Semmelknödel (German Bread Dumplings)

These Semmelknödel Make The Perfect Addition To A Hearty Meal!

Nothing says “fill me up” like traditional German bread dumplings!

These delicious boiled bread dumplings – known as Semmelknödel in German – are created with just a few easy ingredients like old buns, egg, onions, and parsley.

Semmelknödel taste great with mushroom gravy or as an addition to meat-based dinner dishes like roasts or even venison.

bowl of german bread dumplings semmelknoedel with towel and parsley behind
Semmelknödel fresh out of the pot!

Interestingly, these bread dumplings are mainly eaten in the southern part of Germany.

Lisa grew up eating Semmelknödel occasionally. However, she usually had Kartoffelklöße (German potato dumplings) since they were more popular in the region she lived in.

We also had authentic Semmelknödel at a Brauhaus in Munich and they were just absolutely perfect.

Sometimes you can also find a dumpling called “Serviettenknödel” on the menu. It’s made from the same dough as these bread dumplings.

But instead of forming small dumplings, you basically make one huge dumpling and then cut slices from it. Maybe we’ll put a separate recipe up for that soon!

german bread dumplings semmelknoedel stacked in bowl with parsley behind
You can serve these Semmelknödel with some parsley and your main dish!

If you want to whip up a batch of Semmelknödel, this bread dumplings recipe is actually really easy to tackle.

The biggest factor that you need to consider beforehand is having hardened bread rolls or some French baguette at home.

That’s important because the Semmelknödel recipe doesn’t really work with fresh bread rolls. You can even make your own German bread rolls (Brötchen) at home and then just let them harden up a bit.

Another thing to consider before you make Semmelknödel is what to serve them with.

Again, meat dishes like roast beef, roast duck, or even German goulash go well but there are many other options to pair these dumplings with.

How to Make German Bread Dumplings – Step by Step

If you want to make delicious Semmelknödel, you can check out the recipe card at the bottom of this post.

And in case you are more of a visual cook, then you can follow along with the recipe steps and the process photos below.

This way, you can get an idea of whether you’re on the right track with your bread dumplings!

six dinner rolls on white plate on counter
Start with hardened bread rolls.

First, make sure to use bread rolls or baguette that has hardened for a day or two – or at least overnight.

pieces of cut bread in silver mixing bowl for bread dumplings
Cut the rolls into small pieces.

Cut the hard bread rolls into small pieces and place them into a heat-resistant bowl.

milk heating up in silver pot on stove
Heat up the milk.

Pour milk into a small pot and heat it on the stove until it is just about to boil.

Remove the pot from the heat and pour the milk over the bread pieces in the bowl.

soft bread pieces on silver mixing bowl on counter
Let the bread pieces soak in the milk.

Give the mixture a quick stir, then let it sit for 15 minutes.

green parsley chopped on plastic cutting board
Chop the parsley.

In the meantime, chop the parsley and the onion into small pieces.

chopped onions in black frying pan on stove
Sauté the onions.

Melt butter in a medium-sized frying pan and sauté the onion until it is translucent. Stir regularly.

Once the onion pieces are translucent, remove the pan from the heat and set the onion aside.

eggs scrambled in white bowl on counter
Whisk the eggs.

Crack the eggs into a small bowl and whisk them with a fork until uniform in color.

german bread dumplings mixture in silver mixing bowl on counter
Add the rest of the ingredients.

After the bread is done soaking, add the sautéed onions, chopped parsley, whisked eggs, salt, pepper, and nutmeg to the bowl with the breadcrumbs.

german bread dumplings mixture mixed in silver bowl with wooden spoon
Mix everything together.

Mix everything together using a wooden spoon and/or your clean hands.

Form a small ball with the dough to test the consistency. It should be relatively easy. If the mixture feels dry and falls apart, add a splash more milk.

On the other hand, if the mixture is overly sticky, add some breadcrumbs.

large pot of water on stove top
Bring the water to a boil.

Fill a large pot with water and some salt and bring it to a boil.

german bread dumpling semmelknödel shaped in hand
Form the dumplings.

While you are waiting for the water to boil, form 8-10 dumplings in the palm of your hands. Try to make them roughly the same size.

You can set them aside on a plate while you wait for the water to boil.

german bread dumplings in pot of hot water on stove top
Add the bread dumplings to the water.

Once the water starts boiling, turn down the heat to medium-low.

You want the water to be just under boiling, but don’t want any large bubbles. In German, this is called “siedendes Wasser”.

Add the dumplings to the hot water and let them sit for approx. 20 minutes. Make sure that there is enough room for all of them to “swim at the top”. If not, either use two pots or cook them in two rounds.

bowl of german bread dumplings semmelknoedel with blue towel behind
A perfect bowl of German bread dumplings awaiting their dinner food pairing!

Once they are done, remove them from the water and serve them hot. As mentioned, they taste great with any roast that has gravy and a mushroom sauce for vegetarians.

If you have leftover bread dumplings, you can store them in the fridge overnight. Then cut them into slices and fry them in some oil or butter the following day.

Enjoy our Semmelknödel recipe!

bowl of german bread dumplings semmelknoedel with blue towel behind

Semmelknödel (German Bread Dumplings)

Yield: 8
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes

These delicious German bread dumplings - called Semmelknödel - are the perfect dinner idea. They are easy to make, are a great use for old bread, and pair perfectly with meat dishes with gravies!

Ingredients

  • 6 crusty rolls, hardened (between 12-13 oz total in weight)
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 medium-sized yellow onion
  • 1/4 cup parsley, chopped
  • 2 medium-sized eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • pepper to taste
  • breadcrumbs (in case the mixture is too wet)

Instructions

  1. Cut the hard bread rolls into small cubes. Add these to a large heat-resistant mixing bowl.
  2. Heat up the milk in a small pot on the stove until it is just about to boil. Remove it from the heat and pour it over the bread pieces. Give everything a quick stir, then let the mixture sit for 15 minutes.
  3. In the meantime, chop the parsley and the onion into very fine pieces. Melt the butter in a medium-sized frying pan on the stove, then add the onion. Sauté it on medium heat until translucent. Stir regularly. Once the onion pieces are translucent, remove them from the pan and set them aside.
  4. Crack the eggs into a small bowl and whisk them with a fork until uniform in color.
  5. Once the 15 minutes are up, add the sautéed onions, whisked eggs, chopped parsley, salt, pepper, and nutmeg to the bowl with the bread cubes. Mix everything together using your hands. Try forming a small ball with the dough - it should be relatively easy. If the mixture feels quite dry and falls apart, add a little bit more milk. If it is overly sticky, add some breadcrumbs.
  6. Bring saltwater to a boil in a large pot. In the meantime, form 8-10 dumplings in the palms of your hands and set them aside on a large plate.
  7. Once the water is boiling, immediately turn down the heat to medium-low and add the dumplings. Make sure there is enough room for all of them to "swim at the top" at the same time. If not, use two pots or cook them in two rounds. Let the dumplings sit in the hot (not vigorously boiling) water for approx. 20 minutes.
  8. Remove the dumplings from the water and serve hot. They taste delicious with a mushroom sauce, goulash, pork roast, or venison, among other meat dishes.

Notes

  • Let fresh bread rolls sit on the counter for 1-2 days so that they can harden. If you can't get any bread rolls, you can either make them yourself or use a French baguette.
  • You can cut up any leftover dumplings and fry them in a little bit of oil or butter the next day.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 245Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 94mgSodium: 625mgCarbohydrates: 31gFiber: 3gSugar: 2gProtein: 10g

This nutritional information has been estimated by an online nutrition calculator. It should only be seen as a rough calculation and not a replacement for professional dietary advice. The exact values can vary depending on the specific ingredients used.

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