Saturday, October 31, 2009

Bavarian Semmel Knödel (Bread Dumplings)


It's Halloween morning and I'm feeling the start of a sore throat. Great. It's sunny outside, but Fall is beginning to turn the morning temps to be a little crisp. Still, we are predicted to be in the low 70's.  I'm going to hunker down, at home, and do some serious baking. I haven't blogged a dessert in ages, and I want you to know that I love to bake!

 
I'm trying to find time to organize a multitude of food photos that I have uploaded from my camera-- but work wears me out and then I'm too tired to blog about. I so admire those of you who blog on a daily basis. How do you do it?? This weekend, that is about to change-- I hope.  Please forgive me, as I rewind time two weeks ago to my Oktoberfest party. I wanted to share with you my Mutti's (mother's) very traditional Semmel Knoedel (trying saying that one... KA-NEW-DEL)... well, it's a tough one, but that's as close I can get.  To make life easier, I'll refer to them as bread dumplings. They are a childhood favorite, and they go perfectly with  Austrian Goulash that is also one of the most requested meals from my two brothers.

This is recipe is similar to making stuffing. The real difference is that you use milk, instead of chicken stock.You want to use a hard roll (French bread will do, in a pinch). Stale works best.   The ingredients are very simple:  sliced bread, eggs, milk, fresh parsley and salt. I don't measure, but I'll do my best for those of you who rely on that.

I figure a little over one roll per person, which is sliced about 1/4" inch thick-- I sliced 8 hard rolls. Beat two eggs and add this to the bread. Add 1 tsp. of kosher salt and add some fresh chopped parsley. Scald one cup of whole milk (I use the microwave for this), pour over the sliced bread and cover the bowl so that the hot milk absorbs into the bread mixture for a few minutes.

It's time to play with your food. When the milk has cooled a bit, begin to mix together with wet hands. You want all of the bread to be wet, and squishy. You want the mixture to be well blended together.


For the "dumplings" and pat them together, well.



This yielded six dumplings. These will hold together, better, if you chill these for about 30 minutes...



Cook these in a pot of salted boiling water for about 15-20 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain well.
NOTE: I've had a few readers write that their dumplings "fell apart" while cooking them.  Be sure that you are using a stale bread-- at least one day old. You do need to work the bread enough, so that the dumplings aren't "loose".  In other words, I squeeze the stale bread to mix the egg and hot milk together.  Don't use too much milk, either. You want the dumplings to come together where they have a slightly sticky feel to them.  I've never had my dumplings fall apart!

This is childhood comfort food... Austrian Goulash and Semmel Knoedel.

The "art" of eating these--  cut in half...

Cut a bite-sized piece, dunk in gravy, close your eyes and imagine that you are in Bavaria or Austria.
Sometimes, with leftover knoedel, I slice them like cooked potatoes and fry them in bacon and onion, and pour over whisked egg.  It's fantastic as a breakfast. But, there are rarely leftovers.

These are very different, and I hope that you would try this very traditional German dish. I recently heard someone say that they don't like German food. I was disappointed to hear that. I wonder... what comes to mind when someone things of German food? Sausages? Potatoes? There are so many different regions of German food, so I hope to share more of my family heirloom recipes with you.  I hope to change someone's mindset. At least, I'll give it a try!
(To see how I made Austrian Goulash, click here.)


Off to make chicken soup and to rest so that I defeat this cold that's trying to ruin my weekend.

Have a safe Halloween!










Bavarian Semmel Knoedel (Bread Dumplings) on Foodista

Pin It

28 comments:

My Carolina Kitchen said...

Love the bread dumplings. They look perfect for the rainy day we have here in the mountains. Happy Halloween.
Sam

Donna-FFW said...

What lovely bread dumplings.. I was waiting to read bout them after the goulash.. Such a meal. Love traditional meals. My hubby loves sauerbraten with potato dumplings.. still trying to perfect it.

Yes, isnt Monica amazing??

Feel better, Debby!

Monica H said...

I do hope this cold doesn't ruin your weekend. I'm crossing my fingers it's gone as quickly as it came.

And for those bread dumplings and goulash- that's a bowl of lovely comfort. I could use some of that right now!

I'm glad I could help you out this Halloween- ha ha! :-)

Thank you Donna- you're too sweet.

Monica H said...

Oh and by the way. I made your Rohr Knudeln several months back and they were delicious! But I haven't blogged about htem because I didn't like my pictures. I'm contemplating posting them or starting over. hmmmm?

Cheryl said...

Man that looks so yummy! You are one great cook, I wished I lived with you, I could ride your horse for ya! and eat very well!

George Gaston said...

Debby, what an interesting dish; I don't think I have ever seen this before. I am a real lover of Bavarian food, so I will have to try this recipe. Many thanks...

A Feast for the Eyes said...

George, thanks! I hope you try it and let me know.

Cheryl, I'd love to spend time with you and your next door neighbor. I'd love to see you try and ride my Arabian! She's a handful!

Julie said...

Those look so yummy! Your pics are beautiful...btw.
I think German food is awesome. I had a German aunt by marriage, and I can remember loving meals at her house. Even if I can't remember exactly what they were.

Danielle said...

i never knew what a knoedel was...and YUM!! I really want to give these babies a try!

Kate said...

You inspire me with every post! I am so going to make these. Thank you for sharing.

Sorry that you are feeling poorly. I feel drained also...don't know where the energy went...

Debinhawaii said...

They look so good! Have loved all your fun posts lately. Hope you are feeling better soon!

Trish said...

Oh my gosh...I just 'stumbled' across your site and love it. Love your writing style ..never mind the beautiful photos and great recipes...grin! I hope you get feeling better! Now, off to check off Monica's site.

Velva said...

Oh girlfriend! These dumplings look very comforting. Very nice! Hope your sore throat has departed.

Jen_from_NJ said...

Thank you so much for sharing this recipe. I know that my family will love these (especially my Dad)! Feel better!

Mary said...

Deb, I love to visit here. Your dumplings look delicious, your photographs are terrific and the company is great.

Phoo-D said...

I love the entire meal! This is making my mouth water. What delicious dishes!

Ingrid said...

Sorry to read that you've been under the weather. Hope you're feeling better!

Your bread dumplings actually remind me of bread pudding. Btw, which we totally love!

Can we say Monica ROCKS!? Yes, we can! :)
~ingrid

Muneeba said...

Oh this is another new one for me .. bread dumplings. But I can totally see the comfort food connection - all those delicious carbs coated in that crazy-good sauce .. yes please!

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much, i am glad i found your site. I tried these and they were great. I lived outside of Salzburg for some time and these are the closest thing I have found to the "real Deal" I only wish i could find someone who knows how to make some creamed Kale soup like thing i also ate alot there.

CV said...

I am going to make a goose for xmas lunch and want to serve bread dumplings with red cabbage. As my partner is Irish, is there any "Irish" complimentaries that you could suggest I can serve to make the meal more recognisable for him?

Anonymous said...

I miss my Oma's Semmelknoedel!!! She died a few years ago, but wasn't able to cook for about 10 years before that. I really can't wait to make these. I just wish I could actually get my hands on some real Semmeln around here.

Can you post some Bavarian meat/gravy/noodle dishes? I remember my Oma used to make a plate with some noodles and a couple of slices of meat and sauce drizzled over the whole thing, and she would just say it was "fleisch mit a bissl sose." It was always something she made on the fly and it was always amazing! I don't even know what recipe title to look up?

Mariya said...

Love the recipe.. I cant wait to try it. I love to cook but unfortunately I'm not very good at it, but this seems easy and will definitely give it a try.

Anonymous said...

I found your blog a while ago while searching for a German potato salad recipe. I don't like the American version, and I was introduced to a German version through the Bavarian mother of a guy I dated in college. Through her, I was also introduced to a variety of other German dishes.

I've been afraid to try to make knoedel (the last attempt made was with the aforementioned guy and they fell apart). I made these tonight with your post for pork with wine & garlic and had no trouble. Plus, it just hit the spot!

Thank you for sharing your recipes!

~Cathy

Cynthia said...

What a geat website! I will be visiting it often in the future. My husband is from Belgium and we recently went to a German restaurant here in town with a little grocery store attached. He found a box of Knoedels there and bought them for me to make with dinner. They were delicious! And of course, I figured if they were so good out of a box they must be even better homemade, so I started looking for a recipe. That's how I came across your wonderful website.

My husband and I both thank you for the time, effort and expense that you have put into sharing you wonderful cooking expertise on the internet.

Debby Foodiewife said...

Cynthia, thank you for your kind words. I so appreciate it!

Anonymous said...

I followed this recipe to the letter and it failed miserably. They all dell comp,etly apart the minute the touched the water.

Debby Foodiewife said...

I'm sorry it failed for you. I wish you had emailed me, privately, instead of posting anonymously. Otherwise I might have been able to trouble shoot for you. Did you knead the bread and milk to make it all stick? Mine have never, EVER fallen apart. I'm sorry it didn't work for you.

Shoe said...

!!!!! You have just made my day.