Krebbles or Grebbles
Krebbles or Grebbles


Last month when we went to the workshops on Volga Germans I tried a “krebbles” sample that Sandra Stalter, a Canadian, brought to share during the session of traditional cuisine from the area that families still make. I had also asked my mother-in-law for some family recipes. She sent a few pages from a cookbook that had some of the recipes like her mother cooked for the family. This also included several Grebble recipes that were all similar to the Krebble recipe.

Recipes celebrating Volga German heritage in 1976
Recipes celebrating Volga German heritage in 1976

recipes from Cookbook

1 cup heavy sweet or sour cream at room temp. ( I used sour cream)

4 eggs at room temp.

3 cups of flour

2 Tbsp Sugar

2tsp Baking powder

1/2 tsp soda, if sour cream is used (which I used)

Canola oil

Since the recipe that my mother-in law marked, included 1/2 tsp allspice, I included some for a little more flavor.

Sift together flour sugar, salt, baking powder, and soda if using sour cream.

 There was no amount in this recipe for salt but from the Grebble recipes it calls for a pinch of salt so that was what I used.

Separate eggs. Beat whites in a bowl .

With same beaters whip the cream slightly.

With the same beater, combine egg yokes and sugar until lemon colored.

Since I had already used the 2 Tbsp of sugar when I sifted the dry ingredients I used another tbsp. of sugar with the egg yokes.

Gently combine yokes, whites, and cream.

Combine flour mixture and cream mixture. First with fork then with hands. The dough will be soft.

Put on flour board and work in 1/2 cup more flour.

I worked this in by dusting the pastry cloth with flour and then kneading the dough to work the flour in evenly.

Put aside in a covered bowl for 2 hours.

After 2 hours it was really late so I covered the bowl with plastic wrap and put in the refrigerator over night. The next day I took it out and let it come to room temperature.

On a flour surface, roll out dough to 1/4″ thick. cut into 3″X5″ rectangles. and cut two slits in ea. strip.

By trial and error I ended up cutting the slits at an angle.

Lay pieces on a floured surface

Heat 2″ of canola oil in heavy pot. Temperature is sufficient when small piece of dough browns in 1 min.

I tested the temperature of the oil and found it to be about 350ºF.

Gently lift each Krebble, pull dough through slits and place in hot oil. Several can go in the pot at a time. Brown each side then dry on paper towel.

I pulled a corner of the dough through each slot. and then using a strainer spoon gently slid it into the hot oil. I allowed each to cook about  30 seconds on each side or until golden brown then turned them over.

Serve with icing sugar.

I dusted with powdered sugar but think they would be better rolled in the powdered sugar.

This recipe is from Sandra Stelter.

The final product looks beautiful. They really puffed up in the cooking oil and I might have needed to add more oil for the last one or two. They were not real sweet and that is why I think I would like them rolled in the sugar. The overnight refrigerating did not appear to effect the final product. They look a lot like a free form doughnut. While they took a while to make they have very simple ingredients and were not complicated. If you try making let me know what you think.


13 thoughts on “Krebble or Grebble ~ trying out a old Volga German Recipe

  1. Thank you so much for this recipe. Our Grandma would make this along with many other wonderful “Germans from Russia” recipes. None expensive to make! I plan to make this as a treat for my family.

  2. My Grandma used to add powdered sugar by putting the sugar and warm grebels in a plastic bag and shaking! It gets just the right amount of sugar into all the little spaces and you don’t have to touch them!

  3. Could you possibly include a video showing how to create the slits and how you tuck the ends through the slits.

  4. I miss my gramma’s cooking so much but didn’t appreciate it until she was gone. Is the Volga German cookbook shown above available? Or any other suggestions?

    Thanks so much.

    1. Scott,
      Sorry this book is no longer available but you might checkout the site
      They do have cookbooks in their online store. They are the American historical Society Germans from Russia. Lots of great information there if you have Volga German family. Good luck.

  5. My hubby is ‘Rooshin’, German/Russian heritage, and I made Greble our second year married. I used his Grandma Susie’s recipe and we took them to his family’s Christmas Eve celebration. Hubby told me to put powdered sugar on them “because everyone likes them that way”, he said.

    And his family did like them, but my mom–in-law told me that she didn’t like powdered sugar on her Greble, she liked jelly or to dunk them in syurp. I pointed at hubby and told mom that that was her son’s idea. She just smiled at him and said that it figured 😀 I made a big batch last Christmas Eve for hubby’s family and I made sure that mom could use jelly or syrup on hers 🙂 Glad that I did that since mom passed away this spring

    Our oldest made Greble for a 4-H project, International Foods, and he got a purple ribbon. After talking with the judge about his project, we took some to his grandpa who was in the hospital in a neighboring town. Grandpa and his nurses enjoyed them.

    1. Thanks Nancy, it is so nice to hear your
      stories and know that those family receipts are still being enjoyed and made by the younger generations. I’m sure your mother-in-law appreciated your thoughtfulness by leaving some plain for her.

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