16 January 2012

Bread and potatoes - simple food

These are delicious! Kartoffelpuffer - or potato pancakes, are one of those dishes that can be part of a meal of a meal in themselves. Hanno's mother taught me to cook kartoffelpuffer and I remember as clear as a bell when she told me that when they were cooked, they had to look like lace. A few weeks ago Hanno made dinner and produced not plain kartoffelpuffer but kartoffelpuffer topped with cheese, tomato and ham. Up until that point we'd only ever eaten them plain but since he went back to Hamburg to visit his family just over a year ago, he has been researching home cooking, German style. This is one of the recipes he found.

  • 1kg/2.2lb potatoes - peeled and grated
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons of flour - I use self-raising flour, Hanno uses plain. I think the self rising flour makes them a bit lighter.
  • Salt to taste
  • ½ tablespoon mild mustard
  • Chopped tomato
  • Chopped ham
  • Grated cheese
  1. When the potatoes are grated and onions are chopped, place them in a clean tea towel and squeeze out as much liquid as you can.
  2. Mix the above together thoroughly. Heat oil in a pan, when it is hot, add as many half cup measures of the mixture as will fit in the pan without them touching - usually 3 - 4 . Cook until the first side is golden, flip over and do the same on the other side. Place cooked puffers on a plate with paper towel on it to drain. Keep them warm while you cook the rest.
  3. When you have all the kartoffelpuffers cooked, add the topping and grill the top until the cheese has melted. 
Eat them straight away. The leftovers can be reheated in the microwave the next day.

I had some cheese leftover from Christmas that I wanted to use - a really good farmhouse cheddar from Maleny so  I decided to make up some cheese rolls. I used a normal white dough and added a splash of olive oil to make the dough more tender and easier to handle. I rolled it out flat and sprinkled the cheese over it with a bit of paprika - in a way similar to that old favourite, cinnamon rolls.

Using a sharp knife, cut them into pieces about two inches thick. A quick 20 minutes in the oven and they were ready for lunch on Saturday. We still had rolls left on Sunday so I shared some with the chickens and toasted one in the sandwich press with tomato. Delicious! This type of roll would be great with ham or pepperoni added to the cheese if you wanted a roll that was a bit more substantial. I think they'd be an excellent addition to the lunch box because they're quite flat so they're easier to pack and eat than a round roll.

Once you find the key to good bread, it's so easy to make all sorts of bread. Just change the flour and you have whole grain, wholemeal, rye, corn and barley or spelt bread. Bread is a great healthy addition to daily nutrition. For the cost of a cheap supermarket loaf you can home bake an excellent good quality loaf or rolls for all occasions.

I wonder how many of you are regular bread makers. I wonder how many would like to be. There are some very good bread threads over at the forum but if there is a need, I'll do a basic bread tutorial over there so you can ask questions along the way. Let me know.



  1. Hi Rhonda, thank you for sharing these recipes! I was excited to see the cheese rolls-- they remind me of some I used to love getting from a bakery near my parents' home. By "normal white dough" do you mean dough you would typically use for a white bread? Did you let the dough rise at all before or after adding the cheese? (maybe I'm someone who needs to see your bread tutorial again ;)
    Thanks, Jaime

  2. Hi Jaime. Yes, a white bread dough is fine for these. I let them rise as I would my normal loaf. The weight of the cheese keeps them flatter than your normal bread. Good luck with yours. Hanno just LOVES these rolls.

  3. That looks so very delicious !!! I love the topping on top of the puffer !! The roll is a great idea. I have to try that.
    Hugs from The Netherlands.

  4. I make bread often enough that I feel guilty when I buy bread at the store. Yet I still do (buy it) once in a while, usually because of poor advance planning on my part.

  5. Hi Rhonda, the cheese rolls look lovely and I would love to see a bread tutorial, I have been wanting to make my own bread daily for some time but haven't found the right tutorial/recipe. Love the blog.

  6. We love homemade bread but don't do it often enough. Love your potpuffs, I'm living in Hamburg, Germany and haven't seen anything like that here! I'll look out for it (will try your recipe meanwhile!)

  7. Its 6.35am and now Im really hungry looking at those yummo things :) I havent made bread or rolls but the kids and I do make our own pizza bases using homemade greek yogurt and self raising flour...easy and yummy.

  8. Hi Rhonda,

    Those cheese rolls look so yum!
    I'd be interested in hearing your thoughts on the economy of making bread each day in our hot climates.

    For instance, my mum always taught me not to use the oven on hot days as it would heat up the house as well (that you then have to pay to cool). If it was necessary, she'd say to make use of the heat by cooking biccies or something too.

    I live in the west of Sydney and in summer it gets HOT (though not this summer...), but we still need bread even when it's 45 degrees. So i wrestle with the whole question of what is healthier and most economical for our family.

    You obviously bake in a Queensland summer. How have you reconciled this in your own mind?


  9. Yes, I make bread from whole wheat flour as often as I can. This is usually the weekends as I work full time and don't have the time to let it rise etc. I would love some tutorials as I am always looking for ways to perfect it. I always look forward to your insight and recipes. Thank you!

  10. Those rolls looks absolutely delicious! I have a small bit of pepperoni in the fridge so may make some with that and some sharp cheddar. My Grandma always made "potato pancakes" using leftover mash potatoes - she did not waste any food. She had 9 children and had to spread the food as far as it would go. I will have to try Hanno's recipe as they look scrumptious!

  11. We get free bread from a bakery every week, but since I bought the thermomix we've started making some bread. The bakery has been closed for 3 weeks over Christmas so we've been living off my bread and it's SO NICE. Now my dilemma is.... do I eat the free stuff or not?

  12. I'm a sourdour convert but am not organised enough to make it every day. However I bake most days and hate eating shop bought. I like mine much better! I'm going to try rolls like that for school. I suppose they're a bit like calzone without being folded over. I make pizza with my bread dough too.

  13. Those potato pancakes look delicious! I especially like family recipes...I still follow my Grandma's recipe for potato cakes (different to all the other potato cakes I've ever tasted!)

  14. oh, my, what a great looking post. I have a salmon bake recipe that cooks topped with cheese rolls. why did I never think to make the rolls by themselves? thanks!!

  15. Another bread baker here. I learned around 1970 and have been making my own bread regularly since. Not religiously - sometimes in the past I've been too busy, or perhaps unwell, but it is a regular occurrence in our house, and it tastes SO MUCH BETTER than "boughten" bread, just two or three ingredients flour/salt/yeast/water and much more filling than shop bread. Cheese bread, and cheese rolls, are delish!

    I love the look of Hanno's potato puffs and will give them a whirl.

  16. Thanks for sharing Hanno's family recipe...they look great and i think something my fussy twin may just eat if i make them crispy enough!
    I also make the cheese rolls similar to yours and the girls love them...i make some with salami and capsicum and pizza sauce for rest of family's lunches and they freeze well. Also do the aussie favourite of vegemite and cheese!
    We prefer light rye bread loaf here but it has taken me a while to get the ratio of white and rye flour right as too much rye and it is quite a dense loaf not suitable for sandwiches really.....but it is all in the fun of breadmaking really isn't it?
    I recently ran out of bread and we needed for lunches so had to buy a helga's light rye loaf and would you believe it was mouldy the next day! Won't make the mistake of running out again!
    Thanks for sharing your recipes and lovely pics...and thanks to Hanno too for sharing!

  17. Hi Rhonda,

    Thanks for a great post! I am definitely going to be adding these to the list of recipes I have in my HomeMaker Journal.

    It is a little bit harder for us. I suppose it could be relatively easy if I hoarded stacks of flour, but find it hard to find it in bulk. We buy five loaves of bread, or more, during the week as DH takes 4 sandwiches to work. Then comes home and eats, plus two kids who wants sandwiches through the day. DH likes homemade bread, but it is too hard to cut into decent enough slices to make decent sandwiches, hence I only make bread for myself. I have stopped eating bought bread and feel much healthier, lost 5+ kilos also.

  18. Rhonda, my husband's family is Volga Deutsch (Germans from Russia). His mama taught me to make bierocks (maybe the name has been Americanized from Pirogs???)with bread dough, filling squares of dough with cabbage and onion which have been steamed with a little bacon grease, and seasoned with salt and lots of pepper. Pinch all the sides together, brush the tops with more grease, and bake. Soooooooo good! Still my favorite meal after 40 odd years! Thank you for the time and patience you spend on your blog--I look forward to it every day!
    Brenda (Brighton, CO, USA)

  19. They look fabulous Rhonda, just our type of food - thanks for posting the recipes.

  20. Oh these recipes made me so happy!! I love it when I find a recipe that could go in packed lunches that the kids will eat...and those pancakes have everyone one of my husband's favourite ingredients, I can't go wrong with cooking that one for dinner! Thankyou.

  21. Hi Rhonda, your rolls look yum. I am wondering what is the secret to getting such fluffy white bread - whenever I make it, it is thick and stodgy. Am I not kneading it long enough? Kind Regards, Miki

  22. Hi Rhonda,
    I'm back to making all our breads, rolls and buns. That's a really good thing because my husband loves his bread!

    Those cheese rolls look delicious! My family would love them but with the addition of jalapeƱos for some heat. Will definitely be making them! Thanks for a great idea!

    Haven't potato pancake in a long time. I'm half German so it's great having "German" recipes. Please keep them coming, Hanno!

  23. I won't try to pronounce them, but my goodness those potato things look good. They remind me of parmigiana. Must give them a go when I harvest my potatoes.
    And thank you for your kind mention. I visited Berrima recently and remembered your post when I visited Peppergreen antiques. I think I could have spent all day in there! Thanks for the recommendation.

  24. Howdy from Texas! I found your blog through Jenny of "Elephantz" - the free pattern is so cute. Thanks. Then I read a bit of your blog and I'm hooked. I can't wait to try today's recipe's - we lived in Germany in the mid 1990's and your potato pancakes and cheesy bread bring back good memories.

  25. I would love to bake more of my own bread but it is just too tempting to eat! I have been losing weight and unfortunately home baked bread is not part of my healthy eating plan. I buy a fresh wholemeal loaf from our local baker and freeze it in 2-slice packs. A loaf lasts over a week that way as we only have it for breakfast.
    Oh, those cheese rolls! You tempt me so! Lol!

    Cheers - Joolz

  26. Hi Rhonda, I try to make bread often, but sometimes get a bit lazy and buy supermarket bread. My whole family love the taste of our home made bread (I do cheese rolls similar to what's on you blog today too), but my husband doesn't like having to slice it before he can use it. I'd like to hear your suggestions for slicing and keeping it fresh. Everything has to be as easy as possible for my husband... if there is an extra step, then it's too hard!

  27. I've made my own bread since I was a 16 year old bride going to live in New Guinea - quite a long time ago ;) Last year I converted to sourdough and haven't made yeast bread since, it's brilliant for pizza and fruit scrolls besides the daily staff-of-life loaves, the whole family loves it.

  28. I would love a tutorial! I make my own bread but don't use a breadmaker. I wonder what are the benefits? Also if you have a breadmaker can they make rolls and do you have to use the premix stuff they sell at the shops (which I figure would be more expensive than making from scratch). Also anything on the comparable cost would be good, because I love the more expensive breads but don't know to make myself and/or the ingredients look so expensive I wonder if it would be cheaper afterall.

    I worked in a bakery through high school and uni so good bread is a must for me!

    Thanks for your post on the cheese rolls. What a great idea.

  29. Thanks for posting potato pancakes recipes. I really like potato pancakes but haven't made it for a while.

  30. Rhonda those rolls look delicious - so light and fluffy. I have a question to do with the 'fluff' part - I have been making bread for two years now but struggle to make anything light enough for my husband to take as sandwiches for lunch - he'll eat mine as toast, or as fresh bread but not as a sandwich. My bread always just a little heavy, no matter how long I leave it to rise. Any suggestions?

  31. Oh boy, those looks absolutely delicious. My husband would love for me to perfect baking cheese rolls - they are one of his favourites. I just love your posts on food - your cooking is very inspiring to me - thank you :)

  32. I've just started making bread, Rhonda, using your basic recipe - it is gradually getting lighter - more kneading is definitely the key for me! Those cheese rolls look delicious - I'm a cheese addict, so will be trying those, as well as the potato pancakes!


  33. I cooked your potato cakes tonight - they were absolutely delicious! Will be going into our family favourite recipes. Thanks for sharing your recipe.

  34. Yum! Those cheese rolls look delicious

  35. Oh wow! Mjammie!!

  36. Rhonda, sometimes your recipes take me back to a time when I lived with people from Germany and we made quark and many other German foods. I was introduced to red cabbage and sauerkraut at the time and have fond memories of the German biscuits cooked for St.Niklaus' Day.Thanks for taking me down memory lane.

  37. Hi Rhonda,
    I bake bread every weekend now.
    I make 6 loaves - 3 plain and 3 with preserved fruits.
    I use baker's flour but add bran and wheat germ for added nutrients. I use yeast. I knead my bread and then let it rest for 30 min. I then separate the dough and roll it into loaves and put it into the bread pans. I then cover it and allow it to rest for 30 min again. I get lovely light breads using this method.
    If I run out of bread and don't want to use a whole oven or the day is too hot I would usually make a quick bread like:
    Sada Roti: http://www.simplytrinicooking.com/2008/02/sada-roti-and-baigan-eggplant-choka.html#axzz1jcdHh94X
    or 'Fry Bake':
    For both of these the resting period I use is 30 minutes only then cook. I also use just an ordinary frying pan to cook both.

    Trinidad & Tobago

    p.s. I also make the cheese rolls but usually add ham and Oregano. A favourite for lunch bags :)

  38. I'm thinking about trying bread making again. In the past I have tried it several times from scratch (bread, bagels, pizza dough), but it has failed. When I buy 'bread mix', it does turn out al right. So there is something with yeast I am doing wrong. I will check out the tutorials!

  39. Oh my, Rhonda. If there is anything I like it is kartoffelpuffer. I use a bit of beer thrown in for flavour too; about two tablespoons or there abouts, after the potato liquid and starch has been removed. Never tried it with the tomato and ham, though.
    I am a bread baker from way back, and will have to try those rolls. I made some cinnamon rolls this weekend, as a matter of fact. But I have a weakness for anything cheese-y! Thanks for the tip.

  40. Hanno & Rhonda - our teen (15) has his own garden and just harvested his spuds. He read up that if you plant the potoates with one eye you get BUG spus. He sure did. He is talking he will always have a garden. SMILE.
    Photo of his harvest.

    Love Leanne

  41. As SOON as I read that first recipe... I HAD to make it! And I did! YUM!!! I put cheese and bacon on mine when they were done frying and put them under the broiler... FABULOUS STUFF! Thank you for a simple, new and FAVE fab recipe!

  42. Re Rebecca about slicing and keeping bread, we use a slicer made by Breville. They cost about $30 dollars but I managed to find one in an op shop I think for about $4 and always keep the bread in the fridge or freezer. In the fridge it will keep for at least a week though we mainly only use it for toast. Also try to wait for the bread to completely cool before trying to slice.

  43. Hi Rhonda! Love the blog.
    The roll is a great idea!
    Hugs from Portugal.

  44. I make our bread on an off+on basis - you know, when I can and when I have no choice (because there is no cash for groceries but still flour in the bin).

    One trick I learned for making soft bread (like for sandwiches) is to add 2-3 tablespoons of ground flax seeds. It also seems to keep the bread fresh longer.

    I stumbled on this when I was given a bag of ground flax seed and I started "sneaking" it into the loaves just to get it used up. The family loved it!

  45. Hi, Eliza again. I just "won" a free breadmaker from Freecycle so am even more keen for a tutorial. Also keen to understand if it is cheaper. Bakers flour was $4 a kilo! Yikes. Any tips on where to buy it for cheaper?

  46. Hi Rhonda,

    What a great, cheap meal to have with a salad in summer. We used to eat potato fritters cooked on the barbeque after a swim at Main Beach when we were kids. We used to go with friends who had eleven children and sausages and fritters was a cheap feed!

    Scrolls are brilliant, I make them all the time. They are such a timesaver to have on hand for busy mornings.

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