Saturday, March 9, 2019

German Potato Dumplings (Kartoffelkloesse) – Dial-Up Some Delicious Dumplings

Sorry for the late upload, but I had some mysterious modem issues, and this German potato dumpling video took over 5 hours to upload! I was having flashbacks to those good, old dial-up AOL days, and they weren’t good flashbacks. I do miss that cool modem sound, but that's about it.

Anyway, it’s late, but I wanted to post the ingredient amounts, and maybe I'll add some more info tomorrow, although these are so basic that’s probably not necessary. The only tip I’ll give is that I think baking the potatoes works better than boiling them whole. Peeling, quartering, and boiling until tender will also work, but don’t overcook them, otherwise they'll absorb too much water.

By the way, if you’re German, or know the same things they do, I’d love to learn why we're sticking croutons in the middle of these things. I totally get the crumbs on top, but inside? If you have an explanation, I’d like love to hear it, and in the meantime, I really do hope you give these a try soon. Enjoy!

Ingredients for 8 to 10 German Potato Dumplings:
2 large russet potatoes (about 1 1/2 pounds)
salt, freshly ground black pepper, and cayenne to taste
pinch of nutmeg
2 large eggs
1 cup flour
fresh chives to garnish
For the croutons/crumbs
1 stick unsalted butter (1/2 cup)
2 cups fresh bread cubes


Klossfreund said...

OK, I´m german, and I was asked why to put Croutons in the middle of dumplings. Why? Because it´s delicious! Guten Appetit!

Klossfreund said...

Why to put Croutons in the middle of german dumplings? Because it´s delicious! Guten Appetit - enjoy! Many greetings from Germany.

Li, Fu Ran, Ph.D. said...

Hi, Chef John.
I learned to make these in Bavaria. I use 1/2 shredded raw potatoes and 1/2 boiled potatoes that I always "Rice". HaHa!
I had to slip that in.

Your recipe is the simplest and "mostly" authentic one that I have used. You can never cook anything like "Mom" did, so please ignore the comment on the "Authentic" way. By now, I'm sure you have learned to do this after all these years.

I was poor then, so I didn't use butter for croutons. I just drowned my dumplings in brown pan gravy made with the drippings of whatever dead animal parts that were available at the time.

Most meals I ate at home then, were simply dumplings and gravy...nothing more. A perfectly suitable meal for me, even now.
This was also the staff meal in most German restaurants then, now and elsewhere too.

You can never please everyone, so I no longer try. I watch you cook primarily for your techniques, not the actual recipe you are demonstrating. You always help me improve my cooking skills.

As to why there are strange substances inserted into the center of potato dumplings, I have been told a myriad of reasons "Why". Mostly tradition it seems. I personally think it's the German "Hausfrau's" equivalent of the "Chef's special". HaHa!

I alway like to learn from a trained professional, because I can learn the "Why" of the subject. That is what keep me motivated to press on with my life...the "Why".

Thank you for your efforts over all these years, Chef John.
May God Bless you and yours.

My very best regards, Li, Fu Ran, Ph.D.


Annie said...

Thank you.. this looks awesome

Unknown said...

Hi Chef John,

I never made them from scratch (we usually just buy the ready-made dough). But you using wheat flour struck me as off, so I checked several recipes. They all use potato flour instead of wheat.

From what I understand, the bread in the middle ist supposed to make them cook more evenly. But it is definitely optional.

Greetings from Germany,


Bastian said...

Nice recipe. I spend the first 23 years of my life in Germany. From what my grandparents told me the addition of bread to dishes like this was originally to stretch food during and after the war(s). I remember them having stale slices of bread on top of the radiator in order to use them in dumplings the next day. My favorite kind of German dumplings are Semmelknödel, they are bread dumplings sometimes with the addition of fatty pork belly topped with gravy.

Schnabelschweinchen said...

I am not sure, but i think you forgot the raw Potatoes Chef John... that increases the texture into something much better. :)

but i am not sure if you do that for the Yellow dumplings or just the green ones.... my mom always cooks them to different occasions... but i think she prepares both kinds half with cooked potatoes like your ones and half with raw ones, she let run through an juicer, so the potato meat gets mashed into a very fine and smooth mass. also its presses out most of the liquid, she reintroduce to the dough if its too dry.

and another tip for the "Pellkartoffeln" you made at the start, those unpeeled cooked ones, use smaller ones, they dont bust open like your one ^^ or.. better... i never had this problem :)

Daniel Bottoms said...

Chef John, you always make such pretty food. And hilarious videos. I've lived in Austria for almost 30 years and can report that this looks about like what my wife's mother and grandmother makes. In Austria they're called "Knoedel" and the dough you've made is often stuffed with things like roasted-pork-fat/skin (Austria called Grammeln... in German Grieben...) and or things like roasted bacon chunks or even like minced meats. They are also served whole like you've done as a side to just about anything with a sauce (most famously a pork roast).... but also gulash or a strange dish featuring heart, lungs, and liver braised in cream, called "Beuschel". It sounds hideous, and is not for the faint of proverbial heart, but it's actually quite tasty. This far east, however, I've never ever seen or heard of the bread-crumb thing. Thanks for sharing!!!

markb said...

I don't think you really want to season your water to taste like seawater. That's A LOT of salt. 35 grams per liter, according to this source:

Unknown said...

Hey Chef John, I have been waiting for this one...thank you! Would you think potato starch would work as and flour substitute?

Unknown said...

I haven't had German potato dumplings since my mother passed away in the 80s. I don't know for sure how she made them but I do remember she grated raw potatoes to make them. My father used to help to do that part. (He was the German in the family) Bread cubes for sure but not sauteed. And served with pork gravy. They were delicious. Thanks for the memory.

SkeleBones said...

one word


I was making cranberry sauce earlier today and had completely lost the cork to the wine I was using. Only logical thing left to do? Drink the wine. I forgot it was my homemade wine 50% ABV
Big mistake.
4 hours of drunken shitposting on the web later I see your video in my youtube feed.
"Hey this looks pretty good" I say aloud like the very drunk man I am
"Ive got everything except the bread. lemme wing it with these 2 week old hamburger buns I got laying about"
Which actually turned out better than I thought. because the buns were already bisected I didnt have to cut that much. just a 9X9 grid of cuts and viola. cubed bread.
I chug the rest of the wine bottle. Only two gulps.
I get around to rolling them into balls. I cant find a bowl to put water in to keep my hands moist. so I put on my wifes Small size disposable gloves we keep in the chicken to handle any kitchen we make.
One size fits most? HAH.
That bad idea out of the way I decide to just leave the faucet on.
With the cubed bread thats slightly too toasted on the one side(burnt to pure carbon) it turned out better cuz my drunken stupor would likely mash the bread too much and punch a hole in the underside of the ball
FF another half hour and my wife coming home yelling at me for the mess and the remaining butter burning on the stove. I proudly proclaim to my better 3 quarters.
"Wife-unit, I have procured foodstuffs for the evening!"

All in all they turned out pretty good. The potatos were chunky on account that I cant hold the masher. Which accentuated the mouth feel.
The wifes rage was caused AND appeased by these lovely little balls. She said they tasted quite lovely.

Im sobering up now as I type this. About to clean the kitchen I destroyed.
Thank you again Jon for another wonderful recipe. Have a wonderful night

Unknown said...

These look soooo delicious ... I'm making some today! oh - and I luv your posts, and have told my friends to 'tune in'. Thanx :)

Unknown said...

Dear Chef John,
I follow your block now for a couple of years and I love it!

The croutons are added to get an even cooking time. If you don't add them, sometimes the center is not cooked enough and the outside is overcooked.
However, in Germany we got a huge variety of "Klöse". I prefer the "Halb & Halb" (half and half). Meaning you add grated raw potato to the mixture before forming the "Klöse". Its super delicious! You should try it! Its like a mixture of mashed potato and potato pancakes.

Wish you all the best,

Unknown said...

Can I cheat with box potato flakes?

Unknown said...

Hey Chef John! I love your recipes and your videos are really fun to follow. I need your help if you can... My workplace is holding a chili contest and I'd love to see your favorite kind of chili to make that really stands out. I'm looking for something with a little spice but enough for everyone to enjoy the flavor as well.

Keep up the good work!

Unknown said...

Hi Chef John- Any chance you can repost this video? It is one of our absolute favorites and I want to share with my sister (who is just learning to cook) but the video link is broken. Also, thanks for your work, we are HUGE fans:

GlutenHeavy said...

If I was to leave the crouton in the middle out, would the center be an uncooked gooey mess and if so can I adjust the cooking time to accommodate?

Cliverton said...

Maybe if you pricked the potatoes with a fork so the steam (water vapor)could escape. Same principle as when you would bake or microwave.The force of the expanding gases will more than compensate for the small amount of pressure exerted by the water in the pot.
Why would you give the weight of the potatoes when you insist on not giving us a starting point with flour when baking?

Cabatosta (as my Neapolitan mother would have said)
Just sayin'

Michael said...

There is s even more delicious version of this that we make in Sweden called "kroppkakor" (have no idea how to translate it). It's about the same dough I, but filled with a fried bacon and onion mix (with some nice spices of course). We have a couple of versions of kroppkakor, both with mashed potatoes and raw potatoes. My favourite is "Småländska kroppkakor" :)