A reader asked if I had a recipe for Polish steamed dumplings, something she’d eaten growing up. A quick search of the Internet revealed that these little puffs of dough go by many names.
- słodkie pampuchy – sweet puffs
- kluski na parze – steamed dumplings
- pączki na parze – steamed donuts
- pampuchy – (puffs?)
While many think of this as a donut, and I understand why – they are a light bread, often filled with jelly or glazed, I think dumpling is a more accurate term. Rather than being fried like a donut, kluski na parze (which seems to be the most common name) are steamed.
And that, my friends, is my definition of a dumpling – a dough that is boiled or steamed.
Now that we’ve narrowed down a name and category, allow me to further complicate things by saying our Polish Steamed Dumplings can be sweet or savory.
Sweet or Savory
On the sweet side, you might find these yeast puffs filled with jelly, served with a fruit sauce, whipped cream, sweetened cheese, or covered in a sweet glaze.
If you’d like to fill your steamed dumplings with jam or jelly, slightly flatten each individual piece of dough and put a teaspoon of jam in the center. Gather all of the edges up around the filling, pinching the dough together to seal the jam inside.
Savory fans will enjoy these dumplings with meaty stews, such as gulasz, a personal favorite! What could be better than mopping up a wonderful, savory gravy with a lighter than air bite of dumpling?
How to steam your dumplings
My pasta pot comes with a steamer that fits inside the pan. I lined it with paper towels to keep the dough from growing through the holes in the steamer. Parchment probably would have been a better non-stick choice.
There are many other options for steaming dumplings. The Asian style bamboo steamer would work, or you can make your own.
You can create a steamer by placing a lightweight tea towel (or cheesecloth) over your pan of water and using a length of string to tighten and secure your towel in place. Take care that your towel isn’t touching the burner or flames.
The tea towel now becomes the bottom of your steamer, where you will place your dumplings to be steamed.
You’ll need to cover the dumplings with an inverted bowl to add sides and a lid to your DIY steamer. The upside-down bowl will trap the steam and heat to properly cook your dumplings.
You’ll want to place your dumplings in your steamer about an inch and a half apart. They grow while cooking and need room to expand. I cooked mine in four batches of three.
Steaming dumplings is also a lesson in patience. Even if your steamer has a clear glass lid like mine, it will steam up, obscuring your view of the dumplings. If you open the lid to peek in, the large droplets of water that are collecting will drop onto your dumplings, making craters that will remind you of the surface of the moon.
This recipe is based on the one I found at Winiary.pl. I know I’ll be making it again; I hope you’ll enjoy it too!
Lighter than air Steamed Polish Dumplings, serve them sweet or savory!
- 1 cup milk
- 1 packet dried yeast
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 1 egg
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- pinch of salt
Heat milk to 100 F, sprinkle yeast over the milk and let sit for a few minutes to allow the yeast to dissolve
Add flour, egg, butter, sugar, and salt to a mixing bowl, add milk and yeast, combine with a dough hook and mix for about minutes, or combine with a wooden spoon and knead until the sticky dough is more smooth
Cover bowl and let rise until doubled in size, about an hour, divide the dough into 12 equal portions, shape into round balls, 50 – 60 grams each (if you want filled dumplings, do that as you’re shaping the dough, details in the post above)
Let the dumpling rise for 10-15 minutes, place in the steamer, cover, and cook over simmering water for 15 – 20 minutes
Serve with fruit sauce, whipped cream, jam, sweetened cheese, or serve plain for savory uses
Keywords: Polish steamed dumplings