Potato Dumplings

(Kartoffel Klosse)

Makes about 20 dumplings

Potato dumplings require a rich, flavorful gravy to accompany them. They are traditionally served with a roasted meat (any type of meat or poultry), but you can serve them instead with a vegetarian gravy. Whichever gravy you serve, the important thing is to have plenty of it!

3 pounds red or white waxy potatoes
2 tablespoons neutral-flavored oil or unsalted butter
3 slices stale white bread (crusts removed), cut into 1/2-inch cubes
7 pounds russet potatoes
2 tablespoons white vinegar
2 tablespoons kosher salt, divided

1. Boil or steam the waxy potatoes until tender. Peel the potatoes, place them in a large mixing bowl and mash them until smooth. Set aside.

2. Heat the oil or melt the butter in a frying pan over medium heat, and saute the bread cubes until crispy and golden brown. Remove from the pan and set aside.

3. Peel the russet potatoes and rinse under cold water. Pour 2 inches of water into a large mixing bowl and add the vinegar. Using the second-finest holes on a box grater, grate the potatoes into the bowl.

4. Place a cloth bag or 4 layers of cheesecloth in a 2-cup measuring cup or small bowl, and roll down the top half of the bag or drape the extra cloth over the top of the measuring cup. Pour the grated potatoes into the cloth. If they don't all fit at once, do this step in batches. Get a medium-large bowl to put under the bag while squeezing. Tightly twist the top of the bag, or gather up the ends of the cheesecloth and twist the ends together, and gently squeeze the potatoes to remove all the water. If there is any starchy residue remaining at the bottom of the bowl, scoop it up with your hand or a spoon and mix it in with the mashed potatoes.

5. Fill a 6- to 8-quart pot a little more than halfway with water, add 1 tablespoon of the salt and bring to a boil over high heat.

6. Add the squeezed, grated potatoes to the mashed potatoes and mix well with your hands. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon salt and a ladleful of boiling water to the potato mixture, and mix again.

7. Assemble the dumplings by taking a small handful of potato mixture, placing 2 croutons in the center, and closing up the dumpling. Roll them between both hands to make nice round balls. The dumplings should be about 2 inches in diameter. When all of the potato mixture has been made into dumplings, carefully drop them into the boiling water off a slotted spoon. After the water returns to a boil, cook them for 20 minutes.

8. Serve hot, and pass the gravy boat at the table so that diners may cut open their dumplings and pour gravy over each one.

Used with permission from "The German-Jewish Cookbook," by Gabrielle Rossmer Gropman and Sonya Gropman (Brandeis University Press, 2017).