Czech cuisine is famous for rich, meaty dishes smothered in sauce or gravy—and nothing soaks up all that goodness like these dumplings, made from flour, milk, and white bread. You’ll find them alongside classics like goulash and svickova na smetane—a ubiquitous beef dish served in cream sauce and garnished with cranberry sauce and whipped cream.
Dumplings first originated in the area now known as the Czech Republic in the days of ancient Rome, when meat was actually incorporated directly into the grain mixture. Flour-based dumplings arrived during the Middle Ages. Today, this is just one of many types of dumplings beloved in the Czech Republic, including meat-filled, potato, sweet, and fruity.
You’ll find similar versions of this dumpling throughout Central Europe, made from potato or semolina flour. Jewish matzah balls, which have roots in Central and Eastern Europe, may also have been inspired by bread dumplings. They have more than starch in common: As simple to make as they are comforting, every dumpling tastes like home.
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp sugar (optional)
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 4 cups white bread, crusts removed, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar (if using). Whisk to combine and set aside.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together egg yolks and milk.
- Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture. You can either whisk by hand (use a Danish dough whisk if you have one) or a stand mixer with a dough hook. Work the dough until it no longer sticks to the sides of the bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and rest for one hour.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to boil.
- Add the bread cubes to the dough, and mix until well incorporated.
- With floured hands, divide the dough into three equal parts and shape into oblong rolls.
- When water is boiling, gently place the rolls into the water. Stir with a wooden spoon to ensure they don’t stick together.
- Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes. Rotate dumplings and cook for an additional 10 minutes.
- Remove the dumplings and slice into 3/4-inch slices, using either a thread or a very sharp knife.
- Serve alongside any roasted meat with lots of sauce or gravy.
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