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Thuringian Dumplings

traditional German recipes

An old Original Sonneberg Recipe from 1922

For 18 dumplings you need: 4 1/2 kilograms peeled raw potatoes (3 kilograms to rub, 1 1/2 kilograms for a mash), a little pieces of white bread, 30 g butter, 40 g salt, 1 litre water, 20 g salt for the mash, 4 to 5 litre hot water.

First the raw rub-potatoes must be rubbed with a very fine grater into lukewarm water. Then you have to pour the water with the rubbed potatoes inside into a little linen sack. Now you have to press the little sack very strongly, so that all water comes out. In this way you separate the raw potato flour inside the sack, which is now nearly dry, from the water. The water, which you press out of the sack has to be caught up into a bowl, where you have to wait until the potato starch has collected itself on the ground of the bowl.

The other 1 1/2 kilograms potatoes must be boiled very softly in 1 litre salt water (20 g salt). Then you have to mash these softly boiled potatoes together with the water, where you have boiled the potatoes, with a little twirling-stick to a thick potato mash. This potato mash must be boiled very strongly several times.

In the meantime you take the bowl, where the water, which was pressed out of the sack, was caught up. Now you have to separate the water and the potato starch. You have to pour away the water and you will see, that on the ground of the bowl the potato starch has settled down. Then you have to take the raw potato flour out of the linen sack and put it into the bowl with the potato starch. Please don't do this before otherwise your raw potato flour will get the colour red, when it is too long on the air, and your dumplings will not have the typical white/yellow colour. Put the 40 g salt into the bowl and knead with your hands the raw potato flour together with the potato starch and the salt very strongly.

Now you have to pour part by part the very hot and thick softly boiled potato mash into the bowl with the kneaded raw potato flour and starch. With a very big wooden twirling-stick you have to mix all this in the bowl together. This is a hard work, because the mash becomes more and more thick. The old tradition says, that the big wooden twirling-stick, which you have to use, must be self-made of the wood of your Christmas tree - of the strong trunk with the ring of branches around. But today you can use every wooden twirling-stick, when it is big and strong enough to mix the thick mash. If you see, that your mash doesn't become thick enough to form the dumplings, the potatoes, which you have used, haven't had enough starch. So it is allowed to put into the mash a little bit of bought potato starch-flour. Old women say, that the mash is perfect, when it seems to you, that the mash is "blabbing" while you work around with the big wooden twirling-stick.

Now the mash is ready to form the dumplings. Before you do this, you have to boil 4 to 5 litre water in a very big pot. In the same you have to roast very small pieces of bread in a pan with the 30 g butter. When the water boils, you can now form with wet hands the dumplings. In the mid of each dumpling you have to put some of the small pieces of the roasted bread. Close the dumpling and put it into the very hot water. But it is important, that the water doesn't boil any more otherwise your dumplings will fall asunder.The dumplings have to remain about 10 minutes in the hot water. First the dumplings fall down to the ground. When the dumplings come up and swim in the water, it is a sign, that the dumplings are ready to eat.


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