If you’re on the lookout for a new special side dish, you need to try out these classic Southern German bread dumplings, also known as Semmelknödel.
In Germany, these are beloved specialties.
These dumplings are especially great to prepare when you’ve got some older rolls or slices of white bread left over that you would like to use up.
Here’s another tip: Prepare the recipe with leftover soft pretzels instead of white bread! This is another popular variety that’s just as delicious as the bread version.
The dumplings pair well with savory meat dishes, and green salads. They also make a nice addition to broths and soups, in place of noodles or matzoh balls. I personally love them with a classic Bavarian cabbage salad with warm bacon.
Whether intentionally or because you just can‘t manage to eat them all in one sitting, here is a great way to jazz them up the next day:
Cut the dumplings into slices and fry them in a pan with some butter until crispy. Not only is this really tasty, it’s a simple save some time in the kitchen the next day.
The only thing you should avoid is heating these up in your microwave. This tends to extract all the moisture, making the dumplings dry and flavorless.
What will you serve these with, in an effort to use up some of your kitchen leftovers in a tasty and satisfying way? Let us know in the comments!
Cooking by the Numbers…
Step One – Prepare the Bread
Slice the bread into small pieces and add them to a bowl. Pour milk on top of the buns and let them soak.
Step One – Sauté the Veggies
Dice the onions and parsley (optional). Add butter to a skillet and let warm for a minute or two on medium low.
Add the add onions and parsley and sauté until golden brown. Remove from pan and allow to cool.
Step Three – Blend
Add the parsley and onions to the bowl of bread and mix in the eggs, flour, and salt and knead until all of the ingredients are combined thoroughly.
Step Four – Form the Dumplings
Add water and a dash or two of salt to a large stockpot. Wet your hands (for a better grip) and form 8-10 balls of the same size.
Place them in the boiling water and simmer over low heat for about 15 minutes.
You’ll know they’re ready when they float up to the surface on their own and gently rotate. They should feel firm when you remove them from the water.
Whether you are using this to plan a menu for Oktoberfest or just for everyday fare, these dumplings are a perfect excuse to let your bread get too old!
There are bunch of different ways to prepare these – both sweet and savory. For the sweeter side of things, explore our desserty German Dampfnudel dumplings recipe here.
Have you had these before? If so what is your favorite way to prepare them? Tell us in the comments below!
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Photos by Nina-Kristin Isensee, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Additional writing and editing by Mike Quinn.
*Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.
About Nina-Kristin Isensee
Nina lives in Iserlohn, Germany and holds an MA in Art History (Medieval and Renaissance Studies). She is currently working as a freelance writer in various fields. She enjoys travel, photography, cooking, and baking. Nina tries to cook from scratch every day when she has the time and enjoys trying out new spices and ingredients, as well as surprising her family with new cake creations.