Wickelklöße, The Humble Yet Mighty Potato Dumpling

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Wickelklöße, when rolling and cooking the potato dumplings, remember that you’re not just making dinner, you’re participating in a centuries-old tradition. Wickelklöße is all about culinary Gemütlichkeit, the warmth and coziness that defines so much of German food culture.

In an age of fast food, processed ingredients, and culinary trends that come and go, there is a growing desire for something authentic. It’s not only about the taste, and presentation, it’s the story.
There is a rising trend in consumer preferences toward seasonal, sustainably sourced, unprocessed food. In our days consumers are much more conscious of the environmental and social impact of their purchasing decisions.

For me, knowing where my food comes from, who grew it, and how it was made, adds a whole new layer of flavor. I love to cook time-tested methods, and traditional recipes to offer a connection to the past, to family heritage, and to a simpler way of life.

What are Wickelklöße?

Wickelklöße, more accurately translated as rolled dumplings, appear humble due to their simple ingredients. Yet, their unassuming nature belies a surprising power of comfort and satisfaction.

They are traditionally served with a rich gravy or broth, alongside roasted meats or sauerkraut. But don’t be afraid to get creative! They’re also delicious with a simple dollop of sour cream, whipped goat cheese, or applesauce.

The exact origin of Wickelklöße is a bit murky, likely stemming from various pockets of central Europe like Saxony and the Erzgebirge mountains. Early versions probably date back to the 17th or 18th century, born out of resourcefulness and the need to stretch ingredients, particularly leftover potatoes. The first Kartoffelknödel recipe in Germany was printed around 1850, while the Austrians claim the first Fastenknödel recipe was printed in 1600.

So, the next time you crave comfort food, consider embarking on a Wickelklöße journey. From classics to creative new fillings, discover the diversity that makes this simple dish so endlessly captivating!

Wickelklöße
Crsipy Bacon | Butternut Sqaush | Apple Sauce

Why Wickelklöße?

Anthony Bourdain once said that good food is often, even most often, simple; and I agree.
Wickelklöße, the unassuming potato dumplings of German cuisine, is more than just a culinary delight. They aren’t just dumplings; they’re a forkful of nostalgia, and a testament to the magic that happens when flour, bread crumbs, potatoes, and simplicity get together.

Wickelklöße & Honey Roasted Chestnuts

Use seasonal ingredients whenever possible.
Get creative with your fillings. There are endless possibilities!

Wickelklöße & Mushrooms
Plant-based Red Wine Balsamico Sauce

What kind of  Potato to use for Wickelklöße?

The best potatoes are Russets or an all-purpose potato like Yukon Gold. You want to cook your potatoes the day before; and don’t peel them beforehand, cook them in their skins.

You can slice and serve the dumplings right after you cook them. I prefer to cut my cooked dumplings into slices and fry them in a pan with a little butter until crispy. Pan-frying the dumplings in a little oil or butter adds a whole new dimension of flavor and texture.

Potatoes, are they good for you?

Mom was right, vegetables are good for you and we do not eat enough vegetables and potatoes are key to addressing this.

Potatoes are naturally fat-free, cholesterol-free, and sodium-free. In addition, potatoes are an excellent source of vitamin C and a good source of potassium. Foods that are good sources of potassium and sodium-free, such as potatoes, may reduce the risk of high blood pressure and stroke.

Potatoes are a nutrient-dense vegetable. A medium potato with skin has only 110 calories per  5.3-ounce serving. Potatoes are relatively inexpensive and readily available, making them a familiar and reliable source of comfort. Potatoes are incredibly versatile, lending themselves to a vast array of cooking methods and flavors. Whether roasted, mashed, fried, baked, or boiled, they always deliver a satisfying taste and texture.

Comfort Food

These humble potato dumplings are more than just a dish in Germany, they embody tradition, comfort, and community. For me, Wickelklöße are associated with childhood memories and family meals. They instantly transport me back to a simpler time, bringing a wave of positive memories, of humble and powerful, tasty food that did not require extravagant ingredients.

As a young chef, I ventured out, exploring new lands and exploring new culinary horizons.  But the memory of Wickelklöße never faded, they became a reminder of simple pleasures that I carried with me wherever I went.

Wickelklöße are special. They’re not some standardized, mass-produced dumplings. They’re a living, breathing testament to the diversity and adaptability of tradition. You could say, that with each Wickelkloß recipe I roll, cook, and enjoy, I create tiny acts of delicious food memories.

Wickelklöße

Dumplings need a Sauce:

The key to a good dumpling is a great sauce and dumplings are screaming to soak up the good sauce. That’s the reason you’ll see them served as a side to braised meats, like pot roast, braised pork shoulder, etc. The good news is that you can create a wonderful plant-based red wine balsamico sauce at home without a Chef Saucier in your kitchen.

Sweat your vegetables when cooking your red wine balsamico sauce, which gives your sauce oomph, and flavor.  Gently sweating veggies is my favorite technique to create that wonderful layer of flavor. Add spices, herbs, red wine, balsamic vinegar, and a good vegetable stock and you are in business. I recommend cooking the sauce with a full-bodied, inexpensive Cabernet Sauvignon. You can find a cabernet in your local grocery store; it’s perfect for cooking a solid red wine sauce.

Red Wine Balsamico Sauce

Enhance your Red Wine Balsamico sauce

Please think of this sauce as your mother sauce, a sauce that you can use on its own or build on it and transfer into another sauce.

Here are a few suggested sauces that use the red wine balsamico sauce as a base.

  • Vegan Red Wine sauce: without butter and using  a vegan red wine, it makes an excellent vegan sauce
  • Mushroom cream sauce – add cream and sautéed mushrooms.
  • Sauce Robert –  finished with Dijon mustard.
  • Fig and Honey – infuse the red wine balsamic sauce with pureed figs and honey.

The Humble
Yet Mighty Potato Dumpling

The Taste

A combination of potatoes, and savory breadcrumbs, with notes of nutmeg, crispy bacon, and parsley.
The mushroom red wine balsamico sauce adds another flavor profile that compliments the dumplings.
If you’re looking for a delicious and comforting dish that will warm you up from the inside out, then Wickelklöße are the perfect choice.

The Process

Easy to cook
A dish where Grandma’s wisdom meets the modern kitchen.
There is no need for fancy gadgets, just simple ingredients and delicious traditions.

The Verdict

My craving for Wickelknödel is not just about deliciousness;
it’s a deeper connection to memories and emotions.
Make the recipe and you might discover the reason it’s earned its place at the heart of German cuisine.

 

Wickelklöße

Wickelklöße

Chef Norbert
The beauty of Wickelknödel lies in its humble, simple presentation and the focus on the subtle flavors and textures.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 45 minutes
Cook the plant - based red wine sauce 1 day
Total Time 1 day 2 hours 15 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine German
Servings 5 People
Calories 643 kcal

Ingredients
 
 

Potato Dough

Cook the Red Wine Mushroom Sauce

Fill the Dumplings

  • 3 ounce bacon cracklings
  • 2 ounce bread crumb
  • 2 ounce butter, unsalted melted
  • 1 ounce flat-leaf parsley chopped

Frying the Wickelklöße

Instructions
 

Steam the Potatoes

  • Wash medium-sized potatoes. Steam them whole, with their skins on, for approximately 30 to 45 minutes, or until a fork easily pierces through the center. While the potatoes are still warm, peel them and push them through a potato ricer to ensure smooth, fluffy potatoes. Let the potatoes cool at room temperature, place them in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and store them in the refrigerator for next-day use.
    2 lb Russet potatoes

Clean the Mushrooms

  • While to potatoes are steaming, use a pastry brush to gently brush off any visible dirt or debris from the mushroom caps and stems. Use a sharp knife to trim about 1/4 inch off the end of each stem, where most of the dirt is likely to be concentrated. If there's still some dirt clinging to the mushrooms, you can quickly wipe them with a damp cloth, but avoid submerging them in water.

Cook the Red Wine Mushroom Sauce

  • Melt butter and olive oil together in a large frying pan or skillet set over high heat. Add the sliced mushrooms and fry until they are golden brown. Reduce the heat to medium-high, then pour the plant-based red wine sauce into the pan. Bring to a quick boil, reduce the heat to a simmer.
    1 tsp extra virgin olive oil, 6 oz Plant-based Red wine Sauce, 16 oz Mushrooms

Make the Potato Dough

  • Mix the flour, semolina, and cornstarch and add to the potatoes. Add the egg yolk and season with sea salt and nutmeg. Work everything together quickly to form a smooth dough.
    1.5 ounce whole wheat flour, 2 ounce semolina flour, 1 egg yolk, 2 ounce cornstarch, 1 pinch nutmeg, 1 tsp sea salt, 2 ounce all-purpose flour

Cut and Crisp the Bacon

  • Cut 5 ounces of smoked bacon into dice and start cooking from a cold pan until the bacon is crispy. Drain bacon, you should have about 3 ounces of crispy bacon cracklings.

Roll and cook the Wickelklöße

  • Separate the potato dough into 2 equal pieces. This will make it easier to roll and fill the dough. Line a large piece of aluminum foil with plastic wrap. Sprinkle the plastic wrap with flour. Add the dough and roll the dough into 7 x 14-inch rectangles.
  • Melt the butter and brush the dough with melted butter, add the breadcrumbs, bacon cracklings, and chopped parsley, spreading it evenly Roll up the dough from the long side. Wrap the roll in the foil, sealing the ends like candy. Place the roll in a roasting pan and simmer in water for 25 minutes.
    3 ounce bacon cracklings, 2 ounce bread crumb, 2 ounce butter, unsalted, 1 ounce flat-leaf parsley
  • Carefully remove the roll from the pan and let it cool slightly. Unwrap the roll and cut it into 1-inch thick slices.

Pan-fry the Wickelklöße

  • Heat a saute pan to medium-high heat (around 300℉). Spray the pan with olive oil add 1 /2 ounce of butter, and fry the sliced Wickelklösse over medium heat for 3-4 minutes per side, or until golden brown and crisp. Arrange the pan-fried dumplings on a plate and serve with the red wine mushroom sauce and vegetables of your choice
    2 spray extra virgin olive oil, 1/2 ounce butter, unsalted

Chef Notes

  • Reserve the drained bacon fat for other recipes. 
  • Use Turkey bacon if you want to reduce fat and calories.
  •  They're also delicious with a simple dollop of sour cream or applesauce

Nutrition

Serving: 1 Portion | Calories: 643kcal | Carbohydrates: 83g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 89mg | Sodium: 959mg | Potassium: 1400mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 6g

Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate

Keyword Dumplings
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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