It does not matter how invested you are in a COVID-19 discussions. Chances are, you still have to eat, at least sometimes. I have started writing this recipe way before we were told to self isolate. Before people even started thinking about hoarding toilet paper. Now I hear there is a shortage of dry yeast (yes, I did jump on the train of sourdough bread makers but this is another discussion). But it seems that no matter what, there is always enough Topfen/Quark/Twaróg. That‘s where lazy dumplings come in on a white horse to save your lunch. Or dinner.
Are these lazy dumplings or lazy noodles? There is an ongoing debate in Poland on how are you supposed to call them. However you prefer to call them you can be sure of one thing, they are perfect for when you feel lazy and need a little comfort.
Polish phenomen of kluski
Trouble with a proper name for those in Poland is one thing, but English is bringing up even more confusion to the equation. We have this thing in Poland – kluski (khloo-skee). And there is no proper equivalent for them in English. They are made of potato or cheese dough (so also a bit different than Austrian Knödel which can also be made of bread), with or without the addition of flour, served in all shapes and flavours. They can be sweet or savoury, side or main dish, you can even add them to a soup! Some of them are very local, and some are popular across the whole country. It is the latter that I want to introduce you to today.
Why lazy dumplings
Pierogi leniwe [pierogi leh-knee-veh] are a simple mixture of tangy farmer’s cheese/white cheese mixed with flour and eggs. They are simple Polish dumplings, that do not require making stuffing, neatly rolling out the dough, cutting circular shapes, stuffing and sealing. This is simple stuff. Combine, lightly roll and boil. I’m thinking this is why they’re called “lazy”. Simple always works for me. Also, Topfen tends to not break the budget so it should also be counted as a plus.
As the name lazy dumplings already suggests, these are beyond simple. All you need is Topfen, eggs and a bit of flour. Then if you feel decadent they taste best with browned butter and a bit (ok, a lot) of sugar and cinnamon. This is definitely a taste I remember well from childhood. Some people eat them with breadcrumbs and butter or just with sugar. I sometimes put a dollop of yoghurt on a side to give myself a feeling it is a healthy and balanced meal.
It won’t take you more than 30 minutes from start to finish.
The recipe itself is old and there is no fixed history to it. Maybe someone just got fed up with making all these pierogi and just mixed all the ingredients together? Whoever did it – job well done!
Be quite gentle, as this dough is really soft. Once you can’t roll anymore, then just make sure your roll of dough is covered in flour on all sides. It’s a balancing act with the flour. The amount I give you is a rough approximate. Depends on your Topfen you will need less or more. Don’t overdo it though as you will end up with little stones with a potential to kill a human being.
The details are differentiating the recipes. Shall you whip your egg whites or not, or maybe skip eggs altogether? I do believe whipping the egg whites make the noodles more fluffy but if you can’t be bothered – don’t worry.
- 250g Topfen (in Germany known as Quark)
- 1 egg
- 1 tbsp potato flour
- ½ cup flour (I mixed spelt with wheat flour)
- In a bowl mix Topfen, egg and a bit of salt. I usually mix it all with a fork, you can also use a potato press to be even more thorough.
- Sprinkle a bit of flour on your breadboard or wherever you are making your lazy noodles. Transfer the cheese and egg mixture on board, add flour and potato flour. Mix quickly. If the Topfen was particularly wet you might need more flour.
- Form a ball. Divide into two and make a roll out of each. Sprinkle more flour on the board if needed. Flatten the roll a bit and cut it crosswise. You want to have pieces that are just perfect for one bite.
- Boil salted water in a big pot. Add noodles and cook for less than a minute since they go afloat. catch them with a skimmer or a sieve.
- caramelised sugar and cinnamon: Add butter to a frying pan set to medium heat. Wait till it becomes golden coloured. Add sugar and cinnamon. Fry a while longer till sugar melts a bit and you just can’t wait to eat this deliciousness. Pour over the noodles, enjoy
- sugar and cinnamon: sprinkle both over boiled noodles
- Butter and breadcrumbs: Add breadcrumbs to a frying pan, fry a dozen or so seconds, add butter and fry another while till it melts. Brown together and transfer to your noodles. If need be, add more butter.