Monday, April 18, 2011

Semmel Knödel; German Bread Dumplings

(about 10 small dumplings)

My mum sent me a wonderful German cookbook. One of the first things I checked out were the dumplings. I made some last year to go with my Rouladen, and failed miserably. They had fallen apart during the cooking and I wasn't sure why.

It appears I used too much milk, not enough eggs and no flour. I have made the necessary adjustments, and the dumplings turned out great this time around.

4 cups bread or rolls, torn apart or cubed
1/4-1/3 cup milk
1-2 slices of bacon, diced
1/2  large yellow onion, chopped
2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
salt and freshly ground pepper
a pinch of nutmeg
2 eggs
1/4 cup flour, give or take

Place the bread in a bowl and pour the milk evenly over it. Use less milk if the bread is fresh. Set aside.

Place the bacon in a skillet and fry until it's crispy. If there's too much fat, then remove some of it.

Add the onions and fry until they become translucent and change to an amber brown. Remove from the heat and cool.

Add the parsley, salt and pepper (to taste), nutmeg and eggs to the bread mixture. Add the cooled onions and bacon.
Combine the ingredients well. I find hands work best here.

Starting with about 2 tablespoons of flour.. work that in.. adding a bit more if necessary until the mixture feels like a sticky dough.

Bring a pot of lightly salted water to boil.

Form about 10 small dumplings with wet hands and drop into the boiling water. Reduce the heat so the water simmers gently and cook for about 15 minutes or until the dumplings are cooked through. They will usually begin to rise to the surface a few minutes before they are actually done.

Leftover dumplings are great sliced up and fried in a small amount of butter.


sab le plaisir de gourmandise said...

just have to try them now

Jenn said...

this is awesome...from another Canadian living in TX I never thought to see my Oma's dumplings elsewhere, but here they are! I just LOVE these with beef gravy or fried in butter the next day.

Gerlinde in Washington said...

I love them too. My grandmother used to slice them up the next day for breakfast, and fry them with eggs and smoked bacon.

Unknown said...

Great! Thanks a lot, they were delicious ;D

Anonymous said...

Thank you very much for the recipe! I've been missing these dumplings since my last visit to Germany, made them yesterday, and were just thrilled with the result. They turn out better, than I was hoping :)

Gerlinde in Washington said...

I'm pleased you liked them!

Anonymous said...

what kind of bread did you use ?

Gerlinde in Washington said...

I don't remember exactly which bread I used for these. I usually get a nice sourdough or a multigrain loaf from a bakery. I don't eat the "fluffy" stuff.


Unknown said...

After years of making these I would like to add something that might be helpful. You might want to try taking the bread and cutting it up and then putting it in the over on a tray thus toasting them a bit. Let them cool off in a large bowl and then mix the egg and milk together and put the mixture over the bread and let sit for a few minutes and soak in a bit. This will help in the final process because the bread will really absorb well and it will be less likely to fall apart. Usually falling apart is because the bread is not "wet" enough inside the dumpling. Try these with goulash or roast beef with gravy - yummy.

Gerlinde in Washington said...

Meg, thanks for the tips. I especially like the idea of toasting the bread first. Will definitely give that a try next time.

Spac said...

I'm no expert but I watched my father make these dumplings when I was a kid - I could never have enough of them. I am sure that he always tried to use 'old' bread, i.e. slightly stale never fresh.

Gerlinde in Washington said...

Hi, Ron I have made these with both "day old" rolls and fresh rolls; both were delicious.

Unknown said...

I put them in the refrigerator for a few hours and I found they don't seem to separate and they stay together in the boiling water

Gerlinde in Washington said...

I will try putting them in the refrigerator the next time. Thanks for the tip!

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