Knedliky - Czech Dumplings
What could be more Czech than knedliky! They are often served as a side dish to meat with gravy, but there is also a sweet fruity variation that was introduced to us by Stania, one of our guides in Prague. Sweet Knedliky can make a nice breakfast, lunch or even dinner, they are very nutritious and rather heavy, but despite of this they make your stomach happy. Today's recipe is a compilation of a few, including a Czech cookbook that Masha mentioned in a previous post. Want some hearty Czech food? Follow me...
What you need:1 egg + 1 yolk
1 tbsp + 1 tsp sugar
Pinch of salt
1 1/4 cup lukewarm milk
2 tsp dry yeast
2 3/4 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
100g butter, melted
200g dried apricots
200g Farmers cheese, crumbled
Method:Mix yeast, 1/4 cup warm milk, and 1 tsp sugar, set to foam in a warm place.
Beat eggs, add sugar, salt, and beat a little more, pour in milk and yeast (when it begins to foam). Gradually add in flour, mixing vigorously with a wooden spoon. Use 2.5 of the flour, the rest will be used for dusting. You will have a soft and smooth dough. In a bowl cover the dough with plastic wrap and place in a warm place to rise for about 1 hour.
Meanwhile prepare the fruit filling. I chose dried apricots (to repeat what we tried in Prague), but many other fruit will do: strawberries, blueberries, etc.
Barely cover apricots with water and simmer on low for about 30 minutes, let cool. Strain apricots (reserve the liquid - it's delicious!), process 1/2 of apricots in a food processor (or a small chopper) until smooth. Cut the rest of apricots in chunks, mix with the first part. Add sugar if you feel so.
If your yeast is good, the dough will be very porous and light, as it is on the picture.
Generously dust the surface with flour, and transfer all dough on the table using a knife. Dust hands with flour to handle the dough (it is sticky). Form a ball, and roll it into a square (just approximately). While rolling, sprinkle with flour and turn the dough often to avoid sticking.
Put a sauce pan with water on high heat. Cut the dough into 30 squares with a sharp knife. Scoop 1 tsp of the filling per each square, pinch the edges together to form a little sack.
Once the water starts to boil, deep a few knedliky into water, they should float freely, not crowded. Boil on medium heat, covered, 5 minutes on one side, then flip them over, and boil 3 minutes on the other side. Fish Knedliky out with a straining spoon, let cool a little.
When serving, arrange on a plate, cut each knedlik in half, generously sprinkle with farmers cheese, some sugar, and melted butter. I also made a syrup out of the apricot liquid (add some sugar and simmer until thickened).
Nice and filling. Take a bite, close your eyes, and you are in beautiful Prague!
|Real Prague knedliky were huge!|
Notes:What else you could do with this dough
The dough was way too much for two persons, just for knedliky, so I decided to "diversify". I made some fabulous cinnamon buns out of some of the dough squares - just smother them with melted butter, dust with sugar and cinnamon, and bake at 375F until golden - yummy!
Some of the squares I used to make my mom's famous ponchik-pie. Ponchik is a kind of a small filled dougnut. In this pie ponchiki(plural form) are stuck together in one baking dish so that they touch each other. When baked, they can be easily separated from one another. But this is to be told in another post...
Summary: a dessert recipe