Classic Southern German Bread Dumpling Recipe | Foodal (2024)

by Nina-Kristin Isensee

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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.

Classic Southern German Bread Dumpling Recipe | Foodal (1)

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.

The buns are cut into chunks, soaked in warm milk, and mixed into a dough with some additional flour and eggs. Parsley is typically added, but thyme also works quite nicely.

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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.

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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.

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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!

The Recipe

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Classic German Bread Dumplings

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Servings
3 people
Servings
3 people

Ingredients

  • 8 day-old white buns or slices of white bread
  • 1 cup 2% milk, heated
  • 1 onion peeled and chopped
  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 Tablespoons flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1-2 handfuls fresh parsley chopped

Servings: people

Units:

Instructions

  1. Cut the buns into thin slices and place in a bowl. Pour the warm milk over the sliced buns and leave to soak.

  2. Saute the onions in a pan with the butter until golden brown. Set aside to cool for a moment.

  3. In a bowl, thoroughly knead the eggs, flour, salt, parsley, onions, and the soaked buns until combined thoroughly.

  4. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

  5. Wet your hands (for a better grip) and form 8-10 dumplings of equal size. Carefully 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.

Nutritional Information*

Nutrition Facts

Classic German Bread Dumplings

Amount Per Serving

Calories 376 Calories from Fat 90

% Daily Value*

Total Fat 10g 15%

Saturated Fat 4g 20%

Polyunsaturated Fat 1g

Monounsaturated Fat 3g

Cholesterol 134mg 45%

Sodium 597mg 25%

Potassium 623mg 18%

Total Carbohydrates 60g 20%

Dietary Fiber 2g 8%

Sugars 16g

Protein 17g 34%

Vitamin A 91%

Vitamin C 69%

Calcium 28%

Iron 30%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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 form8-10 ballsof the same size.

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Place them in the boiling water and simmer over low heat for about 15 minutes.

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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.

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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!

Don’t forget to Pin It!

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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.

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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.

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