Products made of dough with a filling, which are boiled or steamed, are found in all cuisines of the world, just called all differently. The greatest number of names for dumplings are in Italian and Asian cuisine. From raviolli, crudo and tortellini to Chinese dumplings with an incredible variety of fillings.
The Germans, like the Russians, are simpler in this respect. Stuffing, onions and spices – there you have a dumpling. However, unlike ours, German moultaschen have historically been more “green” by adding spinach and seasonal greens to the filling.
Legend has it that they were invented by the fasting priests of the Maulbronn monastery. That’s probably where the name of the dish moultaschen in the first part of the word came from.
Ingredients for the stuffing:
500-600 grams of pork and beef tenderloin
3 garlic cloves
220 g spinach
45 g bread crumbs
3 tbsp. milk
½ tsp. dried basil, ½ tsp. marjoram ½ tsp. nutmeg
salt, black pepper.
For the dough:
2 eggs (separate egg yolks and whites)
150 ml boiled water
400-450 gr flour, ½ tsp. salt
Lower the separated yolks from the eggs into a bowl. Add salt and water. Beat well with a whisk. Add flour gradually and knead the dough until it stops sticking to your hands. Form a ball, cover with a towel and leave for 20-30 minutes.
During this time we prepare the filling. Pour warm milk over breadcrumbs. Wait until they will swell.
Pass through a meat grinder pork, beef and onion. Add finely chopped spinach and garlic juice.
Spinach can be used both fresh and frozen. To do this, let it come to room temperature, squeeze it well in gauze or towel, removing all excess liquid, and chop it.
In addition to spinach, sorrel and also young nettles may well be used. If neither is available, take fresh parsley.
Now add the swollen crumbled breadcrumbs to the mince. Salt, pepper, add dry spices and give the stuffing a good kneading for the moultashen.
Shape it into balls the size of meatballs (1 teaspoon of minced meat with a spoonful), or a little more if you want big German dumplings.
Working with the dough
Roll out the dough as a rectangle. Cut it into strips 10-12 cm wide. Grease each strip with whipped egg white, which will prevent the product from opening and give it a texture that is different from Russian dumplings and Italian pasta with stuffing.
We place on each strip of dough the prepared meat balls at a distance of two centimeters from each other, in the middle.
Now cover them with the edges of the strips. First on one side, almost completely covering the balls, then on the other side. You should have a sort of loaf of the right shape with a completely covered stuffing.
Press the balls and the free space between them with your fingers. The shape of the moultashen is a little flat, unlike Russian dumplings. When finished with the procedure, cut into portions with a sharp knife.
We press the cuts of the dumplings with our fingers and then with a fork. Both for beauty and authenticity, as well as to prevent them from falling apart.