Oktoberfest Eats: Semmelknödel, Bavarian Bread Dumplings

Bavarian bread dumplings on plate
Bavarian bread dumplings on plate

Oktoberfest Eats: Semmelknödel, Bavarian Bread Dumplings

by Anna Leigh Bagiackas
Stripes Europe

It’s Oktoberfest season and you’ve got your schnitzel and your wurst (sausages), Hefeweizen beer and Riesling wine. A lesser known, but no less delicious German dish to try is Semmelknödel, or Bavarian bread dumplings. As we celebrate the season donning our lederhosen and dirndl and yelling our fair share of “Prost!” we look to Bavaria and Munich’s legendary festival to inspire our cooking.

This dumpling is one of many regional dumplings you can find throughout Germany. It can be a comforting and warm main or side dish, especially during the fall and winter months. While this dumpling is primarily made up of bread, other variations can include potatoes or meat, and it is often served with red cabbage. These dumplings are distinctly remembered because of their size, which is generous; they are hearty and are perfect for sopping up a delicious sauce. Deepen your German culinary repertoire by making your own batch of these classic Bavarian dumplings this Oktoberfest season.

Semmelknödel

Serves: 4

Start to finish: 1 hour

1 lb. stale white bread slices or bread rolls

2 cups whole milk, warmed

1 tablespoon butter

1 onion, finely diced

1 medium bunch parsley, finely chopped

2 eggs, whisked

1 tablespoon sour cream or crème fraiche

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, plus more as needed

Salt and pepper to taste

Slice or rip bread into 1-inch pieces. Add to bowl, pour in warm milk and cover. Soak for 30 to 40 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the butter in a pan on medium heat. Add onions and sauté until softened, about 8 minutes. Off heat, stir in parsley and set aside to cool.

Whisk together eggs, sour cream, nutmeg, salt and pepper in medium bowl. Pour over the soaked bread and stir to combine.

Then stir in the cooled onion and parsley mixture into the bread and eggs. Knead until the dough is well combined.

If the dough is too wet and sticky, gradually add flour until you have a firm dough that is easier to work with. Form the dough into eight balls using lightly floured hands.

Bring a large pot of salted water or vegetable broth to boil. Reduce to a simmer and add the dumplings. Cook for 15 to 20 minutes or until done. The dumplings will float to the surface when they are done.

Using a slotted spoon, remove the dumplings and place on a paper towel-lined plate to train.

Serve and enjoy!

(This recipe was adapted from “Das German Cookbook” by Franz Schulmeister.)

 

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