Germknödel are a classic lunch favorite at ski huts in the Austrian alps. The fluffy, steamed yeast dumplings are so filling, this comfort food can be a main dish all on their own. The traditional filling is Powidl (a thick spiced plum mousse), which can easily be substituted with plum jam. Germknödel are topped with melted butter and a generous heaping of a mixture of ground poppy seeds and powdered sugar.
Recipe by Austrian top chef Martin Reiter, Hotel Kitzhof, Kitzbühl,Tyrol
Makes 6 Germknödel
250 gr flour, divide
15 gr fresh yeast
25 gr butter, softened
1/8 liter warm milk
25 gr powdered sugar
2 egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla sugar (if you can’t get the little sachets, substitute with 1 tsp sugar mixed with 1/4 tsp vanilla extract)
a dash of salt
6 tbsp plum jam for filling
90 gr melted butter
90 gr ground poppy
50 gr powdered sugar
Dissolve yeast in warm milk, stir in 50 gr of the flour, then sprinkle some flour on top, cover, and let rest in a warm place. This is called the Dampfl.
Heat water in double boiler pot set.
Add softened butter, powdered sugar, vanilla sugar, egg yolk, lemon zest, and salt into double boiler and beat until foamy and warm.
Knead Dampfl with the remaining flour and butter mixture into a smooth dough.
Divide dough into 6 parts, form balls, cover with cloth, and let rest for 30 minutes.
Once the dough has risen, flatten each ball and set 1 tbsp plum jam in the middle. Fold edges up and pinch together so dough closes around the plum filling. Set on floured surface with pinched closure facing down, cover with cloth, and let rest once more until dumplings have risen by half of their volume.
Meanwhile, bring water to a simmer in large pot.
Carefully drop dumplings in the water and simmer for 15 minutes with the pot lid half on, flipping the dumplings over half way through.
Meanwhile, mix ground poppy seeds and powdered sugar for topping.
Place each hot dumpling on a plate and top with melted butter and poppy seed/powdered sugar mixture (the locals heap it on).
For a less traditional yet heavenly delicious variation, top Germknödel with warm vanilla sauce instead of the melted butter, sprinkle with poppy seeds and sugar.