|Houskové Knedlíky (Bread
Cookbook Author Peter Trnka's The Best of Czech Cooking,
Hippocrene Books, 2001
Adapted by StarChefs
Yield: 6 Servings
These dumplings are a traditional part of Czech cooking and,
if made well, is one of the most delicious ways to soak up
sauce. Flour and cubed bread are combined to make large, loaf-like
dumplings, which are then boiled and sliced with a thread.
The lightness of the dumplings in part depends on the type
of flour that is used. A rougher rather than smoother flour
is desired. If you can get it, "Wondra" brand is
a good bet. Otherwise, mix together equal quantities of regular
white flour and semolina.
- 3 cups white flour
- 3 cups semolina
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 whole egg
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 teaspoon salt plus more for boiling
- 1/2 loaf French bread, cubed
Mix the flour, semolina, and baking powder together in a
large bowl. Make a well in the center and break in the egg.
Mix in some of the milk and 1 teaspoon salt, and then start
mixing in the flour. Work the dough quite hard with a wooden
spoon, adding a little more milk if necessary, until bubbles
begin to form (about 10 minutes). Add some of the cubed bread
and keep mixing. Keep adding bread until the dough is fairly
saturated with it.
Plop the dough out onto a floured board or table. Divide
the dough up into 4 pieces. Shape the pieces of dough into
loaves by rolling them with your hands.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a rapid boil. Put in
2 of the dumplings and let cook for 12 minutes, then flip
them over and cook for 13 minutes.
Remove the dumplings from the water and place on a cutting
board. Take a long piece of sewing thread, slide it under
one of the dumplings about 1/2 inch, then wrap it around the
top of the dumpling and pull tight. You should have an even
cut and a tender slice of dumpling. Continue cutting this
way, placing the sliced dumplings in a covered serving bowl
to keep warm.