<>*<>*<>*<>*<>*<> GERMAN GOODIES Oct 22, 2012 <>*<>*<>*<>*<>*<>
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Guten Tag
Welcome to the Oct 22, 2012 Newsletter !

Potato Dumpling Diary
(Kartoffel Klöße or Knödel)

Oktoberfest Festivals

Big Bear Oktoberfest

Helen, Georgia, Oktoberfest.

 

From what I understand dumplings are called Knödel in Western and Northern Germany and Klöße in South Eastern Germany. In this newsletter I am refering to dumplings as Klöße.

My first experiments with dumplings go way back to when I was first a chef!

It was a disaster as I tried to float globs of floury dough on a simmering stew put the lid on with great hopes but when uncovered it looked like the deflating old beach ball sitting in the garage.I was a bit deflated too. That was the last time I tried them for a long time. Being Swabian my grandma a majority of the time made Spaetzles instead of dumplings. It was easy for her with her trusty Spaetzle press and tried and true recipe she had down and we requested them over and over.

I was entranced by the large dumplings I saw in German cookbooks, sitting high and perfectly round next too a tender roast smothered in Gravy. I thought how in the heck do they make those things and how do they get them cooked all the way through?

 

 

The simple potato dumplings from cooked potatoes that my grandma Emma made

My grandma’s recipe for potato dumplings used all cooked potatoes and they were small yummy but really needed lots of gravy. Good but not anything that I considered to be something extrordinary. . I saw these pictures of HUGE lumberman fist size potato dumplings, and wanted to learn how to make those. I wondered how they would get them to be so perfectly round and how they got them fully cooked on the inside.

Before knowing all my wonderful German friends to help I read about using "raw potato" in dumplings and tried to make them. However they turned gray on me and tasted nasty. If you have tried making hash browns starting with raw potatoes some of you know what I mean. Sometimes they have a strange flavor and can stick all over the pan, as well as turn a yucky gray color and unless done right they taste way starchy. So I abandoned that idea but still wondered in the back of my mind about "those strange Germans" that would like raw potatoes in their dumplings.

Then a few years ago Barb Rokitka sent me a recipe for dumplings that uses half and half (halb und halb) cooked and raw so I decided to try it and those were quite good! She also uses a similar formula for her potato pancakes. I noticed that there was an unusual flavor that was different than tasting say a mashed potato or baked potato.

When my friend Rolf who grew up East Germany visited me in California donned in Lederhosen like I dared him, he showed me how to make potato pancakes with totally raw potatoes and then told me you could make raw potato dumplings with just grated potatoes and the starch that is on the bottom of the pan. WOW REALLY!
I had enough trouble getting the dumplings to hold together with cup after cup of flour and eggs to hopefully glue these together so they wouldn't disintegrate in the simmering water. I was intrigued with how to make a huge perfect dumpling with nothing else but potatoes and the starch that resides in them.

My online friend Gert Reitner that grew up in Munich told me about what he loves to eat at the real Oktoberfest. (die Wiesn) He mentioned the variety of dumplings that are available, his favorite being the raw potato dumplings. This was my chance. How the heck do you make those? Gert sent me his recipe that has been handed down for over 150 years and walked me through it. I was so excited to make these dumplings successfully. With a little work you get the right consistency. I read in The Cuisines of Germany: Regional Specialties and Traditional Home Cooking that in Thuringia the bride to be was tested by the husband to be's family in her skill at making potato dumplings.

These Raw dumplings are often called grüne Klöße in Germany or green dumplings, It sounds close to grune Klayss...but that is not exact. Green refers to the potatoes being raw.

 

What balance of raw to cooked potatoes do you like for either Potato Dumplings (Kartoffel Klöße) or Potato Pancakes (Kartoffelpuffer)

Next I experimented with different amounts of cooked potatoes with the raw potatoes. Most of the recipes that you see for Thuringia dumplings use about 1/3 mashed potatoes, which is a good rule of thumb I felt for my taste, although I think it should be more of a feel. Although potato dumplings appear in many cultures around the world, The Germans to my knowledge are the only ones I know of that like to blend the raw and the cooked potatoes together. I LOVE this flavor and texture. The texture reminds me of properly cooked al dente pasta that has a bit of a chew to it.

photo credit Weimarer Land

One last detail, worth noting is that the croutons used in the large potato dumplings that are there primarily because the center won't get cooked properly. I found that I want GREAT tasting croutons and not just stale bread or crap tasting old stale store bought ones.

So I make them with day old rolls and fry them in oil and butter YUM.

 

 

Which Potato to Use?


For this kind of dumpling yoiu want a Starchy potato so use the Russet and not the Red Skin or Yukon

I was wondering why from German pictures so many of the potato dumplings had such a pretty yellow hue to them,
Trudy Maynard answered my question......

"All types have girls names like Annabella, Celina, Sieglinde, etc. Depending on the type, they have yellow or dark yellow flesh. And then there are Laura, Victoria or Agria, that are used exclusively for knoedel dough. Like our Russet, but with yellow flesh. Note: Yukon Gold, the only potato ever bred in Canada, is not recommended, as they contain too much water. What to use: Russet potatoes and "Omega Gold" eggs, with the dark yellow yolk. These eggs are a bit more costly, but taste better. If you add a couple of these to your knoedel dough, you'll get a nice light yellow color. Not like in the picture, but not anorexic ("blass" in German) either. Germans are very serious about their produce......and continue breeding more potato types. In Canada, I've planted the imported "Sieglinde", available as a seed potato in some upscale nurseries. None of our North American potatoes beats "Sieglinde"

Thank you Trudy.

Seiglinde Potato.

I am going to seek out and see if I can buy some starts for these.

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Thuringia Kartoffel Klöße,
(Potato Dumplings),
Grüne Klöß (Green or Raw Potato Dumplings)

 

 

Go here to make the Thuringia Kartoffel Klöße or Grüne Klöße
with Step by Step Pictures

(Potato Dumplings or Green or Raw Potato Dumplings)

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Recipe for
Half and Half cooked and raw Potato Dumplings

From Barb Rokitka.

More Dumpling Recipes


Our Family
Cookbook

Recipes
from a
German Grandma

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Berliners

Apple Kuchen

Apfel Strudel

Stollen

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Lebkuchen

 

Springerle

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Bratwurst

 

Sauerbraten

 

Rouladen

Wienerschnitzel

 

Old Fashioned Home Made Noodles

 

German Potato Salad

 

Potato Dumplings
(Kartoffel Knödel)

Spätzle

 

Gefulte Nudeln

Chicken and Dumplings

Rotkohl
(Sweet and Sour Purple Cabbage)

Potato Pancakes
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If you liked Recipes from a German Grandma...

 

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Big Bear Oktoberfest Has Started
Every weekend through October in Southern California

Go Here for Details

Helen, Georgia Octoberfest Festival
this weekend and through October

 

Find out more about the dates and the festival here

 

 

From the German Deli
Germandeli.com

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More of my Vanilla Bean Specials for Fall here


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German Music

In München steht ein Hofbräuhaus

 

 

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Oktoberfest Beer Drinking Song

 

 

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Die Kirmesmusikanten - Jeder Tag ist ein schöner Tag

 


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Wiesn Hit 2010 "Kühe machen Mühe" (Powerziach)

 

 

 


 

 

More German Music

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Over 50 great pickle recipes for all
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The German Goodies Facebook Page

Also place recipe requests

Join our discussion of German recipes on Facebook
Just hit the "Like" button and you can start posting.

 

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Alles Gute!

Stephen Block