Knedlíky (Czech Bread Dumplings)


Date Published: March 28th, 2021 | Last Updated: March 28th, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: basics, easy, breads, sides
Serves: 4 small loaves (6-8 serves)| Prep time: 1.5 hours | Cook time: 20 mins (per loaf)

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As an Asian person, the term “dumpling” has always been known to me as pockets of meat wrapped in a thin dough so it confused me greatly when I learned that the European definition of “dumpling” is generally an overarching term for a dough without any filling. European dumplings can vary greatly in ingredients and textures and can be vastly different between different regions and countries. I was actually low-key disappointed when Toby first told me he was going to make Czech dumplings and it ended up being a bread dough 😂. Nevertheless, these dumplings came out super fluffy and was fantastic at absorbing all the delicious sauce on the plate.

Knedlíky is a traditional Czech bread dumpling that is commonly served in many traditional Czech foods, especially in those dishes that have a lot of sauce or a soup/stew to soak up the delicious flavour. The texture of knedlíky are very similar to Asian-style steamed buns or baos – in fact, they’re so similar that I’m thinking of trying to make bao zi with this recipe by stuffing some mince pork in them 😜. They’re fluffy and ever so slightly sweet. Although they’re like bread, you don’t bake or steam them – you boil them! I never knew you could get such a fluffy texture by boiling dough, it completely blew my mind when I first saw Toby’s mom make them.

These dumplings are traditionally made with ‘sharp flour’ or ‘continental flour’ which is a coarser flour made from hard wheat that is common in Europe, but actually super difficult to find in Australia in regular grocery stores. I followed this recipe initially to make these dumplings and used all-purpose flour instead but they came out too dense. I’ve since tweaked the ratios of the yeast and they came out perfectly the second time! This recipe uses all-purpose flour, but if you can get your hands on some sharp flour, feel free to follow the original recipe and see if you can notice a difference.

These dumplings are pretty easy to make, but please allow enough time to cook them all. If you don’t have a really big pot, you may have to cook them one at a time (which is what I always end up doing) and it takes 20 mins each time (allow 1 hour to cook all 4). Don’t crowd them in a pot – they will expand quite a bit while you cook them, but will shrink down a little once removed from the pot and cools down. Knedlíky also freezes really well wrapped up in cling wrap or aluminum foil – just steam or microwave them when ready to use.

Anyways, without further ado, here’s the recipe! If you have any comments or suggestions, I’d love to hear from you in the comment section! You can follow me on instagram, youtube and facebook to see all the recipes I post!

Happy cooking!

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • 1.5 cups (325ml) milk
  • 1 Tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 Tbsp instant active dry yeast
  • 1 large egg
  • 4.75 cups (635 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt

Directions:

Microwave the milk until warm to the touch. Mix in the sugar and yeast and set aside for ~10 mins until frothy. Once the milk/yeast mixture is frothy, beat in one egg to the mixture.

  • Tip: Test the temperature of the milk by dipping your finger into the milk. If it’s too hot, let it cool down or else you’ll end up cooking the yeast. If it’s too cold, then the yeast won’t activate.
  • If your mixture doesn’t froth, then you’ll likely need fresh yeast.

In a large stand mixer bowl, add in the flour and salt and mix it around. Turn on the stand mixer on medium speed and gradually pour in the milk/yeast/egg mixture to the flour. Let it knead until you get a smooth elastic dough. If your dough is too sticky, add a little more flour. (You can also knead this dough by hand.)

Cover the tough with a damp tea towel and set aside in a warm place to proof until doubled in size (~1 hr).

  • Don’t have a reliable warm place? See my method on how to proof your dough in the oven here.

Once your dough has doubled in size, remove it from the bowl, knead it a couple of times on a lightly floured surface to release any excess air bubbles and divide it into 4 even portions (you can use a kitchen scale for this or just eyeball it). Shape them into fat logs that are no longer than the diameter of your pot. Set them aside covered with a tea towel and let it rest for another 15 mins.

In a large pot, boil half a pot of water with 1 Tbsp of salt and drop in 1 to 2 dough logs at a time (do not crowd them. If you don’t have a large pot, you may have to cook one at a time). Boil for 10 mins, flip the dough and boil for another 10mins (20 mins total). Remove the dough log from the water and use a toothpick or chopstick to poke lots of holes into the cooked dumpling to let the steam out. Repeat for the rest of the dough.

Let the cooked dough cool then slice. Ready to eat!

Tip: If you’re not using it right away, they freeze really well covered with some cling wrap. Steaming would be best when ready to use or microwave.

Summarized Recipe:

Knedlíky (Czech Bread Dumplings)

Date Published: March 28th, 2021 | Last Updated: March 28th, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: basics, easy, breads, sides
Serves: 4 small loaves (6-8 serves)| Prep time: 1.5 hours | Cook time: 20 mins (per loaf)

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 cups (325ml) milk
  • 1 Tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 Tbsp instant active dry yeast
  • 1 large egg
  • 4.75 cups (635 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt

Directions:

  1. Microwave the milk until warm to the touch. Mix in the sugar and yeast and set aside for ~10 mins until frothy. Once the milk/yeast mixture is frothy, beat in one egg to the mixture.
    • Tip: Test the temperature of the milk by dipping your finger into the milk. If it’s too hot, let it cool down or else you’ll end up cooking the yeast. If it’s too cold, then the yeast won’t activate.
    • If your mixture doesn’t froth, then you’ll likely need fresh yeast.
  2. In a large stand mixer bowl, add in the flour and salt and mix it around. Turn on the stand mixer on medium speed and gradually pour in the milk/yeast/egg mixture to the flour. Let it knead until you get a smooth elastic dough. If your dough is too sticky, add a little more flour. (You can also knead this dough by hand.)
  3. Cover the tough with a damp tea towel and set aside in a warm place to proof until doubled in size (~1 hr).
    • Don’t have a reliable warm place? See my method on how to proof your dough in the oven here.
  4. Once your dough has doubled in size, remove it from the bowl, knead it a couple of times on a lightly floured surface to release any excess air bubbles and divide it into 4 even portions (you can use a kitchen scale for this or just eyeball it). Shape them into fat logs that are no longer than the diameter of your pot. Set them aside covered with a tea towel and let it rest for another 15 mins.
  5. In a large pot, boil half a pot of water with 1 Tbsp of salt and drop in 1 to 2 dough logs at a time (do not crowd them. If you don’t have a large pot, you may have to cook one at a time). Boil for 10 mins, flip the dough and boil for another 10mins (20 mins total). Remove the dough log from the water and use a toothpick or chopstick to poke lots of holes into the cooked dumpling to let the steam out. Repeat for the rest of the dough.
  6. Let the cooked dough cool then slice. Ready to eat!

Tip: If you’re not using it right away, they freeze really well covered with some cling wrap. Steaming would be best when ready to use or microwave.

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