(German bread dumplings)
Known as zsemlegombóc in Hungary and houskové knedlíky in the Czech Republic.
6 to 8 servings
- Stale rolls or bread, cubed -- 10 to 12 rolls, or about 1 pound
- Warm milk -- 3/4 to 1 1/4 cups
- Eggs, beaten -- 2 or 3
- Fresh parsley, minced -- 2 tablespoons
- Salt and pepper -- to season
- Place the bread in large bowl and pour in the warm milk, using more or less depending on how dry the bread is. Using your hands, knead the milk lightly into the bread. Cover and set aside to rest for about 30 minutes.
- Mash the soaked bread to form a thick dough. Mix in the eggs one at a time, incorporating each one before adding the next. Only use the third egg if the dough is too dry to form balls that hold together.
- Add the parsley, salt and pepper and knead until smooth. If the dough seems too loose or sticky, add 1 or 2 tablespoons of flour or some breadcrumbs to firm it up.
- Using wetted hands, form 1/4-cup portions of the dough into balls and set aside on a baking sheet until all the dough has been used up.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to a slow simmer and drop the dumplings carefully into the water. Simmer for about 20 minutes, gently stirring occasionally.
- Remove to a bowl with a slotted spoon and serve hot.
Semmelknödel Notes and Variations
- Schinkenknödel (Ham dumplings): Mix 1/3 pound chopped ham into the dough.
- Other Additions: Saute 1/2 minced onion in 2 tablespoons of butter and mix it into the dough. Other possible additions include thyme, sage, marjoram, or a pinch of nutmeg.
- Leftover dumplings can be sliced into rounds and browned in a little butter.
- The bread mixture should form a dough that can be molded into balls. How much milk and how many eggs to add is heavily dependent on the moisture content of the bread. Too much liquid, and the dough will be too wet to form balls. Too little liquid, and the dumplings will fall apart.
- Do not use American-style sandwich bread for this recipe as it is too soft and collapses too completely. Use a good quality roll or bread that has some chew.