Thursday, August 11, 2011

Semmelknödel:German Bread Dumpling

My friend Keith who lives in Berlin sent me this video, it's all in German, but easy to understand.   I was initially confused by the covered jar he (the cook in the video) holds up, I think it's bread crumbs, but then later on he points out how you can use the bread crumbs you create when you cut the bread. When looking at all the recipes on line I see only slight variation. Some people heat the milk first (1 cup is the usual measurement) some people don't add the nutmeg (I would) and sometimes they add some herbs like marjoram, oregano, thyme or Rosemary - all would be good and if you have an herb plant in your window box I'd heartily encourage you to add some.

The last two things you might not get is the cooking time is 15 once the dumplings have been added to the boiling water time them only once the water has regained the boil so from that point 15 minutes. Lastly what he says is these dumplings are traditionally served with roast with gravy like a pork roast or roast beef or mushrooms in cream sauce. Right now in Berlin is Pfifferling season (Chanterelles) so a simple cream sauce with lots of tasty Chanterelles in it would certainly make a delicious late summer meal (not to mention expensive - any kind of mushrooms would work fine).  I like the idea of frying up some pork belly and onions until the pork is nice and crunchy, set the meat aside cook down a handful of mushrooms then deglaze the pan red wine or brandy add some butter, cream and just before serving toss in the pork belly.

My favorite idea is to make this with stale Pretzels.  Keith's boyfriend Harald works in a Bavarian bar where each night he is able to take home left over pretzels and rolls.  I think if you have some left over Pretzels from Sigmunds they'd give the dumplings a wonderful color and depth of flavor.

OK now go forth and make Semmelknödel and report back here please!

If you send pictures I promise to post them.

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