Thursday, 29 January 2009

Bread Dumplings with Mushroom Sauce

During the last few days, all of Sydney has been suffering under the sweltering heat - even at night, temperatures wouldn't go down. And without a breeze lifting the suffocating blanket of humid hot air, we had to resort to the fan to be able to sleep at times.

Knowing that, bread dumplings with mushroom sauce might not be the dinner of choice at the moment, I grant you that. Admittedly, I made these in the midst of the Australian winter, some time last June, when the cold rain wouldn't stop for days - then these hearty dumplings are exactly what you need.

I was instantly reminded of them when talking to my family about the pretty rough winter they have at the moment in Europe. Usually my family lives in an area of Germany with a moderate climate so cold it might get but not bone-chillingly so. However, this year the temperatures dropped way beyond zero for quite a while. Listening to descriptions of a walk through snowy landscape while wiping away the sweat on your own brow feels quite funny!

So this one is for all the people that are currently shivering in the Northern hemisphere - enjoy and keep warm!

Bread Dumplings with Mushroom Sauce

The ingredients

In Sydney, I usually never have leftover bread rolls (get eaten too quickly) but leftover bread works just as well. Just make sure to cut it finely - you may have to remove very hard rinds - and let it soak long enough.

10 medium-sized bread rolls (about 500g), cut into fine slices
3/8 to 1/2 l milk, warmed
2 tbsp onion, diced
plenty of chopped parsley
1 tbsp butter
4-5 eggs
1 tbsp flour

Put the finely cut bread rolls into a big bowl, sprinkle with salt and pour the warm milk on top. The exact amount of milk needed depends on how dry the rolls are. The drier the rolls, the more milk is needed and the longer it will take them to absorb it all. The soaking will take at least 30 minutes. Stir the mixture every now and then.

Gently fry the onions and parsley in the butter until softened. Note: If in a hurry, you can skip this step - the dumplings will still taste delicious.

Add the onions and parsley to the bread rolls, followed by the eggs and the flour. If your eggs are very big, use only four. Using a bare hand, mix together until evenly combined. If you can still feel lots of hardened bread roll pieces, let your mixture soak a little longer.

The resulting mixture will be quite soft but should not be too soggy. If it is too liquid, the dumplings won't hold their shape. If necessary add a tablespoon of bread crumbs but don't add too much at a time.

With wet hands, shape the dough into round dumplings. They should be about the same size to ensure even cooking. Whenever the dough begins to stick to your hands, wet your hands again in cold water.

While shaping bring a pot with three liters of salted water to the boil. If you're unsure about the consistency of your dumplings, put only one in the pot, reduce the temperature, and let it simmer for roughly 20 minutes. Check after a few minutes that the dumpling doesn't stick to the bottom of the pot. It will be ready when it floats on top.

If you're happy with the consistency of your trial dumpling, simmer the remaining ones. They need to have enough space to float freely so work in batches if necessary.

Lift out the dumplings using a slotted spoon and serve immediately with creamy mushroom sauce or a hearty meat stew.

Mushroom Sauce

Mushrooms of your choice
Dairy of your choice

There's no recipe - it's your choice if you first sautee onions and mushrooms and then deglaze the pan with cream, sour cream, milk whatever or if you make a roux out of butter and a little flour and then go from there.
Just one bit of advice: I've long tried to make a somewhat diet-friendly mushroom sauce - forget it, it always tasted awful. I think that's one of these cases when you need to use real cream!

The source
Hedwig Maria Stuber: Ich helf Dir kochen

The hint
Making dumplings might sound a little irksome but it isn't difficult at all. I don't even bother making a trial dumpling.

If you have leftover dumplings, you can slice them up, turn in beaten egg and fry until browned. Together with a green salad, it makes for a quick and tasty lunch.


Y said...

Eva, I couldn't even contemplate looking at those beautiful dumplings again, in this heat, but I'm looking forward to trying them when the weather finally cools down :)

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

A delightful dish! These dumplings and their sauce make me drool... Yummy!



MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Oh Eva I am so often struck at how odd it is to me now to 'know' many people who's weather is opposite mine. It feels odd but then oddly comfortable to 'know' something I learned in grade school and know that is real.
I've never been much taken with any dumplings but my grandmothers. Yours however give me great pause and hunger and I may have to give them a go. Love the mushroom sauce!!

Schnuppschnuess said...

Mir ist schon ganz mollig! Ich wusste nicht, dass Knödel "dumplings" heißen. Wieder was gelernt und auf so köstliche Weise.

Eva said...

Y - I wouldn't dream of making them right now either..;-) Although they're not heavy at all - in Northern Italy they're eaten in summer without sauce but salad instead!

Thank you, Rosa! I'm sure you have something similar in Switzerland?

Tanna - I'm still getting confused some times, particularly with what's in season at the moment... Hope you get to try the dumplings!

Hallo Schnuppschnuess, freut mich, wenn's einheizt..;-)

Cookie baker Lynn said...

I've been hearing about your heat wave. Very kind of you to share these with those shivering under a blanket of snow. They look very tasty and comforting.

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Yes, we have similar types of dishes here...

Eva said...

Thanks, Lynn - but by now it almost seems inconceivable to have something like that..;-) The heat doesn't stop at all!

Anonymous said...

I just can`t believe it! Ich helf Dir kochen! In Australia - well just "around the corner" in Brazil there is another edition of it. And more coincidence, just some days ago, we made "Schwammerlbrüh mit Knödl". In the brazilian summer - sweating and enjoing sweet memories of a niederbayrische childhood.

Eva said...

Hi Maria, it's a wonderful resource, isn't it? I turn to it very often for advice - or sometimes I'm just marveling at the traditional dishes and thinking of home...

Nora B. said...

Hi Eva,
only you can make brown food look so delicious. Lucky for me, I actually know it is because I've had your dumplings :-)

Tea said...

Thanks, this looks delicious--and it is rather cold here right now!

Eva said...

Thanks, Nora, it indeed took me a while to get them look right..:-)

Thanks for stopping by, Tea! Two days ago, I swapped the southern sun with European winter and now I know exactly what you mean...

NuKiwi said...

This looks fabulous! I could certainly go through more than a few of those right now...thanks for sharing!

Katie said...

What an unusal but tasty sounding dish. Never seen one like it before but longing to try it.

Y said...

Eva, if you don't return soon, I'm going to have to report you as missing, to the relevant authorities! ;)

Eva said...

Y, I know, I know, I hardly recognize my little blog anymore - it's been far too long...however, I'm working on a comeback! Won't take another two months, I promise!!

Coffee and Vanilla said...

Those dumplings looks soooo good. Michael even said "uuuuu" when saw the photo.

Have a wonderful day and don't forget to check out chocolate-making kit giveaway on my site :)


Gourmet Mama said...

wow bread and mushroom together sounds intriguing. I can't seem to get the idea out of my head. This is definitely another must-try recipe to be added into my to do list. Thanks.