Czech Slovak bread dumplings recipeFinally easy bread dumplings! / Konecne jednoduche houskove knedliky! - Czechmatediary
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Finally easy bread dumplings! / Konecne jednoduche houskove knedliky!

Knedliky (dumplings) are a tough competitor to potatoes in the Czech world. If someone asks me “Would you like potatoes or knedliky as a side dish?” I may just sit there for half an hour to compare the pros and the cons of those 2 food items. The potatoes would probably win in my case, but other Czechs would pick knedliky in no time. To sum it up, knedliky are a VERY important part of the Czech heritage. I myself gave up on making them because for some reason I thought they were really hard to make. Recently however, I was digging through my Czech cookbooks and I found a recipe that is not only very EXTRA easy but also very delicious. For those who are not that familiar with the art of knedliky, let me educate you. There are 2 types of knedliky, the ones made out of bread and the ones made out of potatoes. This recipe shows you how to make easy bread dumplings, which go the best with meat entrees such as Goulash, or Koprovka which you can find in my recipe category. So here we go:

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 slices of bread
  • 1 and 1/2 cup of all-purpose flour (Wondra flour is the best)
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 package of baking powder ( = 15 grams = 4 Tsp of baking powder)
  • 1/2 Tsp of salt
  • 1 egg

Method:

  1. In a large bowl mix the flour, baking powder and salt together
  2. Cut up the bread slices into cubes
  3. Mix the bread cubes with the flour/baking powder mixture
  4. Mix in the cup  of water, an egg and work the mixture with your hands until a dough forms
  5. Create 2 oval loaves
  6. Put them carefully into a pot of boiling water (salted)
  7. Cook them uncovered for about 20 to 25 minutes, but turn them over after the first 10 minutes of cooking.
  8. Take both loaves out of the pot and slice them up with a piece of thread
  9. Serve!

PS: Since it is a Czech recipe it just assumes that we use a Czech bread. You have 2 opitons: 1/ either you bake your own Czech bread (click here) or you go to the store and pick the sturdiest bread that you can find. I used leftovers of our Ezikiel sprouted bread and it worked great.
PS: this is a really good Czech cookbook:

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67 comments… add one
  • Ivanhoe October 30, 2008, 10:26 am

    That sounds pretty easy. I did not really have knedliky for a long time, but may try to make them now. Is the bread suppose to be older (hard) or fresh (soft)? White or rye?

  • Tanja October 30, 2008, 10:38 am

    Hi Ivanhoe,

    I actually used whatever I had leftover at home – which at that time was the sprouted Ezikiel bread (I know, health freaks..but it’s not what you think!!) but I am sure any bread will do.
    But in order to create the most authentic knedliky, I would go with an old whole wheat or rye bread – something more sturdy. Or you can bake your own Czech bread (I posted a recipe for it couple of months ago) and you can’t go wrong from there 😉

  • Katie October 30, 2008, 3:41 pm

    This is great Tanja! Thank you for sharing. I think someone in our house would faint in pure joy to get his hands on these things…
    You’re too great.

  • Sue October 30, 2008, 3:52 pm

    I’m addicted to knedliky! We kind of made our own by getting frozen dough and thawing it out, then steaming it. And it works pretty well. Not authentic, but not too bad.

  • Tanja October 30, 2008, 8:19 pm

    What kind of frozen dough? Knedliky dough?? They sell that stuff out here?

  • Ivanhoe October 31, 2008, 1:32 pm

    Thanks for your advice on the bread. I also saw frozen knedliky in a chain store Heinens, but they are just here in OH. They are actually not half bad either.
    BTW: I did not get an e-mail informing me that I have a response comment here…

  • Jana November 1, 2008, 12:28 pm

    Instead of submerging them in water, there is a way of putting the dough into coffee mugs
    Hrnkove knedliky

    2 cups flour (1/2 cream of wheat or Wondra)
    2 cups milk
    1 teaspoon salt
    3 egg yolks
    5 rohliky dry and cut

    Mix all ingredients together and let stand 20 minutes Add egg whites
    Put in buttered cups and place in half full pot on stove
    Cook under lid for 30 minutes

  • Tanja November 1, 2008, 6:39 pm

    Hi Jana,

    What an idea! Except I don’t understand the end of the recipe: you do not submerge them in water? Do you mix the egg whites into the mixture that has been resting for 20 minutes?
    Thanks!

  • Jana November 2, 2008, 4:28 pm

    You submerge the hrnky in the pot filled with water. When you put the lid and cover the hrnky the steam will cook the knedliky inside the hrnky. Yes after the mixture has been resting for 20 minutes you add the beaten egg whites. My mom did not tell me that you need to beat the egg whites and then add it to the mixture Sorry.

  • Tanja November 2, 2008, 5:43 pm

    I get it!

    Thanks!

  • martina November 15, 2008, 11:40 am

    I have the same cookbook you show in your post, and recently was on a mission for re-creating authentic czech knedliky. I tried several versions (sometimes 3 in one day) and found that any version without yeast turns out too dense, like potato dumplings (bramborove knedliky). In terms of what bread to use, we always used rohliky in CZ, so here i use any kind of roll without seeds (kaiser roll, hoagie, etc).

  • Tanja November 15, 2008, 12:06 pm

    You are right, they are a little more dense than the original bread dumplings. But at least it is something and it’s easy!

    To mas pravdu, jsou trosku vic hutnejsi nez ty prave ceske knedliky, ale alespon je to neco! A recept tento recept je tak jednoduchy, ze je mi to jedno…

  • Jana November 15, 2008, 7:36 pm

    Its better than having soggy dumplings in water. My grandmother, mother’s mother in law, hates them with a passion. My mom and I like them my dad does not care. We can not talk about them around her. She does not want to hear about anything that is easy, then its not right. But sometimes you do not fill like going through the whole process of dough rising and stuff.

  • nola November 26, 2008, 9:11 am

    Dobre rano! Good morning, I just found your site via Empty Nest Expat. When I saw your “recipe” category, I had to check and see if you had a good knedliky recipe. My mouth is already watering, from just reading the recipe!
    I am half Czech, second generation American. My mother’s parents came from Czechoslovakia (as it was then) in the early 1900’s. My grandmother and mother made the most wonderful Czech dishes in the world. I took it for granted that everyone ate as well as we did!
    They are both gone now, and I try to keep their recipes alive. My favorite is kyselica; we eat it all winter.
    I began searching for Czech blogs soon after I began reading blogs this summer, hoping to find someone in the Czech Republic I could get recipes from. How funny I should find someone here in America with the recipes I wanted so badly.
    Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, so I may try to make knedliky for my family for a Thanksgiving treat. I will bookmark your site and return later for a visit!
    Na sheldanou brzo!

  • Tanja November 26, 2008, 11:04 am

    Hi Nola!

    I am so glad you found my blog! I hope you get a lot out of it 🙂 You can always register and that way you get my posts right in you email 😉

    Kyselica..hmmm…I would be interested in that recipe very much! Could you maybe send it to me via “contact” or just leave it here? That would be great!

    I see that you are an avid “knedlik-er”, so if you read all of the comments above, Jana left yet another knedliky recipe that she likes a lot. You should try both!

    Have a great day!

  • theresa December 21, 2008, 2:18 pm

    if you can find wondra- use it to substitute for half the flour- it makes them a little lighter and less dense, more like the actual czech dumpling. if you can’t find wondra- use semolina.

  • andrea January 4, 2009, 8:32 pm

    hello, I have to say that I love your blog! I came a cross it when i was looking for a recipe for strawberry dumplings. I was so happy when i saw this recipe for dumplings, since I was never shown how to make them! I am actually making them right now, but I am wondering…my babi would loosely wrap them in a tea towel, and suspend them in the boiling pot using a wooden spoon. Do you do that with this recipe? Or just place them straight into the pot?

    Thank you so much for posting these recipes! Being so far from home, i miss this food so much!

  • Tanja January 4, 2009, 11:23 pm

    Hi Andrea,

    wow, your babi was serious about her dumplings 🙂 I just dump them in the water. Let me know how they turned out! As I said in the recipe, this is the easy way out so they may not taste exactli like your babicka’s jahodove knedliky but they are still very good.
    PS: I am very happy that you like my blog. Thank you!

  • Bob January 22, 2009, 10:38 pm

    Hi there…I’m looking for a recipe for this EXACT thing. Most of the recipes I have seen have a MUCH higher flour to baking powder ratio, like 3 cups flour to a pinch of baking powder…does your recipe come out a little less dense? I tried a recipe from recipezaar and it was like a bread log…NOT good eats.

    I am not Czech, but hit Prague on a European tour, and have had the same bread dumplings as far west at Koln, and even in New York City at a place called Bohemia Hall and Garden (The Beer Garden)

    I make a KILLER beef stew, and these dumplings would be the perfect pair, if only I could find a recipe that really worked.

    Do you happen to have a steamed recipe with yeast that someone mentioned?

    Either way, I’ll give these a shot.

  • Tanja January 23, 2009, 10:47 am

    Hi Bob,

    the dumplings are on the denser side but they are good – at least I like them.

  • kerry March 28, 2009, 1:38 pm

    I was visiting a friend in Slovakia and his Mom put an oval plate in an oval roaster with a lid. The bottom of the roaster was filled with water, the plate was above the water. The loaf sits on the plate and steams with the cover on. This took only about 10 min. The loaf was a very loose bread dough that was made with yeast, so it rose a couple times.
    You can cook these, slice them, freeze them and then when you want to eat them you can heat them in a steaming device.

  • Tanja March 28, 2009, 10:55 pm

    Yeap, that’s our knedliky! Hmmmm…sounds wonderful!!

  • Johan October 13, 2009, 11:09 am

    Hi, thank you so much for these recipes! I spent the first 10 years of my life in Prague in the 70s and lately I have decided to cook all these dishes of my youth. I have found a Polish store that sells poppy seeds, tvaroh and so forth in my city. Nothing compares a Czech dish along with a fresh cup of Prasdroy. Take care.

  • Tanja October 13, 2009, 3:30 pm

    You are welcome Johan! I am glad I can be of some help 🙂

  • Lorraine Hornik April 17, 2010, 10:55 am

    Instead of boiling the dumplings steam them – one at a time. It takes half the time – 20 minutes exactly so use a timer. And you don’t have to turn it. I boiled dumpling for years and steaming works so much better. I also recommend using a non-stick spray on the pan so the dumpling comes out easily.

    1 package of yeast
    1/2 cup of warm water
    1 teaspoon of sugar
    1-2 teaspoon of Wondra

    In a cup add 1/2 cupo f warm water add yeast, sugar, Wondra and stir. Set aside and let the yeast activate.

    In a large bowl mix:

    1 can of Wondra flour
    1 teaspoon of salt
    1 egg

    Add the yeast mixture and the other half of the warm water. Mix together. Kneed. Add more flour if necessary. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and set aside and let rise one hour or until it doubles in size. Punch down and let rise again for one hour.

    Divide in half. Shape into a smooth log shape. Steam each dumpling for 20 minutes. If you over steam it it will form a crust.

    You can also add cubed bread to the middle of the dumpling. You add it after you seperate the two dumplings. The bread should be hard – like day old French bread.

  • Tanja April 17, 2010, 11:33 am

    Hi Lorraine and thank you for that awesome recipe! It looks easy enough so I got to try that as soon as possible. Did you learn that from your Czech grandma?

  • Tanya July 23, 2010, 2:00 am

    Hi,

    I just made these bread dumplings and they look fantastic! My husband is Czech and they look like his mums bread dumplings, I can’t believe how easy these were to make!

  • Tanja July 30, 2010, 11:25 pm

    Great! I am glad the recipe worked out for you!

  • JCS9 November 24, 2010, 3:19 pm

    The recipe is perfect except i did not see an egg mentioned. The egg binds the ingredients together. I would not make the dumplings without and egg or two.

  • Jana V November 27, 2010, 1:09 pm

    Instead of egg yolks you use egg whites for this recipe. They are not as fluffy but will work in a bind and it does stick together. Then on the Czech American TV website under Czech kitchen (Vepro knedlo-zelo) there is a recipe for microwave dumplings, ten minutes.

  • John K. February 27, 2011, 4:21 am

    Hi Tanja-

    I use a breadmaker to make knedliky. After several attempts at the traditional way of making them (some more successful than others!), I switched to making them this way, with much more success. Most breadmakers have a “Dough” setting. Here is my recipe…note that my breadmaker (Sunbeam) is the kind where you put in the “wet” ingredients first- other breadmakers have you put the dry ingredients in first, so I can’t speak for those.

    1/4 Cup Water
    1/2 Cup Milk
    2 Eggs
    1/2 TBS. Oil
    1/2 TBS. Salt
    5 Slices of Bread (yep, the stale day old kind)
    3 Cups Flour (All purpose- not bread flour)
    1 Package Yeast (I use Fleischmans Active Dry)

    Follow your breadmakers’ instructions for the “Dough Only” setting. On mine, the cycle is complete in 1.5 hours. What comes out is one big dough which I then separate into 3 or 4 “loaves” and then place in a steamer, for 20 minutes, as an earlier post stated. During the steaming process the loaves fill out and puff up, giving you the “traditional” knedliky- not dense at all. I never was a fan of the boiling method, but I suppose that would work for these too.

    Love your site, by the way. My parents are both Czech (Mom passed away 5 years ago). She taught me several recipes which I still make to this day…I found your site when I googled “Czech Potato Salad” and your recipe and site came up. My Mom made a great potato salad and when she sent me the recipe she listed the ingredients, but wasn’t clear on the quantities of each ingredient. I knew you were the “real deal” when I saw your recipe and you used eggs! Thanks very much!

  • Tanja March 1, 2011, 1:40 pm

    Hi John, can’t wait to try your recipe!

  • John K. March 4, 2011, 8:29 am

    Tanja-

    You will NOT be disappointed!

    I promise.

    JK

  • John K. March 15, 2011, 5:29 am

    Oops…re:knedliky recipe correction
    Should read: 5 Slices of Bread, cubed.

    I apologize for the omission.

    John K.

  • Anthony Machacek April 6, 2011, 12:59 pm

    Frozen dough for tasteless American bred commonly sold in supermarkets becom a dumpling if boiled after defrosting it for 20 min.

  • nelinkha July 14, 2011, 1:46 am

    have another great recipe for dumplings
    2,5 cups of all purpose flour
    4 teaspoons of dry yeast
    1 egg
    salt
    1-2 cups of warm water
    first we make the yeast, we put a 1/3 of warm water in a cup with the 4 teaspoons of yeast, and 1 teaspoon of sugar. stir it and cover it for about 5 min not even…. in between we put the flour in the bowl salt the flour , and mix it, then we put in the egg, with the yeast, and we add about a cup of warm water and we mix it, i myself make the dough not too hard nor not too soft… it makes about 3 loafs, i myself dont let the dough rise in the bowl i make the loafs and cover them, before the water with salt starts boiling, they are already risen i put them in the water covered and on med heat for about 14 to 16 min depends on the loaf how big it is… after i take them out they double their mass… and i poke them with a knife to let steam out… then i cut them with a thread…. HOPE I HELPED ITS A VERY EASY RECIPE BELIEVE ME!!!

  • Tanja July 14, 2011, 3:04 pm

    Hi Nelinkha, I love it – so easy! I will try it as soon as I plan a dumpling dinner night 🙂

  • Sabrinka Sepulveda July 16, 2011, 5:11 pm

    My mom is full blooded Czech from Praha escape communist country back in the 60’s and her and my family came to the U.S. My mom recently died of stage 4 lung cancer on Feb. 16, 2011. My mom had taught me how to make Czech food and I love it. When I make Czech food its important that I make it like my mom because the taste of the food reminds me of my maminka’s food she made for us. I had a problem with making bread dumplings though, but your way is so easy! I just finished making chicken paprika and knedliky and I got all teary eye lol because IT WAS PERFECT!! JUST LIKE MAMINKA’S!
    dekuji Tanja!

  • Tanja July 16, 2011, 8:45 pm

    Hi Sabrinka! Well, I got all teary-eyed while reading your comment! So sorry about your mom (was she a smoker?) but she is in a better place now and smiling at your from the heavens while you make your chicken paprika 🙂
    Make sure you try my other recipes, especially the Bublanina one. Nice to meet you and thanks for leaving such a wonderful comment!

  • nelinkha July 17, 2011, 11:58 am

    Sabrinka , I am so sorry about your lost… my aunt is actually going through the same disease and is in a very bad stage already… your maminka is in a better place for sure!!! I am so happy I helped you out, it is a very easy recipe , and they are like if they were bought from a Czech store, my mom learned me this recipe, and its the only one I have been using ever since!!! btw, my daughters birthday is on the 16 th so from now I will also remember you!!! God Bless You

  • Sabrinka July 17, 2011, 2:02 pm

    Oh dekuji! Tanja and Nelinkha it means so much! my mamka was 63 …too young! I myself am 32. My mamka was a smoker so…but my mamka was the Czech version of Lucille Ball lol!!!

    @Tanja Thank you I will make sure to try the Bublanina! and Yes I think she would be smiling too!

    God Bless!

    To my Mamka…..Helenka Hodza-Sepulveda …Maminka si Baruna miluje

  • jim November 16, 2011, 10:06 am

    hi – i used to live with a czech family and the lady made the most delicious sweet dumplings….. called bucti?? i wish i had got the recipe from her! she would put plums inside them and them make a topping with sour cream,lemon juice & icing sugar.
    i think she steamed them or baked them in the oven….. does anyone have a recipe for them please?
    thanks
    jim

  • Tanja November 16, 2011, 2:00 pm

    Hi! I know exactly what you are talking about and here is the recipe:
    http://czechmatediary.com/2008/05/13/stuffed-fruit-dumplings/

  • Boris Horacek December 14, 2011, 4:32 pm

    djeckuji, ja sem 1/2 czech, moje matka je 100% Cz. Moje bibinka made great knedlicky, zviechkovah, i called it “beije sauce” sauce as a child, I am now 38. Thanks for the recipe.

  • Gailann January 14, 2012, 7:13 pm

    My polish mother made bread dumplings with her roast pork. She said she learned from her bohemien mother-in-law. Mom has been gone for about 9 years now and I’ve been trying to remember her recipe. I made them a couple of times but haven’t in quite a while. They were great but a little heavy. She only used 1 egg and 1 tbsp of baking powder with half water and half milk wet mixture. I added a second tbls of baking powder and lightened them up. My Dad liked them better that way. She used a butter crusted bread cubed and dried out. After she mixed the dried ingredients, she made a well in the center and added her egg and water/milk. She then blended the wet ingredients in that well and then slowly pulled in the dry ingredients. After she blended it all she began to add the bread cubes. She then formed balls of dough in floured hands and boiled them in salted water. They would raise to the top of the water when they got near being done. She would pull one out of the pot and slice it to see if it were dry enough inside to be done. She’d sliced them and serve with her pork gravy. Yummmmmm.

  • Renee January 20, 2012, 9:09 pm

    My “bohemien” nana used to make these and just made toast and buttered it b4 she cut them into cubes to add to her dough. She had 9 children, so she cooked/baked a lot. mmm god i miss her and her food. One of my favorite meals she served these with was roast pork. This recipe has brought back loads of awesome memories..ty=)

  • Sasa Ostrouchov January 31, 2012, 12:36 pm

    I was born in Prague and left the country with my family when I was 19 yrs in 1970 for Canada. I do a lot of Czech and East European cooking. For the houskove knedliky I use plain croutons as bread substitute in the dough in the “Cup or Mug method Recipe” posted by Jana above. Must be plain, don’t use the flavoured croutons as they will add strange un-knedlik taste.
    Přeji pěkný den,
    Čau, Saša

  • Tanja January 31, 2012, 9:14 pm

    Ahoj Saso!
    Ty jsi tedy opustila Cechy v tom samem veku, jako jsem byla ja! Jak si prijdes? Jako Cech anebo spis uz jako kanadan? Nechtela by jsi nam o tve zkusenosti napsat ‘guestpost’? Takove pribehy jsou vzdycky hrozne zajimave!!!

  • Bernie March 12, 2012, 1:23 pm

    Ahoj – My wife is Czech and I lived in Prague for 5 years. We now live in the states and really missing our Knedliky. This weekend we tried Jana’s recipe but it didn’t turn out well (too soggy). Jana or someone else who understands her recipe – what do you mean by the first line: 2 cups flour (1/2 cream of wheat or Wondra)? Does this mean instead of using 2 cups of flour I can substitute 1 of the cups of flower for either a cup of cream of what or Wondra? That is how I read it but it didn’t work for me. Moc dekuju a pekny den!!

  • Tanja March 14, 2012, 8:23 am

    Bernie, that’s how I would understand Jana’s recipe – hopefully she will write you back.

  • Holistr July 9, 2012, 1:47 am

    Ahoj Tanjo.
    Díky za recept. Připravujeme teď v Bukurešti Global Village a chtěl jsem něco typicky Českého.
    Zjistil jsem, že knedlík je opravdu jen česká specialita.
    Pokud souhlasíš, recept vytisknu a společně s odkazem na tvoje stránky budu distribuovat během akce:-)

    Martin alias Holistr

  • Tanja July 9, 2012, 2:25 pm

    Ahoj Martine, urcite – dekuju a hodne stesti!!!

  • Pam December 26, 2012, 5:05 pm

    Help! I used to make awesome bread dumplings. But lately they come out of pot and look OK when first cut, but within minutes begin to change to gelatinous lumps! I used new baking powder and followed the recipes, tried several
    Any ideas?

  • Tanja December 28, 2012, 9:36 pm

    I don’t know 🙁 I would just say go back to your old baking powder?

  • Dana May 1, 2013, 7:21 pm

    I think Jim meant kynute buchty and not ovocne knedliky. Just sayin’ 😉 Tried to find an easy recipe in English but no luck, they easy ones were all in Czech.

    Thanks for the recipe for knedliky, tried half the recipe (just in case it doesn’t turn out well, Canadian flour sometimes does funky stuff haha), and only had the most basic cheap whole wheat bread (gricery store brand) and knedlik turned out really well!

  • Tanja May 1, 2013, 8:14 pm

    Hi Dana, I am glad they worked out 🙂
    Kynute buchty recipe is my next task to accomplish. If I am successful I will put it on Czechmate Diary. If not, you will hear dead silence ;))

  • Nikola June 25, 2014, 4:12 pm

    Hi there,
    do you think that I can use yeasts instead of the baking powder?
    Thanks

  • Mike December 20, 2014, 10:20 pm

    If you are making bread dumplings from Canadian flour you should use Robin Hood Best For Blending Flour only!
    It has purple stripe on the bottom part of the bag. It makes it easy to recognize the right flour. In older versions they called it Instant flour and it still comes from French wording on the bag. We have also shipped the flour for use in USA.
    We use only real yeast.

  • Monica December 30, 2017, 4:38 am

    I will be making these today. My mom always used day old baguette or rolls to make these and instead of plain water, she used club soda. that lightens them up really nicely, Also she steamed them in a cloth suspended over boiling water and made one big knedlik which was then sliced up. They were amazing!

  • Barbe January 31, 2018, 8:59 pm

    Hi! What size should the loaves be and what thickness should the slices be? How many slices of the bread dumplings should you get?
    Thank You!

  • Tanja February 3, 2018, 9:34 am

    Hi Barbe!

    I usually make two loaves and slices about 1/2 inch to 1 inch thick.

  • Tanja February 3, 2018, 9:38 am

    CLUB SODA!!!???? That’s crazy!!! I got to try that! I actually use milk instead of water, not sure what it does, except that it gives a bit more protein?

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