With colder temperatures & hearty soups comes talk of dumplings. In the same week that I first made Chicken & Dumplings, I got some texts from my childhood friend, as her dad was making some dumplings to go with a roast. He wanted to make him the way his mom did & was using several old cookbooks & reportedly some old chicken-scratch notes he had made. Why do I feel like this is going to be me when I get older? They were Czech dumplings, AKA knedlicky. I know many ethnic foods, but was unfamiliar with knedlicky. I inquired about the books being used, & received several pix starting with this one of a cookbook from the 1920s.
I love vintage cookbooks. Someday I’ll write a post featuring all my favorites. But vintage recipes are sometimes confusing. They are often written in a conversational tone, like this one, and sometimes the measurements can be a little sketchy. “Enough flour to make a thick dough…” would definitely not fly as instructions in a modern recipe. Here’s my analysis & translation.
Frank’s Old-School Dumplings (Knedlicky)
I’m told that these dumplings are “bread dumplings” and that Frank’s dumplings are not; but I’m keeping this title to pay homage to Frank & his manic dumpling-making.
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 1 1/2 C whole milk
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter (this is adjusted from the original recipe’s 1 tsp which didn’t seem to be nearly enough)
- 1 tsp Kosher salt
- 1 1/2-2C all-purpose flour
- 2 slices of white bread
- butter or margarine for frying (I used plain old Blue Bonnet to keep things Old School)
- Beat 2 large eggs in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook.
- Add milk, butter (at room temp), & salt.
- Slowly add the flour 1/4 C at a time until a thick, slightly sticky dough is formed.
- Beat at medium speed for about 5 mins, until the dough comes together and starts to make a slapping noise on the bowl as it is kneaded.
- While your dough is being kneaded in the mixer, butter & fry 2 slices of bread & tear them into small pieces.
- Add your fried bread pieces to the dough and beat until combined. This seemed to be an odd thing to do, and scientifically I’m not really sure why you would add bread crumbs to a dumpling dough but in the spirit of making a vintage recipe, I went along with it.
- The recipe calls for making your dumplings the size of a small apple. I’m thinking apples must have been much smaller in the olden days, because my dumplings came out HUGE. Not that that’s a bad thing, but you may want to go a bit smaller.
- Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. When you drop the dumplings in they will probably sink to the bottom, and will probably need to be scraped from the bottom of the pot with a knife.
- Cover and cook 10 mins at medium-high.
- Serve with soups, roasts, and gravies.