A centuries-old favorite from Austria and southern Germany, these simple hand-shaped dumplings made with cooked potatoes, flour, and eggs are very forgiving and imminently customizable. I love using different combinations of flavorful flours and chopped fresh herbs or ground spices that complement or echo the flavors in the main dish. You can even add sugar to the dough and drizzle in jam or fruit compote after sautéeing for a new take on dessert.
Place whole potatoes in a large saucepan, and cover with water by 1 inch. Cover and bring to a simmer over high heat. Uncover, salt generously, and simmer until the potatoes are very tender, about 10 minutes, then drain. When cool enough to handle, peel the skins and press the potatoes through a ricer or mash very well. Let cool. (Can be prepared and refrigerated several days ahead.)
In a large bowl, combine the potatoes, flour, and salt, and toss to coat. Make a well in the center, and add the egg yolks. Stir until the eggs are blended, then mix into the potatoes until a dough forms. Using your hands, continue mixing until the dough feels cohesive, adding a little more flour as necessary so it’s not sticky.
Lightly flour a work surface. Pinch off a handful of dough, roll it in the flour to coat, then use both hands to roll it into a 1/2-inch-thick rope. Using a knife or bench scraper, cut the rope into 1-inch lengths. Roll each length between your lightly floured palms to create a 2-inch dumpling tapered at both ends. Repeat with the remaining dough.
Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil. Add the dumplings and cook until they float, about 1 minute. Cook 1 minute more, then drain.
Heat the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the dumplings and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned on all sides, about 5 minutes.
I've made this twice, both times with gluten-free flour, once using instant potato flakes and once using real potatoes and parsley. Both ways work and both were very tasty. The real potato + parsley combo was a bit harder to shape and didn't hold up quite as well but that could be because the parsley wasn't minced fine enough. The fix was to make smaller dumplings. I'll make this again. It's pretty easy, looks fancier than it actually is, and is a nice and lighter change from mashed potatoes.
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