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Bread dumplings are best served with a sauced dish such as Goulash/Gulyas, or any
stew, BUT there is another great typical Austrian dish called "sautéed dumpling",
which isn´t sauced at all.
Bread dumplings are a great dish if you have white bread left that you do not have
any use for anymore, except for feeding the birds. Keep your bread left overs, cut
them into small cubes and let them dry out completely. Store this dumpling bread
in a dry dark place.
Knoedel are an Austrian favorite, and one might think Austria could be a Knoedel-country
instead of a banana-republic. I wrote an article about Why Austrians eat Knoedel
so often. You might want to read it, and tell me your opinion about this topic, if
you have one.
Recipe for Semmelknoedel (bread dumplings)
Serves 4 as a sidedish
1 lb (~500 g) white bread DRIED and CUT into 1/2-inch (~1 cm) cubes
1 large onion
4 whole eggs
2 cups (~500 ml) milk
1/4 lb (~250 g) butter OR margarine
2 Tablespoons parsley freshly CHOPPED
2 Tablespoons flour (optional, to bind dumpling)
How to cook Semmelknoedel
4. Cooking them
When all dumplings are formed and the water is boiling, place them in the pot. Cover
the pot and bring to a boil again. Let boil for 5 minutes, then reduce the heat
and let them simmer another 10 minutes. Now they are ready to serve, best with a
sauced dish such as Gulyas. If you have a few extra dumplings after your dinner,
keep them in the fridge and cook a sautéed dumpling with eggs for next day’s lunch.
5. Sautéed dumpling
Cut cold dumplings into small slices and pan-fry in butter or oil until slices are
browned and crunchy. Then add an egg or two, salt, and make sure the eggs are well
done. Serve with a green salad.
3. Forming the dumplings
Prepare a chopping board to place the uncooked dumplings on and a bowl of cold water
for your hands. Be courageous now and take a handful of dough. Moisten your hands
and squeeze the dough in your hands as much as you can. Then, roll it in your hands
and press again into the size and shape of a tennis ball. Moisten your hands again
and roll the dumpling between your hands. Give it a real smooth surface and place
it on the chopping board, waiting for the others to be ready to cook.
Add eggs now and stir lightly and then a bit more. Do not squeeze or knead--just
stir and combine the eggs with the rest. Season with salt, nutmeg and chopped parsley. Then
cover and let rest for about twenty minutes. In the meantime, bring water to a rolling
boil in a large pot.
But, if you my dear reader are not living in Austria, you may have to prepare it
yourself. It is easiest to cut the bread or white rolls before they are dried, but
any way will serve. You can even just crush it and let bigger pieces be in your
dough; it is all up to you, but cut into small cubes is classic.
1. The bread
The bread must be really dried out. In Austria one can buy the ready-cut and dried
bread in every supermarket. And every good bakery sells its own, made from their
white bread leftovers. It is in fact called 'dumpling bread' or 'breadroll cubes'
2. The dough
Pour bread into a big bowl. Chop the onion very fine and sauté lightly in the butter. Pour
milk over onions and butter and heat the mixture. Now pour this mix over the bread
and stir together, but not too much.
Now pour this mix over the bread and stir together, but not too much. The dough
has to be airy; DO NOT squeeze the bread, just moisturize it.