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Hi Bold Bakers!
As we all know, baking stretches beyond just desserts. Under the category of ‘baking’ also falls doughs! A dough can mean many different things from bread dough to donuts, but also pasta and even dumplings.
Now, what’s a dumpling? Well, it depends on what country you are in because dumpling is a broad term. Basically, a dumpling is a dough that sometimes is stuffed with meat, vegetables, or seafood — and they can be baked, boiled, steamed, and fried. Japan has gyoza, Latin America has empanadas, Germany has spaetzle, and the Italians have Gnocchi.
So I set out to make a Gnocchi recipe as simple as it could be, kind of like my 2-Ingredient Homemade Pasta! So here it is — 3 Ingredient Homemade Gnocchi that doesn’t use ANY special kitchen tools.
What is Gnocchi?
Gnocchi is a kind of Italian dumpling. The word literally means “lumps,” and they are usually rolled and shaped from a mixture of egg with potato, semolina, flour, or ricotta cheese. It is boiled in water briefly just until it floats to the top of the pot. Then they can be sautéed or served straight away with melted butter, grated cheese, or other pasta sauces.
A classic way to serve gnocchi is with brown butter and crispy sage leaves.
The Type Of Potatoes You Need For Homemade Gnocchi
What potatoes do you use for mashed potatoes? Use those ones! You need a floury potato, so Russet potatoes, Rooster potatoes, or Maris piper potatoes will work very well.
What You Need To Make Gnocchi
Here’s an interesting thing: 99.9% of recipes online will tell you that you need a potato ricer (a what now?) and a gnocchi board (huh?). Here’s what you really need to make incredibly light, fluffy gnocchi:
- A sieve (preferably metal)
- Some forks
- A knife or dough cutter
- A pot for boiling water
How to Make Gnocchi
Here are the basic steps through the whole process, and some helpful pictures (and don’t forget to get the full recipe with measurements, on the page down below):
Wash and dry the potatoes and place them on a baking tray with parchment. Prick each potato with a fork before coating with a little olive oil and generously sprinkle over the salt.
Bake at 425°F (210°C) until a fork inserted in the center comes out easily, roughly 60-70 minutes.
While still hot, hold the potatoes in a dish towel and scoop out the fluffy center into your sieve. You can do this in two batches. (You can save the skins to make stuffed potato skins with later)
Straight away pass the potato through a metal sieve onto your countertop using the back of a spoon. Note: if your potatoes cool down they will not sieve and it will be unusable so sieve them as fast as you can.
Next, over the cooled, sieved potato pour over the beaten egg and sprinkle over the flour. With a dough cutter or a butter knife bring the dough together. If you don’t need all the flour that is totally fine.
Knead the dough lightly on the work surface until it comes together and is smooth. If your dough seems sticky you can always add a little more flour. Shape it roughly into a log.
Shaping the Gnocchi:
Cut the dough into thick slices and on a floured surface roll them out into ropes roughly 3/4 inch in diameter (see video for step-by-step). Cut each rope into 1-inch pieces.
Dip a fork into flour. Hold it in one hand, and use your index finger to hold a cut edge of a piece of gnocchi against the curved back of the tines of the fork. Press into the center of the gnocchi with your index finger to make a deep indentation. While you are pressing the piece against the tines, flip it away over the tip of the fork, allowing the gnocchi to drop to the work surface (Watch the video down below to see the process). If it becomes sticky, dip your fingers into flour also. At this point, gnocchi can be refrigerated on a lightly floured baking sheet for several hours or I like to freeze it and then cook it from frozen.
Cooking the Gnocchi:
Drop your homemade gnocchi into a pot of boiling water and cook until they float to the surface, about 2 minutes. If you are cooking from frozen they will take a little longer to float to the top.
Once they rise to the top give them another 20 seconds before removing with a slotted spoon. Try not to stir while cooking as they are delicate and this can break them up.
Serve with any of your favorite pasta sauces or simply with brown butter.
Tips for Making Gnocchi:
- Use a floury potato for making gnocchi: Roosters, Russets, or Maris Piper potatoes.
- Do I boil, steam or bake potatoes for gnocchi? Steaming and boiling adds moisture, which isn’t ideal for making gnocchi. The best result is when you bake your potatoes. I’ll leave it up to you to choose.
- Sieve while hot! Don’t allow your potatoes to cool down too much once you take them from the oven. They will be almost impossible to sieve and you will have to start over.
- If the dough tears while rolling into ropes simply knead in a little more flour into the dough
- Chilling the gnocchi before cooking will help them keep their shape.
- Freeze gnocchi once shaped and then cook from frozen for an easy dinner. Freeze in a single layer on a baking tray. They can be frozen for up to 8 weeks.
- There are so many more tips. I found some really useful ones on Finecooking.com
How Do I Store It?
Store them in the fridge for up to 2 days or they can be frozen for up to 8 weeks. The best results I have seen are from freezing the gnocchi and cooking it from frozen. Just make sure that when you freeze gnocchi you do so in a single layer on a tray and not piled on top of each other.
Make More Pasta!
And don’t forget to buy my Bigger Bolder Baking Cookbook!
Full (and printable) recipe below!