I love my German Schupfnudeln! I don’t think I would have ever learned to make them if hadn’t lived in Bavaria and watched my mother-in-law in the kitchen.
When I tasted them for the first time with her homemade applesauce in 1987, I had to think of a German Lady I had met in Lebanon one year earlier. She was explaining why they would have to live on potatoes for the following months in Germany. Her husband was Professor at the American University in Beirut, but had to leave the country because of security reasons. Lebanon was in a state of war at that time. With no job, she continued, they would be compelled to live from their savings and be satisfied with potatoes on their menu every day. I still remember how puzzled I felt to hear that. How can anybody eat potato as a main meal every day? I was only thinking of French fries, mashed potatoes and potato salad, not knowing that there is more to potatoes in Germany than I would have ever imagined.
But life always teaches you better! As soon as I landed in my new home, I was introduced to delicious potato salads and soups, Knödl (potato dumplings), Bratkartoffeln (roast potatoes), Kartoffelpuffer (potato pancakes), Kartoffelnudeln or Schupfnudeln (potato noodle) and Kartoffelmaultaschen (potato-dough turnovers). All these dishes can be served on the side or as main cource. All are divine!
The choice of potatoes for the different dishes is very important. Use starchy potatoes for all potato dough recipes and mashed potatoes. They break down better than waxy potatoes, and can be worked into a free-lump dough. Waxy potatoes are more suitable for potato salads. They keep their shape when boiled, and have a nice creamy texture when cooked.
One last tip: When boiling whole potatoes in their peel, choose them roughly in the same size to make sure they cook all at the same rate. Smaller potatoes will cook more quickly than larger one. If using both in the same batch, remove smaller ones earlier, and let larger ones cook longer.
Schupfnudeln - German Potato noodle
- 1 kg starchy potatoes boiled in their skin
- 1 egg
- 150 g all-purpose flour/ 140 g potato flour
- 1 ½ teaspoons salt
- 1 pinch freshly grated nutmeg
- 125 g clarified butter
- Scrub the potatoes clean with paper towel, and transfer to a large pot. Add enough cold water to cover. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until potatoes are done. Begin checking after 10 minutes by poking the potato with a paring knife. Potatoes are done when they are tender all the way through. The knife should easily get through, but not break the potatoes. Don’t over cook.
- Carefully remove the potatoes into a large colander to cool a bit. Peel potatoes and rice onto a large bowl while still warm. Cover and let rest in room temperature for few hours.
- To make the potato dough: Sprinkle 2/3 of the flour, salt and nutmeg over the potatoes and crumble with the tip of your fingers. Whisk the egg in a cup and pour over the mixture. Knead quickly into dough, adding the rest of the flour when necessary. Don’t over knead as the dough will become soft and require more flour. Immediately proceed to the final step!
- While making the potato noodles work with slightly floured hands. On a slightly floured surface, form 4 rolls, each about 2-cm thick. Cut each into 2-cm pieces. Form each piece into a noodle. Transfer onto a clean towel.
- Heat clarified butter in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Fry the potato noodles (in 4 batches) on all sides until golden brown. Serve immediately as side dish or as a sweet main dish with applesauce.