Kaspressknodel: How To Make Authentic Tyrolean Cheese Dumplings At Home

Crispy on the outside and soft & cheesy on the inside: these dumplings will blow your mind.
16. September 2023
Kaspressknodel tyrolian cheese dumplings on a plate

Are you ready to embark on a culinary adventure through the picturesque region of Tyrol in Austria? One dish that you absolutely cannot miss is the iconic Tyrolean cheese dumplings, also known as „Kaspressknödel.“ These delectable cheese dumplings are a staple of Tyrolean cuisine and are enjoyed by locals and visitors alike. In this ultimate guide, we will take you through the step-by-step process of making these delicious dumplings from scratch. So, put on your apron and get ready to impress your friends and family with an authentic taste of Tyrol.

The History of Tyrolean Cheese Dumplings

Before we dive into the recipe, let’s take a moment to appreciate the rich history and cultural significance of Tyrolean cheese dumplings. These dumplings have been a part of Tyrolean cuisine for centuries, with their origins dating back to the mountain huts and alpine pastures of the region. They were traditionally made by shepherds using simple ingredients that were readily available in the mountains, such as cheese, bread, and herbs. Over time, Tyrolean cheese dumplings have become a beloved dish that represents the hearty and flavorful nature of Tyrolean cuisine.

The Ingredients

To make authentic Tyrolean cheese dumplings, you will need the following ingredients:

  • 250g of dried white bread cubes, diced into 0.5cm pieces (Knödelbrot/Semmelwürfel)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 250ml of whole milk
  • 100g of Graukäse (Tiroler Graukäse if available), diced into 0.5cm pieces
  • 100g of Bergkäse (or Gruyère), grated or roughly chopped
  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 20g of butter for sautéing
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • A handful of fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • Clarified butter or neutral cooking oil for frying

Choosing the Right Cheese

The key to achieving the authentic flavor of Tyrolean cheese dumplings lies in selecting the right cheese. Traditionally, a mixture of different hard cheeses from the Alps is used. A combination of Graukäse and Bergkäse is recommended for the best results. Graukäse is a tangy and crumbly Tiroler cheese, while Bergkäse adds a rich and nutty flavor to the dumplings. If Graukäse is not available, you can substitute it with a medium-aged Bergkäse. Gruyère is also a suitable alternative.

Making the Dumpling Mixture

To start, heat a pan over medium heat and melt the butter. Sauté the diced onion and minced garlic until they become translucent, but be careful not to let them brown. Add the milk at the very end to gently warm it up. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the dried white bread cubes, milk, sautéed onion and garlic mixture, diced Graukäse, grated or chopped Bergkäse, chopped parsley, and eggs. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Mix everything together until well combined.

Shaping the Dumplings

Before shaping the dumplings, let the mixture rest for at least 20 minutes. This allows the bread cubes to absorb the moisture and the flavors to meld together. After the resting time, the mixture should have a sticky consistency that holds its shape well.

With wet hands, take a small portion of the mixture and shape it into a round dumpling. Flatten the dumpling slightly to ensure even cooking. Repeat this process until all the mixture is used, making approximately 8 dumplings.

Cooking the Dumplings

To cook the Tyrolean cheese dumplings, you will need a pan with enough clarified butter or neutral cooking oil to shallow fry them. Heat the oil over medium heat until it reaches a temperature of around 160-180 degrees Celsius.

Carefully place the dumplings into the hot oil, making sure not to overcrowd the pan. Fry the dumplings for about 3 minutes on each side, or until they turn golden brown and crispy. Remove them from the pan and let them drain on paper towels to remove any excess oil.

Kaspressknödel: Authentic Tyrolean Cheese Dumplings

Step by step guide to making Austria's fried cheese dumplings from the alps
Vorbereitungszeit 15 Minuten
Zubereitungszeit 15 Minuten
Gesamtzeit 30 Minuten
Gericht Hauptgericht
Küche Austrian
Portionen 8 dumplings
Kalorien 200 kcal

Zutaten
  

  • 250 g of dried white bread cubes, diced into 0.5cm pieces
  • 2 large eggs
  • 250 ml whole milk
  • 100 g Graukäse (Tiroler Graukäse if available)
  • 100 g Bergkäse or Gruyère
  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 20 g butter for sautéing the onion
  • 1 handful fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • clarified butter or neutral cooking oil for frying

Anleitungen
 

  • To start, heat a pan over medium heat and melt the butter. Sauté the diced onion and minced garlic until they become translucent, but be careful not to let them brown. Add the milk to gently warm it up. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, combine the dried white bread cubes, milk, sautéed onion and garlic mixture, diced Graukäse, grated or chopped Bergkäse, chopped parsley, and eggs. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Mix everything together until well combined.
  • Before shaping the dumplings, let the mixture rest for at least 20 minutes. This allows the bread cubes to absorb the moisture and the flavors to meld together. After the resting time, the mixture should have a sticky consistency that holds its shape well.
    With wet hands, take a small portion of the mixture and shape it into a round dumpling. Flatten the dumpling slightly to ensure even cooking. Repeat this process until all the mixture is used, making approximately 8 dumplings.
  • To cook the Tyrolean cheese dumplings, you will need a pan with enough clarified butter or neutral cooking oil to shallow fry them. Heat the oil over medium heat until it reaches a temperature of around 160-180 degrees Celsius.
  • Carefully place the dumplings into the hot oil, making sure not to overcrowd the pan. Fry the dumplings for about 3 minutes on each side, or until they turn golden brown and crispy. Remove them from the pan and let them drain on paper towels to remove any excess oil.
  • Serve with a salad, a soup or Sauerkraut.

Serving Suggestions

Tyrolean cheese dumplings can be served in various ways, depending on your preference. Traditionally, they are enjoyed either in a flavorful soup or as a main course with a side of salad or sauerkraut.

For a classic presentation, serve the dumplings in a clear beef or vegetable broth. Garnish with fresh parsley and a sprinkle of grated Bergkäse.

If you prefer a lighter option, you can serve the dumplings on a bed of mixed greens dressed with a simple vinaigrette. The freshness of the salad complements the rich and savory flavors of the dumplings.

Additional Tips and Variations

  • Freezing: Tyrolean cheese dumplings can be frozen for later use. After frying, let them cool completely and place them on a tray in the freezer. Once frozen, transfer them to a resealable bag or airtight container. They can be stored in the freezer for several months. To reheat, simply fry them again until heated through and crispy.
  • Vegetarian Option: To make vegetarian Tyrolean cheese dumplings, substitute vegetable broth for the meat-based broth in the serving suggestions.
  • Herb Variation: Feel free to experiment with different herbs to add your personal touch to the dumplings. Chives, thyme, or tarragon can be great additions to enhance the flavor profile.

Conclusion

Congratulations! You have successfully mastered the art of making authentic Tyrolean cheese dumplings. With their crispy exterior and gooey cheese-filled center, these dumplings are a true delight for the senses. Whether you choose to enjoy them in a warm soup or as a standalone main course, Tyrolean cheese dumplings are sure to impress. So gather your loved ones, savor the flavors of Tyrol, and create lasting memories around the dinner table.

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