It had been hot and humid like a sauna the last few days. Everyone I asked about the weather told me, this is too hot for Illinois. But hey I lived in Kansas City, I know hot summers… but I got never used to it. The good thing is I don’t have any trouble to find an excuse to eat an ice cream. The bad thing is, the heat kept in the house since days and walking the dog is like jogging in a hammam. But I am not afraid to bring my air conditioner to the limit and use my oven and stove whenever I like. Despite the temperatures outside I was carving for something which is more an autumn or winter dish in Germany: schupfnudeln.
I searched my brain and the internet for a right translation, the first source let me down but I found the expression rolled noodle or finger noodles on wikipedia and somewhere I saw potato noodles. Well that wouldn’t help me either but think about a gnocchi freaks out and transforms to a snake.
Don’t get me wrong I love gnocchi but these guys have their limits, not schupfnudeln, they are as versatile as your imagination. They are great as a side dish with stews, meat etc. or as a main dish with vegetables like kale or with caramelized onions. And they got a lot of talent going sweet. The most famous ways to eat them in Germany are with sauerkraut and bacon (speck) or as a dessert with poppy seeds, apple butter or other compote. I was in the mood for dessert for dinner, so I made a sweet version and it didn’t take as long as you might think. Actually it was relaxing: I managed to roll the dough on my counter with the left hand while holding my iced coffee in the other hand. 😉
This is a fun thing to make with kids, rolling is easy and the dough is, although a little sticky, easy to manage with just a dust of flour.
2 servings as a main dish and 4 servings as a side dish
One day old potatoes are best, leftover baked potatoes work great. If you don’t have them on hand and you can’t wait to make schupfnudeln: cook the potatoes like usual, then drain well and peal as soon they are cool enough to handle, cut into pieces, put on a baking sheet in one layer and put into the oven at 160 C / 320 F for about 10 minutes, tap with your finger if they still feel moist, keep them for longer in the oven, they should be dry but the outside should not have a crust. Let cool.
300 g / 2/3 pound cooked floury potatoes like Russets (Idaho)
1 egg yolk (from a large egg)
3 tablespoons or more all purpose flour
nutmeg (freshly ground preferred)
some flour for dusting
Press the potatoes through a potato ricer or use a masher. Add the egg yolk, flour, salt, nutmeg and mix with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula. You can knead with your hands but it will be sticky.
Form and cook one schupfnudel for testing, I recommend this to make sure they will not fall apart (because the starch in every type vary) and for tasting if you got enough salt. If necessary add some more flour or salt and try again.
Lightly flour your working surface and your hands, the trick is using just enough flour that the dough won’t stick but too much and you won’t get them rolled, you will figure that out very easily. Put more flour on a plate or tray where you want to lay the schupfnudeln later.
Take about half of the potato dough and form a log and cut into pieces, it helps to dig your knife into the flour from time to time. Roll the pieces into little snakes with thinner ends and thick as a finger. Put them in a single layer on the well floured plate or tray. Continue with the other half of the dough.
Bring a medium or large pot of water to boil, reduce heat to a simmer and add salt. Carefully drop in the schupfnudeln and cook, after 3 minutes they will rise to the surface, let them cook for further 1.5 minutes and remove the cooked schupfnudeln with a skimmer, shake of excess water. You might want to cook in batches.
You can eat them just cooked but they are even better browned. Therefore add one tablespoon butter in your pan and lightly brown the schupfnudeln.
You can make them ahead and store the cooked schupfnudeln in the refrigerator and pan fry before serving. They freeze very well, lay them in a single layer on a tray or baking sheet until frozen then move them in a freezer bag for longer storage.
sweet version with poppy seeds
4 servings as a dessert
Prepare the schupfnudeln but skip the salt and add 2 teaspoons sugar, some nutmeg wouldn’t hurt but use less than in a savory dish.
Bring your pan to medium heat, add one tablespoon butter and brown the schupfnudeln, remove from the pan and set aside. Add about 1/4 cup poppy seeds, 1 tablespoon butter and 1-2 tablespoons sugar to the same pan and let the sugar caramelize. Add a handful of dried cranberries (raisins would work as well), add the schupfnudeln to the pan and stir and serve. The plum compote with port wine tastes great with schupfnudeln.