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Brotknoedel Recipe: How to Make German Dumplings

Brotknoedel Recipe: How to Make German Dumplings

Bread dumplings, also known as “Kloedel” in German are traditional Austrian dishes. The recipe is very simple and the results are always tasty. They can be served with different kinds of gravy, such as beef broth or dark sauce, but they can also be served with just butter or curd cheese.

They are great for lunch or dinner, but also very good for your morning meal with coffee.

How did Knödel become a part of German cuisine?

People in Germany enjoy eating Brotknoedel when traveling through Bavaria or Austria. A lot of people are aware of the recipe, and many restaurants have their own variations of Brotknoedel. As a result, German cuisine has spread throughout the world!

What does Brotknoedel mean?

In English, bread dumplings are known as brotknoedel. The name is derived from “brot” for bread and “knödeln,” which means to tuck or tumble about, in German words.

What are German bread dumplings made of?

Dumplings are a popular dish in Germany’s south. They may be quite productive. There are several varieties of dumplings that are quite popular in Germany. Other types prepared with yeast, Dampfnudeln, or cream of wheat include Leberknaudel (YES, I said liver) and other versions created with yeast.

Traditional bread dumplings were made with potatoes and baked with bread croutons. However, I come from a region of Germany where potatoes are the queen and bread dumplings are made with potato dough and do not contain bread croutons.

History of bread dumplings in Austria

A mistake is said to have given birth to the bread. Bakers created a huge amount of dough, but because they had forgotten to add yeast, it did not rise. The baker decided to use the unrisen dough and baked it in small pieces.

The German bread dumplings were created and served to the Emperor, which was very satisfied with them. For this reason, it is said that bread dumplings were invented because of a mistake. Dumplings are known as Knödel in Austria, where potato dumplings are popular. In regions outside of Austria, they might be called Kloedel.

The first german bread dumplings were created with potatoes and baked together with bread croutons. However, I come from a region of Germany where potato dough dumplings are made and contain no bread croutons.

How did Brotknoedel become popular?

It’s unclear how or why this dish came to be so popular. It’s been claimed that the meal was offered to Archduke Maximilian Franz of Austria while on a trip through the Bavarian region.

He loved it so much that he passed on the secret to his staff, who in turn began making it. Brotknoedel became quite popular as time went by and everyone started producing it.

Bread dumplings are easy to make, affordable and delicious

Bread dumplings are popular because they are easy to make, affordable, and delicious. When you’re thinking about how to get another meal on the table fast and inexpensively, reach for a few potatoes and some bread. It’s something we always have in our kitchen because it’s so easy and fast to prepare.

By using leftover or fresh bread, you can easily prepare delicious and affordable food in your kitchen. The children love them too, so it’s a good way to get the kids to eat their vegetables.

If you want to take some of the work out of this process, make a huge batch of potato dumplings using instant potatoes. Prepare these days ahead and freeze in the desired serving sizes. It’s a huge time saver when you’re pressed for time and it doesn’t add much to your overall costs either.

How to make Brotknoedel

German Bread Dumplings in a Bowl


  1. 4 Kaiser rolls, thinly sliced
  2. Bread crumbs as needed
  3. 2 eggs
  4. A few stems of finely chopped parsley
  5. 1/2 cup milk
  6. 2 Tbsp. butter
  7. Salt and Pepper


  • Soak rolls in a large bowl with lukewarm or hot milk for 1/2 hour.
  • Add the remainder of the ingredients and mix well. If the mixture is too wet add some breadcrumbs.
  • Shape into dumplings.
  • Carefully drop/put dumplings into lightly salted water, and simmer for 25 minutes.
  • Serve with sauces, mushrooms, or soups.
  • Enjoy!

Useful Tips:

  • The dumplings should be soft and succulent. You can make a test dumpling first. Simmer for 20 minutes then remove from water with a large slotted spoon.
  • Bread dumplings can be served with different kinds of gravy, such as beef broth or dark sauce.
  • You can use instant potatoes to prepare this dish day ahead and freeze in desired serving sizes. Time-saving tip!
  • If the mixture is too wet, just add some more bread crumbs.
  • You can add eggs instead of warm milk to prepare this recipe.
  • You can add parsley or other herbs to taste.
  • You can add a pinch of nutmeg if you want.
  • You can prepare this dish vegetarian by using milk and oil instead of milk and butter.
  • You can use different types of bread cubes, if you can’t find kaiser rolls, use any kind of white bread or even rye bread for the bread mixture.
  • If you want to make the process more economical, serve leftover boiled potatoes with your Brotknoedel. Now you have two meals in one.
  • Some people like their bread dumplings with different kinds of flour or bread crumbs depending on what they are served with; beef or chicken broth.
  • You can freeze the leftover boiled potatoes or remaining dough, just put them in a sealed container and freeze. When you want to use them, you can either fry them in some oil or serve them with the Brotknoedel.

Store and keep

Bread dumplings can be kept for 1-2 days in a ziplock bag. They can be kept frozen for up to 6 months.

Leftover bread dumplings?

There’s also a bread dumpling shortage in the freezer, so I simply saved what I had. It doesn’t matter if they’re fresh or made days ago. To eat leftovers, bring them to a boil and then simmer them for a few minutes.

Serve with garlic herb butter, onion sauce, mushroom sauce, cheese sauce, or simply melted butter on them.

Usual side dish with German bread dumplings

Brown onion sauce is a traditional side dish for German bread dumplings. The sauce can also be flavored with bacon and caraway seeds, becoming “Bruesseler Sauce.” Bread croutons are frequently added to the onion sauce as well. Sauerkraut, green beans, peas, lentils, carrots, parsnips, and potatoes are also common side dishes with bread dumplings.

Fast Facts

  • German bread dumplings are savory dishes made from flour, baked or steamed.
  • It is one of the most popular dishes in German cuisine.
  • The dough is usually made of bread cubes and warm milk then flavored with onion, salt, pepper, and nutmeg, or fresh parsley.
  • It can be served as an appetizer or Main course.
  • Due to its popularity, it can be found everywhere in Germany.
  • Bread dumplings are also known as “Knoedel” or “Klösse.”
  • It’s usually served with sauces such as garlic herb butter, onion sauce, mushroom sauce, cheese sauce, or melted butter.
  • Bread dumplings are often served with soup.
  • They are also served as the main dish, with salad or potato pancakes on the side.
  • The recipe is very simple and easy to follow.
  • The ingredients are usually cooked in advance.
  • Bread dumplings can be frozen for later use.
  • Leftover dumplings can be kept for 2 days in a ziplock bag and they can be saved for up to 6 months.
  • They are often served with garlic herb butter, onion sauce, mushroom sauce, cheese sauce, or simply melted butter on bread dumplings.
  • Bread dumplings are very versatile as you can add different ingredients to make many variations of this dish.
  • Bread dumplings are usually cooked with bread rolls, but you can experiment with other bread or even potato flakes.
  • When reheating bread dumplings, simply fill a casserole dish with water and butter and cook for 30 minutes at 300 degrees Fahrenheit (150 degrees Celsius).
  • Bread dumplings are savory dishes made from flour, baked or steamed.
  • Affordable but delicious.
  • Prep time is fast.


Bread dumplings, while not the most attractive dish to look at, are undoubtedly delicious, affordable, easy to make, and maybe served with a range of sauces. And will be great for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. I hope you enjoy this wonderful and simple recipe.


What are Kaiser rolls?

Kaiser rolls are a type of bread. They look like regular hamburger buns, except they have a shiny golden color and the crust is usually formed as a braided crown.

Is Brotknoedel only baked with Kaiser rolls?

No, you may use all different types of bread or even potato flakes if you want to experiment. It is debatable whether Knödel is supposed to be made from bread, so if you want to make a different kind of “bread dumpling” you might have to experiment a little bit.

What other ingredients can you add to german bread dumplings?

In Germany, all kinds of things are added to bread dumplings. For example, perhaps you want to add a chopped-up apple as the Dampfnudeln recipe calls for. You can also try adding pumpkin or sweet potatoes. You can also add bacon to make bacon dumplings.

How do you reheat bread dumplings?

Bread dumplings can also be cooked in the oven. Simply fill a casserole dish with water and butter and cook for 30 minutes at 300 degrees Fahrenheit (150 degrees Celsius). Enjoy your breakfast, lunch, or supper!

What else can you put inside of bread dumplings?

Bread dumplings are usually stuffed with dried fruit, chocolate chips, or even meat. Some people like to make mashed potatoes and mix them in with the dough. These ingredients may sound strange or unusual, but please do not hesitate to try them because they are absolutely delicious.

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