PRAGUE - Bread dumplings
Photo by DAVID ILIFF. License: CC-BY-SA 3.0
Travelling and sight-seeing requires energy, particularly if you are cramming in as many cities as my friend and I did in 15 days as we sped across parts of Europe by train. Our last stop was Prague in the Czech Republic and having walked up the hills, around the very interesting and intriguing Palace complex and with a hangover barely a memory, energy was low.
|Astronomical Clock, Prague|
Author: Krzysztof Szymański.
Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 Generic License
Traditional Czech bread dumplings - houskový knedlíky - are made with flour, milk, eggs and stale bread cubes. The alternative is a potato dumpling, but always one for ease the recipe below is for the easier bread variety. Formed into a loaf, boiled and sliced they soak up the gravy or stew that they accompany. Unlike the English suet dumplings, these are suitable for vegetarians and an excellent way of using up stale bread. Traditionally the bread dumplings are served with roast pork and sauerkraut. A good Czech beer (and I haven’t had a bad one) is my suggested drink to go with them.
4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 large egg yolks
1 1/2 cups milk
10 slices of good-quality white bread, crusts removed, and cubed into 1/2-inch pieces
Whisk together flour, baking powder and salt, and set aside. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and milk. Pour the egg and milk combination into the flour.
Work the dough until it no longer sticks to the bowl. I use my hands but if you prefer not to get your hands sticky, the dough hook on your processor will be fine.
Cover and let stand 1 hour.
|Slices of Dumpling|
Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License
Boil a pan of salted water.
Work the bread cubes into the batter until well incorporated. Using floured hands, shape the dough into three or four rolls that are about 8 inches long and 2 1/2 inches wide.
When the water is boiling, place the rolls into the water. Give them a stir so they don't stick to each other.
Reduce heat, cover and cook for 10 minutes.
Slice the dumplings into pieces about ¾ inch thick.
Serve warm with gravy, stew or roast pork and sauerkraut.
Hints and TipsIf you want to reheat any leftover dumplings they can be steamed – either in a steamer or in a colander over a saucepan - or browned in a saucepan in butter and sprinkled with sugar.
My trip around central and eastern Europe is told in City Chronicles: A Tale of Nine Cities. It is available as an e-book or paperback from Amazon or Lulu.com.