Germknödel are a classic Austrian and German sweet dumpling that is filled with plum butter, topped with melted butter or vanille soße, and a mixture of poppyseeds and powdered sugar.
What is the difference between Germknödel and Dampfnudeln?
The difference is that Germknödel are typically boiled or steamed with water, whereas Dampfnudeln and cooked in milk or cream. This recipe is the way my Oma and Mama have always cooked them which is sort of a combo of the two lol so they are cooked in half water and half milk.
What if I can’t find Plum Butter?
Plum jam/butter is the most common filling for germknödel but any jam will work as long as it isn’t too runny.
Can this be made in advance?
Not really, these are best eaten immediately after they are finished cooking. If they sit around they will deflate and become thick and dense.
Butter vs. Vanille Soße
These can either be topped with melted butter or Vanille Soße (here is a recipe for it) both taste delicious but butter is easier if you’re short on time!
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Tips for making Germknödel
- When making yeasted dough, ensure that you allow your mixer to fully knead the dough. This is a relatively soft dough so it may not be fully smooth but it should clean the sides of the bowl.
- When shaping the germknödel, I have found it helpful to leave the center of disk of dough a little thicker than the edges. This will help keep the plum butter in the center of the knödel because when you gather all of the edges of dough around the plum they will create extra thickness.
- Don’t let the germknödel overproof. I recommend starting to boil the milk and water 10-15 minutes before they are ready to be boiled. If it comes to a boil too quickly, simply leave it covered but turn the heat off and then turn it back on a couple minutes before it is ready.
- Prepare the melted butter and poppyseed and powdered sugar mixtures while the germknödel cook so you can top the steamed dumplings immediately when they are finished cooking.
- All Purpose Flour: Any all purpose flour will work for these Germknödel! I have not yet tried any other flours with this recipe.
- Sugar: This recipe uses granulated sugar in the dough and powdered sugar mixed with poppy seeds as the topping.
- Yeast: In this recipe, active dry yeast is used. However, if you are using instant, simply whisk it into the flour and sugar and then add in the milk and remaining ingredietns.
- Milk: The germknödel use milk as the liquid in the dough; however, it will also work with non-dairy milks such as almond or light coconut milk. You can use either dairy or non dairy milk for cooking the dumplings as well.
- Butter: The butter adds moisture and is the easier option for topping the knödel after they are finished cooking!
- Eggs: I use standard large eggs from the store. There is one whole egg in the dough.
- Vanilla Extract: Vanilla extract adds flavor to the dough.
- Salt: It enhances the flavors and balances out the sweetness of the dough. The water/milk bath should also be lightly salted before cooking the knödel.
- Plum Butter: This is the most common filling for germknödel and if you can find it, let me just say, don’t knock it till you try it. But, if you can’t find it, you can use any jam.
- Poppyseeds: Most classically, poppyseeds are mixed with powdered sugar and then sprinkled over the melted butter on top of the knödel. It’s important to grind them in a blender first so them become fine and not like larger seeds.
How to make Germknödel
Make the dough
- In the bowl of a stand mixer add in the flour and sugar, then whisk to combine. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the yeast and then the warmed milk. Stir the milk and yeast together, incorporating a little of the flour and sugar into the milk and yeast mixture.
- Cover the bowl with a towel and set aside for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes the milk and yeast mixture should be bubbly. Briefly stir everything in the bowl together.
- Add in the butter, egg, vanilla, and salt. Use the dough hook attachment to knead the dough on medium low speed until smooth and it no longer sticks when poked.
- Shape the dough into a ball and place in a lightly greased bowl (can be the same mixing bowl). Cover the bowl with a damp towel or plastic wrap and place somewhere warm to rise for an 30-45 minutes until doubled in size.
Shape the Knödel
- Once doubled in size, briefly knead the dough by hand or with the mixer to knock the air out.
- Divide the dough into 6 portions. Working with one piece of dough at a time, pat the portion of dough into a rough disk it should be about 4″-5″ in diameter. I recommend trying to keep the center a little thicker and making the edges very thin.
- Scoop 1-2 tablespoons of the plum butter into the center of the disk. Bring opposite sides of the dough together over the top of the jam and pinch together. Then, bring the excess dough on both sides, into the center and pinch together to seal it shut.
- Place the ball seal side down and form your hand into a claw and roll the ball, leaving it seam side down to seal the seam and smooth it out.
- Place the prepared knödel onto a well floured baking sheet. Repeat with the following 5 portions of dough, then cover with a towel and set aside to proof for 30 minutes.
- 15 minutes before the knödel are ready to cook, pour 2 cups of milk and 3 cups of water with 1 tablespoon of salt, into a large deep sauce pot. Cover with a lid and set to boil. The amount of liquid should be about half of the height of the knödel. Use more or less depending on the size of the pot.
Boil/Steam the germknödel
- Once the liquid is boiling and the knödel have proofed, turn the heat to the lowest setting and gently place 2 or 3 of the knödel into the liquid. Cover the pot with the lid and cook for 5 minutes. Then, remove the lid and cook for 5 more minutes.
- While they cook, blend. the poppy seeds and stir them in with the powdered sugar. Melt the butter so it is ready to pour over the cooked dumplings.
- Once they are finished cooking, use a slotted spoon to remove the knödel. Place one onto each plate/bowl.
- Repeat the cooking steps, until all of the knödel are cooked.
- Pour 2-3 tablespoons of butter over top of each dumpling then sprinkle with the powdered sugar/poppyseed mixture.
- Stand Mixer
- 300 grams ap flour
- 30 grams granulated sugar
- 8 grams active dry yeast
- 125 ml milk lukewarm
- 25 grams butter softened
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 150 grams plum jam (plum butter)
- 80 grams butter melted
- 40 grams poppyseeds ground
- 40 grams powdered sugar
Make the Dough
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk the flour and sugar together.
- Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the yeast and warmed milk.
- Stir the milk and yeast together, incorporating a little of the flour and sugar into the milk and yeast mixture.
- Cover the bowl with a towel and set aside for ten minutes.
- After the ten minutes have passed, give everything in the bowl a quick stir.
- Add in the remaining dough ingredients and knead on medium low speed with the dough hook attachment.
- Knead the dough for 10-15 minutes until it is smooth and the sides of the bowl are clean.
- Place the dough into a lightly greased bowl and cover it with plastic wrap or a damp towel.
- Set somewhere warm for 30- 45 minutes until the dough has doubled in size.
- Once the dough has doubled in size briefly knead it by hand or with the mixer to knock any air out.
- Divide the dough into 6 equal portions.
- Working with one portion of dough at a time, flatten the portion of dough into a disk that is approximately 4"-5" in diameter.
- Leave the center of the portion thicker and flatten the edges fully.
- Place 1-2 tablespoons of plum butter in the center of the disk and then bring two opposite sides of dough together over the jam and pinch together.
- Then bring the remaining dough together into the center to seal the jam into the dumpling.
- Place the dumpling seam side down.
- Shape your hand into a claw shape over the knödel and roll the dough around with the seam side down to help seal the bottom shut.
- Place the shaped knödel on a well floured baking sheet. Shape the remaining portions of dough.
- Cover the knödel on the baking sheet with a towel and set aside for 30 minutes.
- 10-15 minutes before they are finished proofing, bring 3 cups of water, 2 cups of milk, and salt to a boil in a large deep sauce pot.
Cook the Germknödel
- Once the liquid is boiling and the knödel are finished proofing, turn the heat down to low and place 2-3 in the liquid.
- Cover the pot with a lid and cook for 5 minutes.
- Remove the lid, then cook for 5 more minutes.
- While they finish cooking, grind the poppyseeds and mix with the powdered sugar.
- Melt the butter to pour over the knödel.
- Use a slotted spoon to remove the knödel from the pot and serve. Then cook the remaining knödel.