Schupfnudeln are hand rolled potato noodles. They are most popular in the south of Germany, especially Schwaben and Baden but can be found all over Germany. They have many different names, some of which really show that Germans are quite humorous and have a peculiar way of using phallic terms in an endearing way. The word Schupfnudeln is nice and tame, simply meaning hand rolled noodle. Another very common name in Schwaben is Bubespitzle and admittedly this is what my family used to call them - it means a boy’s willie - sorry. Other names are Baunzen or Fingernudeln (finger noodles), Bauchstechala (little stomach stabbers), and Schopperla or Schoppalla, to name a few. I guess the many names are a testament for how popular and good they are. 

They are often eaten with Sauerkraut and bits of bacon - a wonderful thing when it is cold outside. My favorite at the Christmas Market in my hometown! But in the summer, they are also delicious just fried by themselves accompanying a mixed salad. Or try them sweet, sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon and served with applesauce.  

  • 1.5 pounds of russet potatoes
  • 2 cups (200g) flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 egg
  • clarified butter or Schmalz

Cook the potatoes in a large pot of water, peel them and press them through a potato ricer while still hot. Let them sit uncovered for 30 minutes to an hour to reduce some of the moisture. 

Mix the potatoes with the egg, salt and nutmeg and about 3/4 of the flour. Quickly knead the mixture into a dough that should be easily formable, not sticky but still soft. Add more flour if needed. 

Divide the dough into 4 parts. On a floured surface form the first portion of the dough into a 3/4" thick roll. With a knife, cut the roll into 1/2" slices. Roll each slice into a pinky finger length little noodle with pointed ends. 

Bring a large pot of salted water to a very gentle simmer. Cook the noodles in batches for 2-3 minutes or until they have risen to the surface. Cooking them too long will make them soggy and fall apart. Remove the noodles with a slotted spoon and place them on a cooling rack to dry. Do not pile the noodles on top of each other as they will stick. 

Heat the Schmalz or clarified butter in a large frying pan and carefully fry the Schupfnudeln over medium high heat until golden brown on all sides. Serve immediately. 

Schupfnudeln can be fried without cooking them in water first but you must work quickly as they become soft and sticky if they sit too long. After cooking them in water they may be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.  

Schufnudeln with Sauerkraut.

Schufnudeln with Sauerkraut.

Schupfnudeln with cinnamon and sugar.

Schupfnudeln with cinnamon and sugar.

What is clarified butter? Butter is made up of fat, milk solids and water. Clarified butter is butterfat without the milk solids and water. It is great for sautéing because it can be used at hotter temperatures. Ordinary butter has a smoke point at around 350°F, while clarified butter reaches its smoke point at around 450°F. 

To make clarified butter (called Butterschmalz in Germany), melt a stick or two of unsalted butter in a heavy saucepan over low heat. As the butter melts a layer of foam will form. Use a spoon to skim the foam and milk solids from the surface of the melted butter. I like to tip my pot to do this to decrease the surface area to skim off. Keep heating the butter until no new white foam appears. When all the milk solids are skimmed off, the clarified butter is done and can be stored in the refrigerator. It will be deep yellow in color. 

By the way, another method to make an entirely different clarified butter is to let the the milk solids brown and settle to the bottom and then straining them out. This clarified butter has a rich and nutty taste, it is called Ghee and is traditionally used in Indian cuisine.


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