From the Leutascher Klammstüberl: Sonjas Kiachl recipe
Thick clouds of fog still hang around the Leutascher Geisterklamm gorge when we reach the small Klammstüberl at the entrance to the steep gorge. Despite the early hour, the two innkeepers Sonja and Hansjörg are already busy at work, because today fresh Kiachl (little cakes) are baked. Sonja's Kiachl are known far beyond the region's borders - formerly at the Hämmermoosalm in the Gaistal, today at the Klammstüberl at the other end of the long Leutascher Hochtal. With the weighty advantage that one does not have to climb now first an Alm for the best Kiachl of the region. And shortly before the end of the season, Sonja can even invite us into the small Klammkuchl (kitchen) to look over her shoulder as she bakes the kiachl. Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)
Innkeepers with heart and soul
Hansjörg waves from a far and calls out a greeting to us. Visiting the two always feels a bit like grandma and grandpa, that's how warmly you are welcomed here. And indeed, after the Hämmermoosalm, the two of them tried their hand at a well-deserved retirement. Sonja has even endured a whole winter season, Hansjörg laughs over both ears and invites us into the cozy Stubn. Sonja is already in the kitchen, knocking the flour dust out of her apron. She sometimes misses the big mixer from the Hämmermoosalm here, she laughingly holds up the small hand mixer. A massive bowl of yeast dough stands in front of her, smelling wonderfully tempting. Sonja briefly explains the recipe, and then we are allowed to try our hand at shaping and baking the kiachl ourselves.
The "Leutascher Klammkiachl"
50 dag (500g) flour, handle
½ cube yeast (about 21g, you can also use ½ pkg dry yeast)
2 fresh free-range eggs
1 pinch of salt
2 dag (20g) soft organic butter
Approx. ¼ l (250ml) lukewarm organic fresh milk
1 tbsp. domestic rum (or rum flavoring)
As with any real Tyrolean yeast dough, with some yeast, milk, flour and possibly a small pinch of sugar first the Dampfl is set - a creamy pre-dough to "wake up" the yeast first. When, after about half an hour, the dampfl starts to bubble in a warm, windless place, the rest follows: stir in the lukewarm milk, the beaten eggs, the melted and cooled butter and the sip of rum, and beat with flour and salt to form a medium-stiff dough. Now cover the dough and let it rise in the warm for about 25 to 30 minutes. Then cut out pieces of dough with a spoon, shape into balls and let rest on a floured board for another 15 to 20 minutes, covered.
Now follows the "pulling out" of the Kiachl. Gently pull the prepared pieces of dough apart so that the dough is thin in the middle, while the edges should remain thick and airy. A little tip from the Klammkuchl: In the past, you simply "pulled" the Kiachl over your own knee. Afterwards the pulled out Kiachl (first with the upper side down) are baked in hot clarified butter golden brown. Drain well and serve with a ladle of cabbage or cranberries with powdered sugar. If you don't bake the Kiachl all the way through, you can also freeze them and bake them straight from the freezer when needed.
Little Tyrolean Kiachl Stories
A real traditional Tyrolean dish
During our baking lesson together, Sonja naturally knows all sorts of interesting facts about the airy traditional Tyrolean pastry: In the past, kiachl were served as a side dish with almost everything. They are not only faster and cheaper to prepare than sourdough bread, but also particularly filling for the demanding day's work in the mountains. Kiachl with cabbage is also particularly typical of the provincial capital of Innsbruck, the former stronghold of Tyrolean cabbage farmers. The rest has long been history in Leutasch, too, Sonja smiles and loads us up with a good ladle of cabbage. For dessert, one with Grantn (wild cranberries) and powdered sugar - luckily there are two of us.
The last Leutascher "Kiachl" baker
Hostess Sonja and host Hansjoerg in front of their Klammstüberl
By the way, Sonja revealed her legendary kiachl recipe to us for a good reason: In Leutasch, she has long been among the last to keep the Traditonskiachl on the menu. Especially in the winter time the Kiachl are eaten with us however particularly gladly. Exactly then, when the small Leutascher Klammstüberl and Sonjas Kiachl-Kuchl remain closed. But if you make a big secret out of a good recipe, you won't eat good Kiachl anywhere else, winks Grandma Sonja. And because real Kiachl art tastes above all after much love, one learns it in Leutasch best directly from the grandma. We can practice until the beginning of May, when the Klammstüberl opens again," winks Hansjörg over his mug (coffee cup). Until then, you can only find fresh kiachl at the Seefeld Christmas market - or, like Sonja, you can simply make them yourself.