The name is rather misleading. The words Dampf (steam) and nudeln (noodles) don’t seem to do this traditional southern German dessert dish justice. I have come up with my own Dampfnudel recipe, based on the traditional sweet dish, which comes with vanilla sauce or compote.
I like to add a touch of Bailey’s Irish cream to my vanilla sauce, and dust the top of my Dampfnudel with a little powdered sugar.
The dampfnudel comes about in that you let the dough rise slowly, twice before cooking it on the stovetop in a steam bath. The bottom should get golden brown and a little crispy, and the top will stay white. Eaten warm they are simply divine. If you have leftovers, they can be sliced the next day and fried up with bacon and eggs!
For the Dampfnudel:
500g of flour
20g fresh yeast
¼ liter of milk
½ tablespoon salt
80g butter for the pan
125ml of milk for the pan
sugar for the pan (50g minimum to 100g max)
For the sauce:
3 tablespoons of sugar
1 vanilla pod
200g heavy/full cream
1 tablespoon of cornstarch
(tip: I like to add some Bailey’s Irish Cream to this! It’s actually what I use to dissolve the cornstarch)
Things you will need:
A pot with a tight lid and possibly a hand towel or thick kitchen towel (to fit in-between pot and lid)
- Mix together the sugar and fresh yeast with a little warm water – this activates the yeast and should dissolve the sugar
- Melt butter and let cool
- Mix together the flour, milk, melted butter, salt, and lastly the egg (make sure the butter is not too hot or else the egg may scramble)
- Add in your yeast and sugar mix and create a dough ball.
- The dough should be sticky to your hands and well congealed. If you are using a dough hook, it may take a few minutes to reach the right consistency.
- Lightly oil a ceramic or glass bowl (so your dough does not stick) and let the dough ball rest in a warm place for at least an hour or two, covered with a tea towel. It should double in size, if not more.
- After rising, create several smaller dough balls about the size of your fist. You should get about 6 Dampfnudeln out of this recipe.
- Lay these aside to rise once more. They will double in size.
- After the second rise: Take a large pot with high sides, and a lid.
- Take the 80g of butter and 125ml of milk and your sugar and bring to a boil. Make sure the sugar is melted (or it may burn and stick to the bottom of the pot)
- Reduce the heat to medium-low so that the mixture merely simmers.
- Briefly take off the heat, and place your dampfnudeln in the pot. Ideally all 6 will fit, but this depends on the size of your pot. If not, do several batches.
- Put the lid* on the pot – and return to medium-low heat.
- *Very Important – steam droplets are not allowed to drop down onto the dough balls as they are cooking. For this reason, I like to take a thick tea towel and place it between the lid and pot to catch the steam droplets. If you are using a gas stove, please be very careful and tie the sides of the towel on the top of the lid so nothing burns (!!)
- Once the lid is on, simmer for 20 to 30 minutes. Do NOT take the lid off!
- You will hear small crackling noises and know that the liquid has evaporated and that the bottom is getting golden brown. Then, they are done. This will take at least 20 minutes, if not closer to 30.
- (in case your sugar did not properly dissolve, you may smell a slight sugary burning smell, at this point you can take the dampfnudeln off the stove – they will be done!)
For the sauce:
Add milk, sugar and vanilla beans and set on medium heat to simmer. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs. In another bowl, take the cornstarch and “melt” it into a little liquid so that there are no lumps. You can use the cream, but I prefer to use a few tablespoons of Bailey’s Irish Cream (or something similar). Of course this is optional!
Add the cream and cornstarch mixture to the cooked milk and stir well. At a lukewarm temperature, add the beaten eggs and stir constantly over medium heat. Do not let this boil (since you are working with eggs). The sauce should get thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
Pour the sauce into a low bowl and add the dampfnudel on top. Dust with powdered sugar, cacao or cinnamon.
Leftovers can be fried in butter the next day and served with bacon and eggs. My absolute favorite is to make French toast out of it – it’s the perfect bread for a little French toast!