Kluski Śląskie (Silesian Kluski)

Kluski Śląskie, Biołe

Kluski Śląskie (pron. ‘clue-skee shlonskie’) are traditional Silesian potato dumplings. They’re instantly recognisable by their flattened round shape, with a small indentation (hole) in the middle.

Despite being a regional delicacy, Kluski Śląskie are enjoyed across the country.

For the full list of ingredients & detailed instructions, please see the recipe card at the end of this post. But before you scroll, there’s important stuff to know below.

If you’re intimidated by the process, don’t be – this traditional method requires just three ingredients (starchy potatoes, potato flour and a touch of salt) and no fancy equipment.

The use of eggs in this recipe is a controversial topic, their use is often frowned upon by Silesian cooks. If you prefer to stick to the tradition, but your dough comes out dry – a spoonful of cold water should help with its plasticity.

As I’ve just mentioned, Kluski Śląskie are prepared with potato flour – unlike Kopytka, other well-loved potato-based dumplings – which are made with wheat flour instead.

It sounds like a tiny detail, but it has a major impact on the texture. Kopytka seem firmer, while Kluski Śląskie are more bouncy and squishy. Served with a rich gravy, they’re amazing comfort food.

Do you need any special ingredients or equipment to make these Kluski Śląskie?

The ingredient list is very short, but it can be troublesome to shop for.

Starchy potatoes: Like for most kluski and placki, we need spuds that offer a floury, fluffy, and starchy texture. Good types are:

  • in Poland: potatoes labelled as “Type C”, for example, Bryza, Gracja, Ibis, Tajfun, Gustaw
  • in the US: Russet, Idaho and Yukon gold
  • in the UK: Estima, King Edward, Maris Piper, Desiree
starchy potatoes

Potato Flour: Nearly all of the traditional recipes for Silesian Kluski call for potato flour (not starch!), and in this particular instance, there’s no good substitute for it. In Poland, you’ll find it in nearly every major supermarket.

If you struggle to find it in your local supermarket, it’s a good idea to enquire in health food stores (potato flour is a popular product among those who follow a gluten-free diet). Alternatively, you can get it online (for example, on Amazon).

Equipment-wise, you’ll need:

  • potato ricer or masher (alternatively, a food processor)
  • 2 cooking pots (medium and large)
  • colander/strainer
  • slotted spoon
  • serving plate

What should you serve with these Silesian Kluski?

Kluski Śląskie are most commonly served either as a side dish, or as a meal on its own merit. Here are some suggestions –

Serving Silesian Kluski as the main course: 

  • topped with melted butter or butter-toasted breadcrumbs
  • sprinkled with grated cheese, chopped fresh herbs (sage, thyme, parsley, dill)
  • sprinkled with fried onions, pork cracklings/scratchings, fried bacon lardons, fried chopped kiełbasa
  • with a sauce of your choice (e.g. mushroom, gravy, sour cream, béchamel etc.) 

Serving Silesian Kluski as a side:

  • with thick stews, for example alongside this Gulasz.
  • with ‘Pieczyste’, meaning: roasts, especially with poultry roasts (duck, goose, pheasant), roast beef, venison or pork.
  • with meat dishes, such as Schabowy, Mielony, Pulpety

For a proper Silesian dinner, Kluski Śląskie are accompanied by Silesian Beef Roulade and Modro Kapusta (braised red cabbage).

The choice of beverage will largely depend on the meat and the sauce you choose. If your gravy is rich and intense, go for a heavier red wine. If it’s a lighter, creamier sauce, select something lighter to drink. 

Can you make Kluski Śląskie another way?

Yes, here’re some varieties:

  • with a filling:
    Kluski Śląskie filled with minced pork – very similar to another type of dumpling known as ‘Pyzy z Mięsem’.
  • as a dessert:
    Served with sweetened cream, custard, fruit preserves and/or sprinkled with powdered sugar. On occasion, Twaróg is added to the dough as well.
  • adding an egg:
    That’s a controversial one. Some home cooks add a whole egg (or just the yolk) to the dough, especially when the potatoes are too dry to handle. But please note: eggs tend to make the dough richer, but heavier and tougher.
  • using all-purpose flour:
    Certain recipes suggest using regular all-purpose flour. I’m yet to test one of these recipes and compare the results. 
  • colourful Kluski:
    That’s a fun version, especially for children. To colour the dough, natural dyes are used, most popularly beetroot juice (for red), spinach (for green) or turmeric (for yellow).

What diets are these Silesian Kluski suitable for?

This recipe is vegetarian and gluten-free. 

To make it dairy-free and vegan-friendly, just skip the egg yolk. If your dough ends up too dry, add a few spoonfuls of water instead.

How long can you keep Kluski Śląskie in the fridge?

Once served, it’s safe to keep Kluski Śląskie out (at room temperature) for up to 3-4 hours.

To store any leftovers, move them onto a plate and cover them with cling film. Alternatively, move them over into a container with a lid and refrigerate. Aim to consume within 2 days.

Pro tip: If you formed too many dumplings in one go, you don’t have to cook them all. 

Instead of reheating the leftovers the next day, you’ll get much better results by refrigerating them raw. Store raw Kluski on a plate or a tray (lightly dusted with potato flour), cover with a damp cloth and refrigerate overnight. Cook the next day, just like you would with the freshly formed ones.

Can I freeze Silesian Kluski?

Yes, there are two ways of freezing Kluski Śląski:

  • freezing them raw, or…
  • freezing them blanched

In general, it’s best to blanch them first –  briefly immersing in boiling water, cooling down completely and then freezing. But please note, that many home cooks freeze them raw instead, without any issues.

In any case, the method remains the same: 

  • prepare a tray or a cutting board; small enough to fit into your freezer, and dust it lightly with potato flour.
  • evenly distribute your Kluski on top, making sure they don’t touch each other.
  • carefully place the tray in the freezer for 1-2 hours.
  • remove from the freezer and move Kluski over into a freezer-friendly ziplock bag.
  • label the bag with its content and today’s date.

How do I reheat Kluski Śląskie?

From chilled: Silesian Kluski can be reheated in boiling water (literally by cooking them for two-three minutes). 

Alternatively, you can fry them up on a frying pan. Lightly grease the pan with butter, and fry until crispy and golden. 

Microwaving Kluski tends to turn them hard and gluey, but feel free to test this method for yourself.

From Frozen: Drop Kluski directly into the boiling water, then proceed the same way as you would do with fresh ones (as per the recipe card below). 

Troubleshooting

The dough is too dry

Sadly, that’s what happens with certain types of potatoes. To remedy this issue, add an egg yolk or a splash of cold water.

Don’t be tempted to pour too much liquid in one go – it’s easier to add more water gradually, than to subtract it later.

The dough is too wet

Try adding more potato flour. Next time, go for a different type of potato (ideally – a more starchy kind).

Kluski Śląskie - Silesian Kluski (Dumplings)
Kluski Śląskie - Silesian Dumplings

Kluski Śląskie (Silesian Kluski)

Yield: 4-5
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2.2 lb (1 kg) cooked potatoes; starchy type (important!)
  • approx. 1¼ cup (200 g) potato flour; the exact amount will depend on the volume, as explained in the method below
  • 1 egg yolk; optional, see notes
  • salt
  • butter, for greasing the serving plate

For serving (optional)

  • 3-4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1-2 tablespoons fried onions
  • 1-2 tablespoons chopped herbs e.g. sage; for garnish

Instructions

Cooking Potatoes

  1. Peel potatoes, cut them into chunks. 
  2. Fill the cooking pot with water, bring to a boil. Dissolve 2 generous pinches of salt. 
  3. Drop potato chunks in, reduce the heat ever-so-slightly and cook them until soft (15-20 minutes is usually enough). 
  4. Strain potatoes through a sieve and leave them on the side to cool off. Once cooled, push cooked potatoes through a ricer, or blend them in a food processor until smooth.

Making Potato Dough

  1. Move potato mash into a large bowl with a wide base; you can use a wide cooking pot for this purpose as well. Tap the potato mash, to compress it a bit.  
  2. Divide the mash into four equal parts. Temporarily remove one part and fill up the remaining gap with potato flour. Return the part of the mash we have removed,  season with 2 generous pinches of salt.
  3. Combine the ingredients, then start kneading by hand, until a smooth dough forms and form a ball. For troubleshooting, refer to the recipe notes. 

Forming Silesian Kluski

  1. Dust your work surface with potato flour - that’s where we’re line assembled kluski before cooking.
  2. Rinse your hands with some cold water, or grease them with a touch of neutral cooking oil.  Tear off small pieces of dough (roughly the size of a large walnut, or a ping-pong ball).

    Form a round ball, then make an indent in the middle by pressing it with your finger. Set aside on the worktop and repeat the process until you’re out of dough.

    Pro tip: If you want to prepare these kluski an hour or two in advance - you can. Just leave formed kluski on the flour-dusted worktop and cover them with a kitchen cloth/tea towel.

    They can wait until you’re ready to boil them - without losing their shape, flavour or texture.

Cooking Silesian Kluski

  1. Fill a large cooking pot with water, bring it to a boil. Dissolve 3 teaspoons of salt. Reduce the heat to medium.

    Pro tip: Is it your first attempt making these? Here’s a hack: Before cooking kluski, dissolve a spoonful (or two) of potato flour directly in the boiling water. This will help your kluski stay intact while cooking.
  2. Add kluski into the pot, only a few at a time. Make sure not to overcrowd the pot, otherwise, they’ll stick together. For kluski made with 1 kg (2-2.2 lb) of potatoes, it’s recommended to cook them in 3-4 batches.
  3. Initially, kluski will sink to the bottom. That’s why it’s a good idea to stir the water from time to time, so that they don’t stick to the bottom (or to each other).
  4. Once kluski start to float, continue cooking for another 3 minutes or so (cooking, but not boiling!). Remove with a slotted spoon, onto a warm serving plate, lightly greased with butter. Repeat the process until you’re out of kluski.
  5. Pour the kluski over with melted butter, sprinkle with chopped herbs and serve as a side dish; or with sauces of your choice.

Notes

  • Egg/egg yolk is a highly controversial ingredient in this recipe. There are whole debates online on this topic alone.

    That said, if you feel like your potatoes are too dry to form the dough, feel free to add that in.

This is adapted from:

  • “Ziemniak” (“Potato”) cookbook by Joanna Jakubiuk. Published by Edipresse Polska in 2018, ISBN: 978-83-8117-747-4

Background of this dish, as well as some of the cooking tips come from:

  • "Kuchnia Śląska: Jodło, Historia, Kultura, Gwara" ("Silesian Cuisine: Food, History, Culture, Dialect/Language") by Marek Szołtysek. Published by Śląskie ABC in 2003, ISBN: 83-88966-07-3

Polish name:
Pronunciation:
Cuisine: Polish
Region / Subregion: Silesia
Other traditional or regional names: Gumione, Guminowe, Kartofelmelklezy, Gumiklyjzy, Ślůnske Kluski, Biołe Klyjzy, Schläsche Kließla, Gałuszki, Hałeczki
Also known as (including misspellings): Silesian Dumplings, Silesian Noodles, Schlesische Kartoffelklöße