King Arthur Flour meets Grandma Vivian’s Dumplings

I’ve joined a party…and am creating history all at once!

As part of A Latte with Ott, A’s King Arthur flour Iron Chef Challenge, I decided that I would make Brandenburger family history…I would use my Grandma Vivian’s Dumpling recipe. (Mind you, this recipe has never been written down [to my knowledge] and for certain isn’t on the internet.)

This recipe isn’t something you just “throw” together for a quick lunch, but it’s a wonderfully delicious authentically German dish that is requested time and time again at my house. Especially at family gatherings!!!

First of all, you need bread dough…and this is where the King Arthur flour comes in. For those that have been reading my blog for a while, you know that our youngest son has OTC, which limits his protein intake to 10-12 grams per day. Well, it just so happens that King Arthur flour has a product  that is lower in protein! Woohoo!!! And I used this flour for our bread dough (although it’s labeled for wonderfully, delicious and super light pastries, pies, etc.). It worked beautifully!

Anyway, on with the recipe:

Grandma Vivian’s Dumplings

Ingredients –

3 cups flour (I used King Arthur Perfect Pastry flour – only 3 grams of protein per 1/4 cup!)

1 1/2 TBSP. butter

1 cup water

1/4 cup milk

1 package instant dry yeast

1 tsp. salt

1 1/2 TBSP. sugar

1 qt. chicken broth (liquid)


2 cups heavy whipping cream (pic shows half and half, which is what I used…but Grandma always used heavy whipping cream…half and half tasted just as good!)

Everything you need!

First, we need a simple loaf of white bread dough. This is a simple, easy loaf recipe…and trust me, if I can make it, anyone can!
Mix together 2 1/2 cups flour, salt, sugar and yeast. Set aside. Then mix together water, milk and butter, heat until hot to touch, but not boiling. (I microwaved for 40 seconds.)

When making this dough, mix together dry ingredients, then mix and heat wet ingredients before combining.

Then, pour your wet ingredients into the dry and mix until a dough-ball is formed. Take the 1/2 cup flour that’s left-over and add as needed to make a smooth dough-ball that doesn’t stick to the sides of the bowl. (I ended up using just about all of the flour this time, but it will vary, depending on your humidity, etc.)

Dough - finished but not raised.

Cover the dough with a cloth for 10 minutes, to let it rest. Then shape into a ball again and let it raise for 1 hour.

Fluffy, yummy dough ball!

Now, we’re ready to make dumplings! Peel and cut your potatoes, enough to fill the bottom of your kettle (4 or 5 quart kettle or dutch oven works wonderfully!).

Enough potatoes to fill the bottom of a kettle, or maybe even a little more!

Add the chicken broth. (I use chicken broth instead of water to boil my potatoes. It adds great flavor!) You can flavor your potatoes if you’d like, with salt, pepper, onions, etc. Whatever you would normally do for boiling potatoes. You won’t be draining any of the liquid.

I use chicken broth instead of water with my potatoes. Yummy!

Heat the potatoes to a boil.

Potatoes are boiling!

Remove the kettle from heat. Punch down the dough. Tear off about quarter-sized bits of dough and layer across the kettle, on top of the water and potatoes.

Pull apart the dough, enough to fill one layer across the potatoes in the kettle.

Dough, completely covering potatoes and ready to cook!

The next part is very important: Place lid on kettle, put it back on medium heat. DO NOT REMOVE THE LID!!! In fact, if your lid does not seal well, or isn’t a very heavy lid, place something on top of your lid…such as:

If your lid isn't heavy enough to make sure there's a seal, set something heavy on top of the lid! Be creative!

Why is this important? The steam from the potatoes and water is cooking the dumplings. If the liquid in the kettle evaporates too quickly, your dough will fall and will be more solid, than light and fluffy. (Grandma would call them “klutzy” when that would happen.) Once you can hear the potatoes boiling again, turn the temp down a bit and simmer. Cook for 30-45 minutes or until the “dumplings start talking to you.” (Grandma’s terms) In cooking terms, this means to listen to the kettle and the dumplings are done when you can hear them starting to fry a little bit.
And then lift off the lid and pray…just kidding…it should look something like this:

Dumplings are done!

Next, stir up the dumplings, mixing the dough, the potatoes and whatever liquid is left. Then pour the cream on top of the dumplings and stir.

Add cream to the finished dumplings.

And finished product, all mixed up...yum!

And that, my friends, is my Grandma Vivian’s Dumplings…actually wrote down and save for all of posterity. She would have been proud of me! She was my best friend, and has been gone for almost a year now. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think of her, and wish that I would have just one more day with her. She taught me so many things about life, but the thing she cherished most was laughter…and good German food! 😉

These are authentic German dumplings...made from scratch! (And low protein!)

Grandma would normally serve this with chicken, but it goes well with any protein item of your choice: beef, lamb, pork, etc. (Not sure it would go well with fish, but go ahead and try! Life is made for rules to be broken, right???) With this particular meal, my sister and I ate these dumplings all by themselves. Just because we could.
King Arthur did provide me with flour to use for this recipe contest however the opinions listed here are my own.


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8 thoughts on “King Arthur Flour meets Grandma Vivian’s Dumplings

  1. Good job Val, I’d like to find a ‘gluten free flour’ that does that well. Most everything I’ve tried is so ‘grainy’, especially the rice flours. Good luck

  2. I am honored that you would share a treasured family recipe for my Iron Chef Challenge. It looks delish and I’m so glad your son could enjoy it as well. I am going to bookmark this and make it sometime this winter with lamb. (I’ll let you know how it turns out.)

  3. Congrats on winning the challenge, Val! Your recipe sounds like true comfort food – and I’m sure I’ll have a pot of dumplings bubbling away on my stove sometime this winter!

    For your prize, I’ll be glad to send the pastry flour rather than the signature flours – that way your son can enjoy whatever you bake with the prize.

    Happy baking!

    • Thank you, so very much for the opportunity! My Grandma would be proud…it will be a year this month that she’s been gone…and there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t miss her immensely. Thank you!

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