I mentioned in my Thanksgiving post about dumplings. This is my great-grandmother’s recipe and possibly goes back further than that. When my grandmother was in her 90s she would still make these. They take a lot of arm muscle and it always enthralled me that my frail looking Babi could beat things up whenever we wanted them. Now when we make them, we pass the bowl around as we beat to take breaks. It is a really easy recipe only calling for 4 ingredients.
Set 6 slices of white bread, yes white bread, on a wire rack or cutting board to dry overnight. We call this stale-ing the bread. You want it dried out when you make the dumpling.
The next day take a large pot and fill it with water then set to boil on the stove. You need a very large pot such as a stock pot or large dutch oven. Next, pick your bowl to make your dumplings.You take 2 heaping cups of flour and put them into a bowl. The heaping part is necessary. Don’t pack the flour in but I like to use our flour scoop to fill up a 1-cup measuring cup then heap on some more.
Then you make a well in the middle of the flour. Put in 2 eggs and and whisk with a fork. Begin to start incorporating some of the flour as you go. Once the eggs are mixed, add in 1/2 cup of milk slowly. Stirring and incorporating more of the flour until all the milk and flour are one big sticky mess.
Now the fun part! Time to beat. My utensil of choice? A round wooden spoon. You are going to beat the dough to 1. get the gluten going and make it elastic and 2. incorporate air. To beat: push spoon under the dough and lift up and away from you. Go at your own pace. For our family it takes about 15-20 minutes to beat the dumplings to the correct consistency. You’ll know it’s ready for the next step when it is smooth, elastic and has air bubbles in it.
Next, cut your bread into cubes. You want them to be small, maybe just under 1/2 inch dice. Add the bread to your dough and fold them in until coated and wet.
Wet your hands in water and using your hands cut the dough in half. Scoop it out and form the dumpling loaf into a football shape. Re-wet your hands as necessary. Once formed, gently tip the dumpling loaf into the boiling water.
Repeat with the other half. Set your timer for 10 minutes. Once the timer goes off, flip the dumpling and let it boil for another 15 minutes. Then you put them on a platter to cool slightly. Cut into slices and there you go. Dumplings!
We make ours a day or two before and put them in the fridge. To reheat, steam until warmed through. I have to say this is one of my favorite Thanksgiving foods and we always make more than we need because we make eggs and dumplings the weekend after. Yum yum yum.
Babi’s Dumplings (makes about 16 dumplings)
2 heaping cups of all-purpose flour
6 slices of white bread
1/2 cup milk
1. Let bread stale overnight by putting on a cutting board, flip in the morning to allow the other side to dry
2. Measure flour into large mixing bowl
3. Make a well into the flour and crack in the eggs. Beat eggs incorporating a little flour
4. Add milk slowly, incorporating flour as you go
5. Beat with a wooden spoon until smooth, elastic and bubbly
6. Cut bread into cubes and fold into dough
7. Using wet hands, cut dough in half and form into a football shape
8. Place dumpling into boiling water and repeat with other half of dough
9. Boil for 10 minutes, flip then another 15 minutes
10. Remove from water and place on a plate or platter
11. Cut into 7-8 slices
Do you have a family recipe you make for holidays?