Tired of your regular stuffing?  Got some leftover bread hanging around?  Need a fun cooking project that doesn’t take up the whole weekend?  Try napkin dumplings!  So tasty with roast chicken or sucking up delicious brisket drippings!  Pro-tip – pan fry any leftover slices – they get so crispy!  We had it in Vienna as a lunch scrambled up with caramelized onions and eggs.  Yum!

  • 8 oz stale bread like challah or Kaiser rolls, cubed
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 chopped herbs like parsley, chives or oregano
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • gratings of fresh nutmeg
  • Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 white napkin or a 3 layer piece of cheese cloth, 3 pieces kitchen twine
  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, then lower to a simmer.  I like a shallow, wide pot, but whatever you have will work.
  2. In a skillet over medium heat, melt the butter and saute the onions.  A little color is fine, they do not need to be fully browned.
  3. While the onions are cooking, pour the milk over the bread cubes.
  4. Now is the fun part!  Put the eggs, herbs, garlic, seasoning and cooked onions with all the butter over the bread.  Wash your hands well and get in there!  Squish the mixture between your fingers.  Some should be a little chunky, some smooth.  If your bread was not super stale, the mixture might be a little wet – sprinkle in some breadcrumbs. Be very generous with the salt – bread is bland but dumplings should not be!
  5. Spread your napkin on the counter (or a baking sheet or cutting board.)  Plop the bread mixture down in the lower third of the napkin and gently shape it into a log.  You want about 3 inches at the left and right with no batter to close the log. Fold the bottom of the napkin over the bread log and scoot it to tighten the log.  Keep rolling the log.  Use the twine to close off the ends (like a Tootsie Roll) and one piece in the middle to keep a nice shape.
  6. Lower the dumpling into the simmer water, cover and poach for 40 minutes.  Take the dumpling out and let it rest for 10 minutes before unwrapping and slicing.  Remember that you put on 3 pieces of string, so you need to take off 3 pieces of string!