What is the real pride of 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 a recipe for traditional Bohemian dumplings made from yeast dough.
➜ What Are Czech Bread Dumplings
Knedlíky (plural) or knedle are one of the most common side dishes in Czech cuisine. The best-known type is called houskové knedlíky (bread dumplings).
Czech bread dumplings are kneaded out of flour, egg, yeast (fresh or instant), salt, and bread cubes, shaped in a cylinder roll, then boiled or steamed. Cooked dumpling rolls are sliced and served warm, typically with iconic Czech sauces like Svíčková or Rajská.
NOTE: There is another version of bread dumplings known in the Czech Republic; made by using baking powder instead of yeast. However, that baking powder recipe calls for little different ingredients.
Let’s be clear:
Today I’m talking about dumplings WITHOUT baking powder. This recipe is for yeast bread dumplings.
MY TIP: If you want to try another classic type of Czech dumplings, my honest pick is these potato dumplings called "Chlupaté knedlíky". There is also an authentic recipe for simple Czech potato dumplings made from cooked potatoes.
But hey, do you prefer sweets? I have Ovocné knedlíky (Czech fruit dumplings) for you, and they are definitely worth trying!
I recorded a short audio clip on how to pronounce the Czech word knedlíky. The first word in the audio is "knedlíky", the last is "houskové knedlíky", which means bread dumplings.
You’ll need only a few ingredients to make homemade bread dumplings from scratch. Let’s have a look at them:
- Flour, the best flour for making dumplings, is coarse flour. We call it „hrubá mouka“ here in the Czech Republic. I know there it’s a problem to get coarse flour abroad. I’ve researched the topic a bit and will take a closer look at the bread dumplings flours further in the article.
- Milk, lukewarm, to activate the yeast. It can be substituted with warm water if you don’t have milk on hand.
- Egg, enhances the taste and the color.
- Yeast, Czechs use fresh yeast, and so did I in this recipe. The dumplings will rise even if you use instant yeast, though. The dough doesn’t contain any fat, and that’s why it needs only a little yeast to rise.
- Pinch of sugar, to feed yeast.
- Bread cubes, made from stale rolls.
✅ You’ll find the exact amount of ingredients below in the recipe card, which you can also print out.
➜ Instructions with Photos
Step 1: Dice stale white bread
Start with cutting bread. Cut the stale white bread into ⅓-inch cubes. The bread should be 2-3 days old, not fresh.
Step 2: Make dumpling dough
Combine the flour with 2 pinches of salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the center. Put yeast in the center, sprinkle with a pinch of sugar (photo 1). Pour in ⅓ of lukewarm milk and stir with a little flour using a fork (photo 2). Let it sit for 5 minutes until yeast dissolve.
In a separate bowl, whisk the remaining milk with an egg (photo 3). Add to flour with yeast (photo 4).
Step 3: Knead the dough
Knead the dumpling dough until smooth. Use your hands (my choice) or a kitchen mixer with a proper attachment. Sprinkle with a bit of flour if the dough is too sticky.
Only now add cubed bread and combine.
Cover the bowl with a clean kitchen towel and let the dough rise for 45 minutes in a warm place until double (photos 5+6).
⤍ Learn how to make dough rise in the oven.
Step 4: Make dumpling loaves
Meantime, prepare a pot with low boiling salted water to boil the dumpling or a steamer in case you intend to steam the dumpling.
Divide the proofed dough into two pieces, form a cylinder shape out of each piece. One loaf should be about 10-inch (25 cm) long and 4-inch (10 cm) thick.
Step 5: Cook dumplings
There are two tried methods to cook dumplings: boiling and steaming. Choose one of these.
Boiled dumplings: Boil the dumplings in simmering salted water for 18 minutes, flipping the roll halfway through (after 9 minutes). Cover the pot with a lid while boiling.
Steamed dumplings: Steam the dumplings for 25 minutes in a pot with a suitable steamer insert or in a steamer covered with a lid. Do not flip the dumpling while steaming.
Step 6: Finish cooked dumplings
Take out the cooked dumplings carefully. A large dumpling spatula might be useful.
If you boiled the dumplings, prick them immediately a few times with a fork. 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.
Do not prick steamed dumplings since they don’t absorb as much water as their boiled siblings.
If you don’t serve the dumplings right after cooking, brush their surface with a little melted lard or butter. This way, the dumpling rolls remain soft, and the surface won’t dry out.
Step 7: Slice the dumplings
The old-fashioned technique of how Czechs slice knedlíky is using a cotton thread. You can cut a still warm dumpling roll with a very sharp knife. Or use a dumpling cutter and slice the whole roll in one go.
➜ How to Cook Dumplings
An important note on the dumpling cooking dilemma:
✅ There are two tried and tested ways; either to boil knedlíky in simmering water or to steam them.
Steamed dumplings will always offer the most visually appealing result. They will be soft and pretty smooth inside, with a regular shape, and not mushy on the surface. You need to steam dumplings for 25 minutes without flipping them.
If you boil the dumplings, the boiling water will be erosive to the dumplings. Their surface won’t be perfectly symetrical, and they will be a little bit less fluffy inside. Knedliky dumplings are boiled in simmering water for 18 minutes and need to be flipped in the middle of the cooking time.
Get a direct visual: There is a steamed dumpling on the left side, right a boiled variant. Both made with the same recipe, just the way I cooked them was different:
My tip: Would you love to try steaming dumplings instead of boiling? You don't need to have a fancy steamer; there are really cheap steam rack inserts you can use in your own pots. Be aware: Once you try steaming, you’ll never want to go back to boiling!
What do sliced knedlíky look like? On the left, there are a few slices of steamed dumplings. On the right are the boiled dumpling slices. (Good news: Both boiled and steamed dumplings taste great!):
➜ What Flour to Use
Czechs use coarse flour (Hrubá mouka) as the basic ingredient for dumpling dough. I know there is a problem to find this kind of flour abroad.
I researched a few internet forums, and there were some useful tips to substitute the Czech coarse flour, especially if you are based in the US:
- Use Wondra flour, or mix it with all-purpose flour.
- You can also substitute some all-purpose flour with farina (krupička).
- Some people refer that a cup of bread flour can help with the texture of dumplings.
- If you have only all-purpose flour, always steam dumplings instead of boil that knedlíky are not too dense. It's a must to steam dumplings if less coarse flour is used.
TIP: These old country Czech dumplings are also ideal for goulash!
➜ Bread for Dumplings
The bread dumplings are called the “bread” ones for a reason. It’s because they contain diced white bread. The best bread for dumplings is white bread with a golden crust. Czechs typically use rohlík or housky.
The white bread must be 2-3 days old and stale, or it falls apart in the dough and will not be recognizable in the finished product.
Soft and delicate pastry like toast bread will make the finished dumpling soak up the sauce and basically disintegrate before you're done eating.
A nifty trick: If you only have fresh bread, put it in the oven to dry out for a while.
Knedlíky should contain about 10-30 % of bread cubes. Less bread will not be recognizable in the dough and more will make the dough practically uncookable by normal means.
If you like dumplings with a lot of pastry, try making karlovarský knedlík.
Any dumpling leftovers in your fridge? Try this easy Czech recipe: Knedlíky s vajíčkem
Yes, it’s a common way how to store dumplings. I recommend spreading out the dumplings in the freezer so they don’t touch. After 30 minutes, lay them out in an airtight container. Dumplings will be frozen separately and you can always take precisely how much you need.
Take the dumplings out of the freezer, put them in a plastic bag and let them thaw at room temperature. You can accelerate the process by putting the dumplings in a bag into the microwave. By thawing them in a plastic bag, their surface won’t dry out and the dumplings will be as good as fresh.
Bread dumplings go well with iconic Czech sauces, such as svíčková or rajská. They are also perfect as an accompaniment for Czech goulash (guláš), roasted duck with cabbage, or stew. Knedlíky leftovers taste great diced and fried with eggs in butter.
TIP: Bread dumplings belong to 12 other dishes among traditional Czech food.
Houskové knedlíky – Czech Bread Dumplings
- 3 ¾ cups coarse flour (500 g)
- 1 cup milk (240 ml) lukewarm, or water
- ½ cup bread cubes made from stale white bread, cut into ⅓-inch pieces
- 1 egg
- 2 teaspoons active dry yeast or 10 g fresh yeast
- ½ teaspoon salt
- a pinch of granulated sugar
- Cut the stale white bread into ⅓-inch cubes.
- Combine the flour with 2 pinches of salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the center. Put yeast in the center, sprinkle with a pinch of sugar. Pour in ⅓ of lukewarm milk and stir with a little flour using a fork. Let it sit for 5 minutes until yeast dissolve.
- In a separate bowl, whisk the remaining milk with an egg. Add the mixture to the bowl with flour and yeast.
- Knead the dumpling dough until smooth. Use your hands (my choice) or a kitchen mixer with a proper attachment. Add a bit of flour if the dough is too sticky.
- Only now add cubed bread and combine.
- Cover the bowl with a clean kitchen towel and let the dough rise for 45 minutes in a warm place until double.
- Meantime, prepare a pot with low boiling salted water to boil the dumpling or a steamer in case you intend to steam the dumpling.
- Divide the proofed dough into two pieces, form a cylinder shape out of each piece. One loaf should be about 8-10 inches (20-25 cm) long and 3-inch (7 cm) thick.
- Boil the dumplings in simmering salted water for 18 minutes, flipping the roll halfway through (after 9 minutes). Cover the pot with a lid while boiling.
- Steam the dumplings for 25 minutes in a pot with a suitable steamer insert or in a steamer covered with a lid. Do not flip the dumpling while steaming.
- Take out the cooked dumplings carefully. A large dumpling spatula might be useful.
- If you boiled the dumplings, prick them immediately a few times with a fork. 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.
- You do not prick steamed dumplings, since they don’t absorb as much water as their boiled siblings.
- Slice dumplings into ½-inch thick pieces and serve warm as a side dish.
- Makes 2 dumpling rolls (each roll makes about 12-15 dumpling slices, it will be enough for 4-6 yields)
- If you don’t serve the dumplings right after cooking, brush their surface with a little melted lard or butter. This way, the dumpling rolls remain soft, and the surface won’t dry out.
- How to slice the dumplings right: The old-fashioned method Czechs slice knedlíky is by using a cotton thread. You can cut a still warm dumpling roll with a very sharp knife. You can also use a dumpling cutter – the whole roll will be sliced in one step.
- Steamed dumplings will always offer the most visually appealing result. The surface will be pretty smooth and regular.
- TIP: Every flour is different. If the dough is too thin, add a little flour. And vice versa: if the dough is too dense, add a little water by teaspoonfuls.
DISCLAIMER: Because I come from Central Europe, my recipes are based on metric units such as grams or milliliters. Check out how I convert metric units to the U.S. system:Conversion chart
Nutritional Estimate pro portion
The recipe for these dumplings is inspired by a famous Czech cookbook „The Great Cookbook of Bohemia and Moravia“ by Roman Vaněk.
Try out another popular Czech side dish: Šťouchané brambory
Thank you for your descriptive recipe! Looking forward to trying the knedla next week.
Hi Pauline, thanks for your comment, I hope knedlíky will turn out well. I highly recommend steaming instead of boiling them. Rest assured, the result will be great! 🙂
Dad in the kitchen
Could I use semolina instead of coarse flour. Or maybe a mixture of semolina and plain flour?
Hello Dad in the kitchen :), I don’t have much practical experience with semolina for cooking bread dumplings because coarse flour is widely available here in the Czech. But I’ve researched a bit and found out that a mix of semolina and plain flour should work fine. Some US people use plain flour only (all-purpose flour) and get good results. I highly suggest steaming the dumplings instead of boiling because steaming is a gentler method even for dumplings made with plain flour. I hope this helps, Petra
Dad in the kitchen
Thank you for your reply. My instinct was to use a mixture of semolina and plain flour as well. I also want to try use sourdough instead of fresh yeast. Do you have any suggestions in this area? I'll let you know how it went ????
Ahoj, I think your instinct is right 🙂 Plain flour with an addition of semolina should be okay. However, I haven’t seen any recipe for Czech dumplings using sourdough. Curious how it turns out and will be happy to hear about the result from you. Fingers crossed!
Petra, in Canada, I use 50/50 all-purpose flour and fine semolina (Bob's Red Mill) and knedlíky are fantastic. I do steam them.
Thank you for your great recipes in English that are passed to our children. Best wishes to you and your family.
Thank you very much for your helpful comment; finding the right flour when making Czech dumplings can be challenging. Czechs use coarse flour, but it is not easy to find abroad, so I am grateful for any practical comments on substituting Czech ingredients within foreign countries. Just today, I was thinking of putting together an article on Czech ingredients and possible substitutes, and your note reassured me that such information would be beneficial to many readers.
Best regards from the Czech Republic, Petra
Hello! I just made dumplings from my husband's Grandma's recipe (very similar to this one), but the recipe is not exact enough. I boiled my dumpling rolls (totally submerged...is this correct??) but I am now wondering about steaming them.....how do you get them to fit in a steamer basket? Aren't the steamer baskets not very long?
I'm looking forward to trying this recipe next since it includes exact measurements!
Hi, and thank you for your question!
Grandmas indeed gain experience thanks to many years of cooking. They don't need precise measurements because they already have the quantity of each ingredient in their eye. I mean measuring by eye and cooking, not by the clock but by how something looks (or smells or feels).
There are two ways to cook dumplings. The first option is to boil them gently in the water; the second option is to steam them. I describe the exact procedures in the recipe. Personally, I prefer to steam the dumplings because they have a better texture and are smoother on the surface. However, the method of preparation does not affect the taste too much.
Specifically to your question: Steamed dumplings are shorter and plumper, not shaped like a long cylinder. Simply shape the dumplings to fit the steam basket you have available.
If you have any further questions, please drop me a line!
Just wanted to say thank you for this recipe! I made one roll using AP flour and the steaming method and it turned out a dream! More than enough for two people as well!
So simple but so worth it to go with my goulash! Will definitely be using this recipe again!
Ahoj Abbey, thank you very much for your positive comment! I agree; if this bread dumpling is made with all-purpose flour, then it is ideal for steaming the dumpling instead of boiling it in water. Steaming is a much gentler method with a more certain result. And true, one dumpling-roll for two is more than enough! Greetings from the Czech Republic, Petra
I steamed mine and they came out just like the picture. I used semola flour here in Australia which is a yellowish slughtly coarse durum wheat flour used in pasta and pizza making.
Thanks for the clear instructions.
Thank you for your kind comment! I'm glad the dumpling turned out well, and thank you also for letting us know the type of flour you used. There's always a bit of a problem with the flour. Fortunately, it is well eliminated by steaming the dumpling instead of boiling it in water. Have a wonderful spring in Australia! ????
My son and Imade knedliky for his fifth grade class many years ago for International day since my son's father is Czech. We even used string to cut it. I don't think it was a huge success with his class even though I sent gravy along. It was a fun venture with my son and my whole family liked these wonderful bread dumplings.
Oh, Ann, thank you for your lovely comment! I have to smile because I remembered my father, who always cut loaves of dumplings with a thread 🙂 So authentic. Most importantly, the fact that you and your son had fun cooking dumplings together is what counts!
Dagmar (Odvarka) Sachs
THANK YOU for providing me with the “missing details” from my Czech grandmother’s recipe for these. I had the approximate measurements for the ingredients, but not the exact preparation and timing for mixing and rising. No more guess-work!
I used a 50/50 mix of King Arthur all-purpose flour and King Arthur bread flour. They were exactly as I remember them! My mom made these dumplings often while we grew up, serving them with sauerbraten, venison, pork tenderloin and other roasts with gravy/sauce.
Even better, we would scramble the leftover slices (cut into small cubes) with eggs, chopped bacon and onions for breakfast the next day…guess what I made the morning after I made these! My husband had never had a dumpling like this (and forget finding them in Prague now - all of the restaurants use a mix that is nothing like these) and now asks for them at least once a week.
Thank you again for this recipe-they are absolutely authentic!
Aww, thank you, Dagmar, for your nice feedback! I'm so glad to hear that the dumplings were a success and that your husband liked them too. Czech recipes are delicious if you put a little love into their preparation!
In the US Wondra flour works really well. I also boil them.
Danuska van der Hulst
Hi Dad yes you can mix semolina with plain flour,I do this because in New Zealand is soft flour only.
Quick question, I am making Svickova for Christmas and traveling with the meal about 2 hours to my mother in law. I know how to keep the beef and sauce warm, how do you suggest I prepare and store the knedliky to travel?
You can cook the dumplings in advance as a loaf, but slice them not until you are at your mother-in-law's. Sliced dumplings are best heated in a steamer or put in a plastic bag or microwaveable container. In that case, sprinkle a few drops of water over them, so they don't dry out when heated.
This recipe does not work. I believe it is missing butter. I had to add 1 stick of butter. Hopefully the rest of the recipe is correct
Hello Christi, thank you for your comment, but this is a tried and tested recipe for real Czech bread dumplings. If you can go through Czech recipes, you will never see any butter in this dumpling dough. Because the dough does not contain butter, the dumplings are light and fluffy, which is why we love them in the Czech Republic. Maybe you're confusing bread dumplings with another type of dumpling?
Although I’m not Czech I grew up in Prague so always ate but never made houskove knedliky myself. This recipe is amazing and works perfectly!
Quick question though: after defrosting an entire loaf, what’s the best way to warm them up? Steaming?
Hi Nikki, thank you for your kind comment!
From my experience, I recommend cutting the dumplings first and then freezing them. I always do this by putting the sliced dumplings in a plastic bag in the freezer for about 30 minutes, then take the bag out and shake the dumplings. They separate from each other, and then I put them back in the freezer. That way, I can only take out as many dumplings as I need each time.
If you froze the whole loaf, I would let it thaw first. Then slice it up, put it in a plastic bag and let it in the microwave to reheat (quickest way). The bag will prevent the surface of the dumplings from drying out.
Or, as you suggest, reheat the dumpling slices on a steamer. I have no experience with heating the whole loaf, only the dumpling slices.
Good luck! Petra
Amazing! Diky moc! 🙂
You are very welcome 🙂 Není zač!
Do you Bake the Bread or not.
Ahoj Patrick, I use stale white bread like Czech housky or rohlíky (kind of baguette), I took a quick photo of a Czech salty houska roll. This is a typical example of the pastry used in bread dumplings. However, if the pastry is fresh (and thus too soft), it is recommended to cut it into cubes and then put it in the preheated oven and bake it for a while (5-10 minutes). This way the pastry will firm up and hold its shape better in the dumplings.
If you use white bread that is too soft (for example, toasted bread), it could dissolve when the dumplings are cooked. The bread would not be noticeable at all in the finished dumpling and the texture of the dumpling would not be as it should be.
Hope this helps, Petra
Thanks for the recipe.. I used All purpose flour, since I cant find any coarse flour here, and it turns out great. So soft.. Greetings from Indonesia ????????♀️
Ahoj Dimink, thanks for your kind comment and for letting me know that classic, all-purpose flour works for this recipe too! I know that buying coarse flour tends to be a hassle, but I've read on discussion forums that regular flour can be used without any problems. Anyway, it's preferable then to cook the dumplings in the steam, not in boiling water. Many greetings to Indonesia! Petra
Hi Petra, thank you for the recipe. I intend to try it this weekend.
I am a South African, half Czech. My father came here in 1968. I grew up eating Czech food my mother learnt to make from my Czech aunt. I know that they experimented a lot, years ago, and also found that using a mixture of all purpose and Semolina flour gave the best results. Steaming the dumpling and not boiling.....
My mother's recipe uses baking powder though. I look forward to trying this one with yeast.
Thank you for the blog.
Ahoj Christina, thank you so much for your feedback and especially for the flour that you find works best for making dumplings in South Africa! 🙂 And you're right, an easier and quicker way to make a bread dumpling is to add baking powder to the dough. It cuts out the time it takes for the dough to rise. Thanks for the tip; I'll try to add the recipe to the site soon. Best wishes, Petra
My son’s favorite food is svičkova na smetane and he’s asked for it the last couple years for his birthday meal. This year I made it (not my husband), using your recipe for the svičkova and bread dumplings. As soon as my son saw it he said, “Awww, it’s just like being back in Prague.” Huge hit!! We’ve had it three times in the last two months and I’m so happy to have a go-to recipe that is perfect every time. Thank you!!
Ahoj Andrea, thank you much for your kind comment and feedback! I am happy that the svíčková sauce tasted good; the recipe is indeed a basis, but the result depends on the skillful cook 🙂 Has your son been to Prague? That's nice, and I hope he liked it there! Many greetings from Bohemia, Petra
Robert W Hofrichter
Thank you very much for posting these recipes; they remind me of my parents' cooking (parents are from Zelezny Brod). Trying the goulash and knedliky now.
Oh, thank you, Robert! Železný Brod is a small town not far from us, maybe only 30 minutes by car! That's a great coincidence 🙂
Robert W Hofrichter
Thank you very much for posting these recipes; they remind me of my parents' cooking (parents are from Zelezny Brod). Trying the goulash and knedliky now.
The knedliky came out perfect--I substituted about 1/3 of a cup of farina for flour and that did the trick--just like I remembered!
Thanks a lot for your lovely feedback; I am happy that you had success with the dumplings! That nifty Farina trick is excellent. I've heard of this coarse flour before, but here in the Czech Republic, we have different types of flour, so I can't try it. Anyway, I'll add your tip to the recipe for other US readers! Greetings from the Czech Republic, Petra
Elaine Janik Donoghue
I appreciate the clear instructions. I use your recipe in conjunction with my mother's. She always insists we wrap the dumplings in dish towels after they come out, something to do with the steam. I didn't do it this time and no problem. However, two of my six dumplings " se srazili" (not sure of the English translation, maybe collapsed or fell) when I took them out of the water. Any idea why?
Ahoj Elaine, thank you for getting in touch! I'm sorry some of your dumplings collapsed (the Czech word "srazily se" fits exactly).
Here are possible reasons that come to mind:
1. If you cook the dumplings in water, then you must pierce them immediately after taking them out with something pointed (fork, skewer) so that the steam captured inside can escape.
2. It is always better and safer to steam dumplings instead of boiling them in water. Steamed dumplings do not need to be pierced after cooking.
3. Sometimes the dumpling is wrapped in a towel BEFORE cooking so that it holds its shape better. I don't think you have to put the dumplings in the towel AFTER they are cooked.
4. Do you use yeast dough for dumplings? Don't let the dough rise for long, 30 minutes is enough, no more is needed.
Hope this helps at least a bit 🙂 My favorite tip is No.2 - Steaming the dumplings is the best! Fingers crossed that the next batch of dumplings will be fluffy (I'm sure everything will work out as it should).
With warm greetings from Bohemia, Petra
Elaine Janik Donoghue
Hi Petra, Thank you for responding. I did pierce them after cooking and used yeast and didn't let them rise too long. I think you are right about steaming. Keeping the water boiling just right is also difficult. I will definitely steam them next time. I couldn't figure out what to put them on to steam them because all my steamers are small, but I have found suggestions about making steamers out of aluminum pans. Thank you again, greetings from Amherst, Massachusetts.
Hi Elaine, thank you once more for your feedback. As for steaming, I've seen some interesting tips for steaming dumplings in a dishtowel. Here's a quick tutorial: pour about 2 inches (5 cm) of water into a wide pot, stretch a dish towel over the top and secure it around the perimeter of the pot with string. Place on the stove and bring the water to a boil. Place the dumplings on the towel, cover with a second pot or a lid and cook for about 20 minutes. Maybe this helps. Friendly greetings to Amherst, Petra
Beranek - Australia
I don't bother with letting the dough rise, use wet hands to shape the dumpling, check whether cooked with a skewer, cut with a thread straight away [don't have to pierce]. Slice when cold so can steam slices later [or make bauerner fruhstuck]. This time making caprova omacka. Can't remember recipe for svickova so I'll look up yours - you seem to know what you're doing - very well written too.:-)
Thank you for your detailed description of how you cook dumplings at home! It is true that the dumplings do not include any fat, and the dough is light and rises properly 🙂
I should have added, people should prove the yeast first 🙂
A very good point! 🙂
looks great, thanks.
I prefer the texture of boiled knedlik
Thank you for your feedback, Joe! It's not a problem at all; each method of cooking dumplings has its fans.
I grew up eating my (from Brno) mother's dumplings and I don't remember her ever using dried bread in her recipe, can I follow your recipe but omitting the the stale bread?
Hi Rob, of course, you can skip the stale bread; it's not a big deal. If I don't have it on hand or want to save time, I make these dumplings without bread as well.
My parents would roll the dumpling in a kitchen towel and twist both ends then suspend the dumpling (in the kitchen towel) over a boiling pot of water by closing the heavy lid over it -- a third way, I guess it's like steaming the dumplings as the result looks the same.
Thank you, Patrick, for your helpful insight, I've never heard of steaming dumplings this way!
Thank you for the recipe. Both my dumplings (cooked and steamed) cracked open, and they were not appealing. I suspect despite 90 minutes, they were underproofed.
I have used your recipe exactly, I use Wondra (this works fantastic). The results are amazing. I have young hockey players that live with me during hockey season, and when I made hovězí guláš my Czech hockey player whispered to me, “please don’t tell my mom, but your knedlíky are better than hers….” I have you to thank!