According to PotatoPro.com, “The Polish King John III Sobieski is credited with having introduced potatoes – known initially as amerykany (from “America”) – to his countrymen in the mid-1600s, after a visit to Vienna.
Thus began a love affair that was to make Poland one of the 20th century’s giants of potato production.” The area of Poland we lived in was known for potatoes.
They even have their own word for potatoes, pyra, which is also a nickname for people from Poznan. So it’s no surprise that we have Kopytka – Polish Potato Dumplings in addition to Kluski Śląskie.
Kopytka literally means hooves; the little diamond shapes are supposed to resenble cloven hooves. The recipe is basically the same as Italian gnocchi. The difference is in the shape and the toppings.
As for the toppings, you can go with Polonaise (the French term meaning in the Polish style, which is topped with buttered breadcrumbs), gravy, pan drippings, or fry the dumplings and serve them with gulasz. You might even top them with sugar.
The potatoes we’re mashing for Kopytka need to be on the dry side. So don’t use leftover mashed potatoes that you’ve prepared with milk and butter. Start off with plain potato that’s been cooked in the skin, or jacket as the Brits would say, or in its uniform as they say in Poland.
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Kopytka – Polish Potato Dumplings
- Prep Time: 10 min
- Cook Time: 40 min
- Total Time: 50 minutes
Tender little potato dumplings
1 pound potatoes
1/ 2 teaspoon salt
2 cups flour
With the skins on, boil potatoes until tender, cool and then peel
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil
Mash the potatoes thoroughly or process with a potato ricer
Stir in the egg and salt
Add enough flour to create a smooth dough, stirring just enough to incorporate the flour, overworking will make for tough dumpings
Take a small amount of the dough and roll on a floured surface to form a rope about 3/4 inch in diamter
Slice the rope on the diagional about 1/2 inch apart
Boil in salted water about 4 minutes without over crowding the pan, you’ll do multiple batches
Remove from the water with a slotted spoon
Serve topped with buttered bread crumbs, pan drippings, gravy or sugar
You can place kopytka on a cookie sheet before cooking and freeze, then place the frozen kopytka in a plastic bag to cook later, the dumpling equilavent of a brown and serve roll.
An accountant by trade and a food blogger since 2009, Lois Britton fell in love with Polish cuisine during the years she lived in Poznań, Poland. As the creator of PolishHousewife.com, she loves connecting readers with traditional Polish recipes. Lois has a graduate certificate in Food Writing and Photography from the University of South Florida. She is the author of The Polish Housewife Cookbook, available on Amazon and on her website.
My Dad yous to great the poto and do all most like poto pancakes and boil water with salt
James C Nowatchik
mine did as well and suit in bacon fat and served with sour cream on the side.
Patricia A Opferman
My mother grated raw potato’s flur egg baking powder salt mix like dumpling dough and drop in boiling water drain and serve with sauerkraut broth and some sauerkraut like a soup . she made the broth from pork spareribs and the sauerkraut. Very delicious. We had this every New Years Day.
In my family this was known as (going to spell this phonetically) c-nid-leh, and as I grew older and had my own recipes that I’d brought from home, it was a favorite. When trying to describe it to the less adventurous Scots on my husband’s side of the family, I’d also say that it was very like an Italian gnocchi.
We used the fine side of a cheese grater–the side that makes a fine, sluice-y mash out of whatever vegetable you chose, and there was no egg, but the preparation was the same, and it was always served fried in butter with onions. Really tasty. My mouth began to water just thinking of it! I’ve long wondered where our family name for this dish came from–it was the same on both my dad’s and mom’s side despite them being from very different parts of Poland; Warsaw, Krakow on my dad’s side, and Gdansk on mom’s. My grandma would make it for me as a special Vigilia treat, truly a Christmas dish that brings back happy childhood memories.
Oh, Valerie, thanks for taking the time to share this memory with all of us. I can almost them the onions browning! 🙂
So Valerie, did I understand that correctly, just boil a vegetable. grate it, and just add flour? Then fry in butter with onions? I love vegetables, and I love dumplings.
My Pennsylvania Polish recipe is quit different
Hi Sylvia, sometimes I think there are as many recipes as there are kitchens! 🙂
Boiling the pot of salted water is first instruction … right?
Can you use the same recipe for pierogi’s and plum dumplings?
Hi Carol, yes you’d boil water first. 🙂
As for using this recipe for pierogi, I haven’t tried it. I think the dough would be a little soft for pierogi.
The ingredients are very similar to My recipe for plum dumplings (I’m sure there are many variations out there, like most dishes), but kopytka has a lot more flour than my potato dough for plum dumplings. I think you could use it, but it would be on the firm side.
Here’s a link to recipes on my site that involve pierogi dough. https://polishhousewife.com/?s=pierogi+dough
Carol, no you would not use this recipe for pierogi, that is a pasta dough that you would cut out circles or squares and add a filling. There are many different sites that feature Polish dishes you should check them out they have recipes for pierogi.
My mother used to add some cheese to the dough. And they were always served with butter and sugar , delicious
hello! I’m chef I would like to say they are closer to gnocchi then dumplings but both of them are proper way I think so it’s just additional name for same similar product. love It!
I’ve seen other Poles making this comment in other locations lately, that pierogi are dumplings and kopytka are not. While I am an avid home cook, not a chef, I respectfully suggest that the English word dumpling’s most common meaning is a dough that is boiled or steamed, so to my mind, kopytka, Kluski Śląskie, and pierogi all qualify as dumplings. I do agree that gnocchi and kopytka are identical, but I think Italian gnocchi are usually finished differently. I love them too, on that we agree! 🙂 Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment.
Very good recipe. One of the best that I have tried. The name kopytka does not mean hooves, it means little hooves. In most of Poland, kopytka is the name given to tiny, bite-sized pierogi. It can be confusing but what counts is that all of them are delicious!
Than you I learned something today . I always thought pierogies were Polish dumplings . What do you call them ?
They are both Polish dumplings, Shirley. There are so many varieties. You’ll find many of them here: https://polishhousewife.com/?s=dumplings
Made this for dinner for me and my husband, and we almost ate the whole batch! So delicious! Our 1 year old son wanted to try one as I was taking them out of the pot. We gave him one that had cooled and he loved it! Definitely making this again, but I am probably going to have to double the recipe next time because it’s so good!
I’m delighted to hear it, Lindsay! ❤️
Love this recipe! I make it often.
These are so good! I love potato dumplings and these are even better!
Don’t forget, when Kopytka are a couple of days old you can cut them into small round pieces and pan fry them.