Herb Lime Bread-Dumplings (Knödel)

Knödel

The German recipe Monday is back! And today is the International No Diet Day. Let’s celebrate with food!

I cannot help myself. I am a carb lover. Bread dumplings have always been one of my favourite foods. When I was a child my grandmother would make them and we’d eat them with some kind of roast and a brown sauce. They were not homemade though and I remember that my grandmother kept the silver-coloured bags the dry dumplings came in. She would recycle them for our school sandwiches and I think we were the only ones who had their snacks wrapped this way. Back then I thought it was weird. Now I would probably do the same thing. And I wish we would have had the chance to cook together more often.

Anyway, these dumplings are a not so traditional variation of a very traditional recipe. I added lime zest, fresh basil and lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) to the dough to give these a light and fresh twist.  For a more traditional version substitute fresh parsley for the herbs and leave out the lime zest. We served them with roasted asparagus with pumpkin seed vinaigrette and gomba paprikás.

Knödel (makes 7 dumplings, serves 3 and a toddler)

For the dumplings:

400 g stale bread (I used bread rolls made from white bread)
300-400 ml unsweetened soy milk
zest from one lime
2 tablespoons packed basil chiffonade (just cut the basil into thin stripes)
2 tablespoons packed lemon balm chiffonade
2 tablespoons fried onions
1 tablespoon flour
salt and pepper to taste

Cut the stale bread into cubes and place in a large bowl. Add 300 ml soy milk and let sit for 30-60 minutes, or until the bread is mushy. Stir from time to time to cover every piece of bread with milk. Add more milk if necessary. The dough should be like bread dough that you just started kneading: very sticky but manageable. You are going to turn it into balls later, so it should have the right consistency. (Sticky but firm. Not mushy.) Add the remaining ingredients, mix and knead the dough with your hands until all ingredients are well combined and shape into 7 round dumplings (a little bit smaller than a tennis ball). Set aside.

In a large pot, bring 2 litres of lightly salted water to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer. Add 4 dumplings and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove and drain. Repeat with the remaining dumplings.

25 Comments

  • Andrea (in Boston)
    4 years ago

    Ohhh, fail. They sort of just fell apart in the broth. Do you think maybe my bread was too soft? It was a mushy mass, but it was holding together until it started to cook. I kept it at a simmer, not boiling. I’m cooking it in broth leftover from Matzoh Ball Soup, so I’m still going to eat it!

    • Mihl
      4 years ago

      Sorry about that Andrea. Yeah, maybe the bread was too soft. The mass should not be mushy. It should be more like firm and sticky. Maybe too much liquid because of the soft bread?

      In general this kind of dumpling is not so easy to work with, especially when made without eggs. Sometimes they just fall apart. I have had lots of fails before, too. It just needs a little bit of practice. Matzo soup sounds great! You could also just fry them.

      • Andrea (in Boston)
        4 years ago

        Thanks, yes I didn’t understand what the consistency should be. I added dry bread crumbs to the second batch and that was much better!

        • Mihl
          4 years ago

          I am very sorry about that, Andrea. I’ll update the instructions!

  • 4 years ago

    If I ever had to give up carbs I think I would cry myself to sleep! The flavors in these dumplings are lovely…and that’s not a word I would ever use in real life, but they are! Much nicer then my boring pea soup dumplings :)

  • Boulderjoy
    4 years ago

    Yum! I’ve made dumplings before to put in soups (comfort food – a little like Matzah balls) but this grouping of ingredients is really interesting! I have so much lemon balm in my yard, but have never figured out how to use it. I wonder if you could put these dumplings in a Tom yum for a sort of Asian comfort food?

    • Mihl
      4 years ago

      Yeah, I don’t see why not. But I would make them smaller and cook them directly in the soup.

  • 4 years ago

    Dumplings! I love your presentation, this looks fantastic. :)

  • These dumplings sound wonderful! I’ve never used lemon balm in my cooking, probably because I’ve just never thought to, but what a wonderful idea!

  • 4 years ago

    Carbs, magical carbs! I love carbs. Carb me up.
    I’ve never seen dumplings made like this, they sound great.

  • 4 years ago

    Those dumplings look incredible! I love that there’s both lime & basil in them–could brighten up the rainy days I’ve been having lately!

    • Mihl
      4 years ago

      I hope the weather changes to the better, soon!

  • 4 years ago

    I love any kind of knodel, and these look wonderful, Mihl!

  • 4 years ago

    would life even be worth living without carbs?
    Also, I LOVE when you share German recipes!
    Hoorah!

    • Mihl
      4 years ago

      Yay!

  • 4 years ago

    There’s something about biting into a dumpling that spreads a warm feeling over everything. Dumplings in soup, on a plate or covered with gravy — the best comfort food around. :)

  • 4 years ago

    You made my day. As a Vegan I have battled making dumplings and this is such a simple recipe and sounds very tasty. Can’t live without my carbs lol.

    • Mihl
      4 years ago

      That makes me glad!

  • 4 years ago

    Add me to the member list of the carb club! I love carbs, if I ever had to live without them I think I’d cry! I’ve only ever had dumpling like this once, in Vienna, they were delicious and I’d love to recreate them at home.

    • Mihl
      4 years ago

      I had them in Vienna, too. I love Vienna and the dumplings made the stay perfect!

  • 4 years ago

    Carb lovers of the night, unite. Strangely enough, I don’t think I’ve ever had dumplings. Am I kicked out of the carb-loving club now?

    • Mihl
      4 years ago

      I think you are a gold member.

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