3/4 pkg bacon, pan fried, cut into small bites (save grease)
1 large can chopped sauerkraut, undrained
2 slices of bread, cubed
In a saucepan on the stove, warm up the sauerkraut and mix in the reserved bacon grease.
Bring large pot of water and pinch of salt to a boil. This water is for boiling the buttons. The water must come to a full boil before adding the dough for the buttons.
In a large mixing bowl, place 6 cups of flour, making a well in the middle of the flour. Stir in 3 tsp salt salt and 2 eggs in the well and mix well. Slowly add in the water one cup at a time until the dough is sticky (about 2 1/4 cups).
To make the buttons, take large handful of dough in hand and using a butter knife, cut off small amounts of dough and place in boiling water. They will sink to the bottom, but as they cook, they will float to the top. Using the knife, occasionally stir the buttons so they do not stick together. Allow buttons to return to a boil and then strain. Do not rinse with water.
Reuse the frying pan from cooking the bacon and add 2 TB bacon grease to the pan. Let this get very hot. Then brown the cubed bread by slowly stirring with spoon.
Coat a large pot with non-stick spray. On the bottom, layer the buttons first, then add the kraut (including liquids) and chopped bacon. Continue layering the buttons, then kraut, and then bacon. Top this last layer of bacon with the cubed bread then cover the pot.
Bake in oven at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.
Krautknipfla-that's how we heard it growing up. "Kraut with little buttons, would be the literal translation. Although Jack never saw this particular dish when he lived in Germany, this is a recipe his mother's family brought with them when they moved to America. (They came from Russia but were German). We love "buttons" as we call it and when I watch my mom make them I still picture Grandma Reed's aged palms and bony fingers as she cut the buttons into the water. Comfort food for the soul!