Grandma's Knedliky

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About: Mom, wife, traveler, baker, jewelry maker...and so much more! Web: www.tvorivamama.cz Instagram: The_Creative_Mom Facebook: www.facebook.com/tvorivamama.cz/

Food was one of the reasons I enjoyed staying with my grandma. There's one particular dish that I will always remember. It's called knedliky and they're filled with special kind of thick plum jam called povidla and coated with ground poppy seeds and powder sugar. It's usually eaten as a main course (Czech cuisine has quite a lot of sweet main course dishes). My grandma always prepared her huge ceramic bowl filled with dozens of them and me and my brother used to compete who could eat more.

My grandma's knedliky are a real comfort food, perfect for winter, perfect for when you're happy or feeling down. They are fluffy and just enough sweet and even if you aren't used to sweet dishes as a main course, you can have them as a dessert.

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Step 1: Ingredients

For 6 knedliky although that would be very little for my family:)

For the dough

- 20 g of active yeast

- 125 ml of lukewarm milk

- 150 g of flour (plus more for later)

- pinch of salt

For the filling and topping

- povidla or plum jam

- 1 cup of ground poppy seeds

- 1/2 cup of powder sugar

The active yeast is really important here, it gives the dough this typical smell without which it's not really knedliky.

The flour should be what we call here semi-coarse or coarse (bigger grain than plain flour) but if you can't get it in your country, just use plain or all-purpose flour.

Povidla could be a real tough thing to get if you're not in Central Europe but you can use any thicker plum jam or marmelade (although it's not quite the same). Let me just explain what it is: Povidla are made from ripe fresh plums, the process takes several hours where you bake the fruit and melt it slowly in a pot. The fruit has to be very very ripe and you don't add sugar or really very little. The result is a very thick marmelade kind of mass that is absolutely delicious. See the photo to get an idea of what povidla looks like.

Poppy seeds - a very traditional ingredient in the Czech cuisine, we use it a lot, mainly in desserts but also for bread and other pastry. I know poppy seeds are prohibited in some countries because they're the main ingredient for making opium but I can assure you that you can't get intoxicated in any way by eating them (or maybe if you eat kilos of them every day but I don't think that's humanly possible).

Step 2: Preparing the Dough

First make the sourdough. Put the lukewarm milk in a bowl and place the yeast in it. You can add half a teaspoon of sugar to help the yeast get active but it's not necessary. Cover the bowl with a clean rug and let it grow in a warm place for 15 minutes.

Then add the flour and salt and knead until you get smooth and lightly sticky dough (if it's too sticky even after you work on it actively for at least 5 minutes, add a little flour). Cover the bowl again and let the dough rest until it doubles in volume (30 - 60 minutes).

Sprinkle flour on your working table.

Step 3: Let's Fill Them!

Take small parts of the grown dough (I usually take a full tablespoon) and form it into a small kind of a pancake. Actually, the size of this depends on you, I would say mine fit into my hand.

Put a full teaspoon of povidla in the middle of each pancake. (picture 1)

Close the knedliky pressing the edges of the pancake together. (picture 2)

Turn them upside down and let them rest for another 15 minutes, they will grow a little bit (pictures 3 and 4)

Meanwhile prepare the poppy mixture, just mix the seeds with the sugar in a bowl.

Step 4: Finishing Up

Boil a big pot with water. When you place the knedliky in the water, it has to be boiling already. (picture 1)

Close the pot with a lid and boil them for 15 minutes. If you don't have a lid, boil them for 10 minutes, then turn them around and boil for another 5 minutes.

Take them out and place them immediately in the bowl with the poppy seeds and coat them completely. (picture 2)

And that's it, you're done. Knedliky are served hot but they are delicious also cold as long as you coat them with the sugar and poppy seeds while they're still hot. Enjoy the rest of the photos to work up your appetite!

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    23 Discussions

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    Bronco53

    9 months ago

    Knedlik means dumpling. Povidla translates to jam. You boil yours like you would a potato dumpling. I always make baking powder dumplings and steam them. My mother made something similar to this and called them plum dumplings and used a ripe plum fruit inside. It used the same baking powder dumpling recipe but she added the fruit to the inside. To serve them you cut them in half and sprinkled a mixture of ground poppy seed and sugar over them. Yum! We had them as dessert.

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    Creative Mom CZBronco53

    Reply 9 months ago

    I like to avoid translating povidla as jam, I prefer to explain what it is because if I say jam, most of the foreigners imagine fruit made relatively fast, mixed with some gelling agent and sugar and that is just not the case with povidla.

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    OutofPatience

    9 months ago

    I've not heard of these before but they sound tasty! Growing up in the Southern United States, plum jam was one of my childhood favorites. I remember gathering plums from trees that grew wild in my Grandmother's pastures, knowing the lovely jam she would make from them! Thanks for clear instructions!

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    Ninzerbean

    9 months ago

    A really great Instructable! I really enjoyed reading it.

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    vbanaszak

    9 months ago

    These sound delicious! I do wish I had learned to cook when my mom was alive. She was an excellent cook and did canning and all that. I was good at eating not cooking. LOL

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    Creative Mom CZvbanaszak

    Reply 9 months ago

    I am VERY good at eating:D In my home we do lots of canning, too, I think it's pretty usual here in CZ.

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    Jabi666

    9 months ago

    Similar traditional main dish we have down here in Hungary: "mákos guba" :)
    Is it true that poppy seeds (whole or ground) are hard to be get in the US due to drug controls?

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    Creative Mom CZJabi666

    Reply 9 months ago

    I wonder the same. I live in CZ so they are really easy for me to get although I know there are countries where you simply can't. No idea how it's in the US.

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    RobertK90

    9 months ago

    My mom and grandma made these dumplings often while I was growing up. Most of them were made with ripe stone fruit: prune plums or peaches. Some, though, were filled with ground poppy seeds. They would be served with melted butter, cinnamon, table sugar, and cottage cheese.

    I still enjoy them when I visit our local Czech communities in and around Chicago. Skvělé zacházení! (Great treat! - per Google Translate)

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    blackhawk

    9 months ago

    Interesting how the Czech cuisine differs from one place to another. I grew up in a Czech community, I'm 100% Czech, and Kledniky or dumplings were made from old mashed potatoes rather than flour. We would have them plain in a bowl with gravy poured over them or stuffed with prunes or other fruits or even chicken and other meats, also with gravy. Usually chicken gravy. My favorite was stuffed with Jaternice, a breakfast sausage in our house, which is made from pork trimmings and offal meats such as pork liver, lungs, head meat, heart, ect, and covered with homemade Zeli, which is sauerkraut. I could eat it every day. While we did have the flour dumplings, they were a dessert for us with powdered sugar or sweet jams on them. The potato Kledniky were a hardy main dish for hard working farmers. The place I grew up was a farming community. I'm getting old. My grandfather came to America while my dad was a young boy and homesteaded. Still own the home place. Still love Kledniky, no matter how they are made. Love to hear others are enjoying this wonderful and versatile dish. Thanks for a great post and a wonderful memory.

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    Creative Mom CZblackhawk

    Reply 9 months ago

    Yes, as I mention above, this is just one of many ways to prepare knedlíky. We make them from potatos, cottage cheese, sweet, salty, with fruit, gravy...

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    hujan

    9 months ago

    LOVE your post! My gran use to make these. Since I HATE povidl she used to stuff them with home made apricot jam or half a preseved apricot each. So in case anyone is wondering, you can stuff them with what ever you like....I LOVED our apricot version - although not traditionally czech ;O)

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    Creative Mom CZhujan

    Reply 9 months ago

    True, jams, fresh fruit...thanks for the comment!

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    Npierceyaboi

    9 months ago

    What if I put cinnamon instead of poppy seeds? Would it still taste good?

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    Creative Mom CZNpierceyaboi

    Reply 9 months ago

    You could try mixing the cinnamon with something, i suggest powder sugar and pouring hot butter over it. It's not a combination I would go for but if you fancy cinnamon, it's worth trying. Just not plain cinnamon, it needs some wet ingredient.

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    Bold_Bites

    9 months ago

    Wow, these sound really interesting! I'd love to try these and experiment with the fillings <3