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Austrian Germknödel Recipe

When I was younger, my parents lived in Germany. As a family, we would frequently visit the Austrian Alps at wintertime to go skiing. In the alpine huts at lunch would be served these giant round dumplings with custard and a magic sprinkling of crushed poppy seeds and sugar. The Germknödel. As the winter is approaching, I feel it’s time I introduced you to this Austrian classic. Ideal for lunch on a cold winters day.

Serves 10

For the Dumplings

500g strong white flour
7g instant fast action yeast
10g salt
65g caster sugar
70g unsalted butter – melted
250ml warmed whole milk (semi skimmed is fine too)
One egg
One egg yolk
1/2 tsp vanilla essence

For the filling

  • Powdil – not easy to find but try polish delicatessen, I bought mine from Amazon, but you can also find plum butter in Tesco in cities with a large Polish population; Bristol, London, basically any major UK city.


  • Rum to taste
  • Custard

For the topping

  • Poppy seeds
  • Icing sugar

Put all the ingredients for the dumplings on a bowl and mix together. Turn out on a floured surface and knead. If the mixture is a little wet, continue to add flour, using a scraper to work the dough. Knead for 10 minutes until soft and elastic. Set aside in a bowl, cover with film and leave somewhere warm until doubled in size.

Mix the Powdil with a little dark rum for warmth and flavour. Don’t let the mixture get too runny.


Put your poppy seeds in a pestle and mortar and mill for a few minutes. Add icing sugar until you have a good blend.


Knock back the dough, flattening it and squeezing out any air bubbles with your hands. The more air you get out the smoother the final dumplings will be. Taking care not to overwork the dough, roll it into a sausage and cut into 10 equal pieces. If you don’t want to make 10 dumplings, you can always freeze any dough you don’t want to use at this stage. Wrap individually in film in a freezer bag.

Take each piece of dough and flatten it with your hand. Place a dollop of plum sauce in the middle of the dough, and seal it by pinching the outside of the dough inwards to form a ball. Shape gently by tucking under until you have a round dumpling shape.

Place on parchment paper, seal side down, and cover with a clear bowl until doubled in size, 1-2hours


Next make your custard, if you have fresh egg yolks and sugar more the better, if not then birds custard powder will have to do.

When you are ready to eat, set up your steamer (bamboo or metal) and place the dumplings inside on their parchment papers for 12-15 minutes, depending on size.


When the timer goes switch off the heat and quickly prick the dumplings with a skewer or cake tester. If they are full of steam and that steam has a chance to rapidly cool, the steam implodes, and you will end up with flat dumplings.


Serve with custard, and sprinkled with poppy seeds and sugar. Delicious!


This post has already been read 506 times!

Also published on Medium.