Czech Potato Dumplings
- 4 Medium Idaho Potatoes - Scrubbed, Skins On
- 1 Tbs Salt
- 2 Eggs
- 1 Tbs Farina Cereal
- 2 1/2 Cups Flour
- 4 Tbs Melted Butter
Making The Dumpling Mixture: Cook potatoes in skins by boiling in salted water until fork tender. Drain, cool and peel. Force through a potato ricer. Mound potatoes in a large bowl, then make a depression in the center so that it looks like a volcano. Pour salt, unbeaten eggs and farina into the center. Mix with a fork until well blended. Work in the flour a little at a time, then begin kneading until mixture holds together like bread dough. (It’ll stick to your hands, but will hold it’s own shape well and is resilient. If the dough is too sticky, add small amounts of flour to achieve firm but tender dough).
Shape, Cook the Dumplings: Bring a large pan of water to a rolling boil (salted if desired). Meanwhile, form dumpling mixture into a roll about 2-inches thick, then cut into 2-inch pieces; move these to a lightly floured surface. Drop one dumpling into the water; cover and boil for 10 minutes. If the test dumpling holds together, add the rest of the dumplings; cover and cook for 20 minutes without lifting lid. When dumplings float to the surface, remove one with slotted spoon and check for doneness by cutting it in half with a thread. If the center is wet and doughy, cook longer. Continue testing every minute or so. Remove cooked dumplings with a slotted spoon.
Presentation: Brush dumplings with melted butter to prevent sticking.
Making these dumplings is easy, but it may take practice, so try out the recipe on your family before serving to guests. The amount of flour you use is the real variable. Remember that as you work the flour into the potato mixture; allow a few minutes for ingredients to absorb before adding more flour; that way you’ll get less heavy dumplings. But the use of too little flour can cause the dumplings to break up and fall apart when they’re boiled. Doing a "test dumpling" or two is helpful. If the test dumpling doesn’t hold together, knead a little additional flour into the dough rolls. Idaho potatoes are right for this recipe and thicker-skinned potatoes work best. Forcing the cooked, peeled potatoes through a ricer reduces the risk of gummy results.
Yield: 6-8 servings
Jeff Wilson (2004)