What is the real pride of the Czech cuisine? That’s right – bread dumplings, „houskové knedlíky“!
Since I’m from the Czech Republic, it would be inexcusable if I didn’t post here how to make the traditional Czech bread dumplings.
What Are Knedlíky?
Knedlíky (plural) are one of the most common side dishes in the Czech cuisine. The best known type is called houskové knedlíky (bread dumplings).
Houskové knedlíky are kneaded out of flour, eggs, yeast, salt and diced stale white roll, then boiled in water.
Apart from ‘houskové knedlíky‘ and ‘bramborové‘ (potato dumplings), there are also ‘karlovarské‘ or ‘chlupaté‘ dumplings. All of them are commonly served as side dishes in the Czech Republic.
What to Serve With Houskové Knedlíky?
Houskové knedlíky are often served with meat and popular Czech sauces – for example „Svíčková“ or „Rajská“. We can’t imagine any of these popular dishes without dumplings!
How to Make Czech Bread Dumpling
- Put coarse flour (in the USA wondra or semolina) into the bowl. Add the warm milk, one egg, one diced roll and the yeast.
- Mix all the ingredients together and knead to a smooth dough.
- Let the dough rise for 30 minutes.
- Make two rolls (loaves) out of the dough, each about 10 inches long.
- Boil them for 18 minutes, flipping the roll half way through (after 9 minutes).
- Take the cooked knedlík out of the pot and prick it with a fork.
- Cut the knedlík into thin slices approximately ½‘‘ thick and serve.
TIP: Put the finished dumplings on a tray with melted lard or butter and brush them with the fat. This way, the dumpling rolls will remain soft and the surface won’t dry out.
Pricking the rolls when taken out of the water is necessary, otherwise the steam would remain inside and the dumplings wouldn’t be as fluffy as they should be.
If both rolls don’t fit into a single pot in one go, cook them separately. Cover the first one with a towel, so it won‘t get dry.
How to Slice Czech Bread Dumplings?
The easiest way how to slice a dumpling roll while it is still hot is to use a piece of cotton thread!
You can also use a dumpling slicer – the whole roll will be sliced in one go.
Any knedlíky left? Simply freeze them for later!
Tip: Houskové knedlíky work great with Rajská omáčka.
This recipe is inspired by a famous Czech cookbook „The Great Cookobook of Bohemia and Moravia“ by Roman Vaněk.
Houskové knedlíky – Czech Bread Dumplings
- 1 white roll stale
- 4 cups (500 g) coarse flour in the Czech Republic we use hrubá mouka, you can substitute it with Wondra or semolina (in the USA)
- 1 egg
- 2 1/2 tsp active dry yeast I used fresh yeast in the recipe
- pinch of granulated sugar
- 1 cup (250 ml) milk lukewarm
- Dice the roll. Each piece should be about 1/3 inch in size.
- Mix the flour with three pinches of salt in a bowl. Make a hole in the middle, crack the egg there, add the yeast, a pinch of sugar and the lukewarm milk.
- Whisk gently the liquid mixture in the middle and let it sit for about 10 minutes.
- Knead the dough, then add the diced roll while mixing it.
- Cover the dough with a towel and let it leaven in a warm place for 30 minutes.
- Roll two dumpling rolls from the raised dough. They should be long enough to fit into a large pot. Beware, the knedlík will raise in the pot, too.
- Boil water in a big pot, and salt it.
- Boil the dumplings for 18 minutes. Flip the dumplings half way through (set a kitchen timer).
- Take the boiled dumplings carefully out of the water and prick them with a fork immediately.
- Once they cool down, cut them in slices about 1/2" inch thick and serve them as a side dish.