming them, you can either wet your hands with water, or dust your hands with flour. Either way works.
Make sure you hide a couple of croutons in the middle.
Then, when you are ready to cook them, do make a test dumpling first.
Test cook one dumpling to make sure it stays together, before you cook the rest. If it doesn't, you'll need to add a bit extra flour or liquid, depending on how sticky or dry your 'dough' is.
By the way, that 'test' dumpling is a great treat to nibble on while you cook the rest of the dumplings. The advantage of being the cook!
Very gently simmer the dumplings. It's said that they are ready once they rise to the top.
For me, they often rise to the top shortly after they start to simmer. I let them continue to simmer for the 15 to 20 minutes, in order to assure that they are cooked through.
Then, it's time to serve them.
For me, it's most important that there is LOTS OF GRAVY! Rouladen gravy or Flatladen gravy is best!
She had another recipe she often used, but I can’t find a copy of it anywhere. She called it “Halbseidene Klösse” meaning “half-silk dumplings”.
I remember her using a mixture of cooked potatoes and raw ones. Not sure if this was her attempt to mimic the Thüringer Klösse and minimize the work.
However, these potato balls that I've posted here, were the ones she made especially as she was older, because she loved to do as much work ahead as she could.
That meant she’d cook the potatoes and rice them the day before, so she could quickly mix up the dumplings just before we came to visit. And, she’d always insist we come for dinner, (How could we refuse?), since she enjoyed seeing us enjoy her food.
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