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Semmelknoedel a.k.a. German Bread Dumplings with Goulash Soup


You can serve the Semmelknoedel as a side for any meat that has a gravy or sauce. It is basically a mild dressing ball. Additionally, recommend you use at least a cup of chicken stock to the water to boil the noodles in to add additional flavor, it will not make it taste like chicken but will enhance the dumpling.

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  • Note: This recipe makes half as many as shown in images.
  • FOR THE Semmelknoedel
  • 8 cups cubed old bread
  • 1/4 cup finely diced onion
  • 1 stalk finely diced celery
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup butter (melted)
  • 2 Tbsp. dried Parsley
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • Pot of boiling water.
  • Authentic Hungarian Goulash
  • 1-2 lbs. chuck or arm roast, cut into 1″ cubes (for a shortcut, buy prepackaged stew meat)
  • 1 large onion, diced finely
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 tbsp. smoky Hungarian paprika
  • 1 cup of your favorite red wine
  • 1 cup V8 Juice
  • 2-4 cups of Water
  • 1 small can of tomato paste
  • 1 heaping tsp jarred minced garlic (or 3 cloves crushed)
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Optional: Cornstarch slurry
  • (boiled potatoes), or spaetzle.


Adapted from


Step 1

Put cubed bread in a large mixing bowl.
In a small saute pan, saute onions, celery until tender, let cool.
In a small mixing bowl, beat eggs and whisk in melted butter, onions, celery, parsley, salt, and pepper.

Pour mixture over the bread. Mix and mash with your hands until every single cube of bread is evenly moist. Remove any pieces that are still dry. You might want to add a little chicken stock to ensure bread is moistened.

Form into tightly-packed billiards-sized balls. They’ll plump up to the size of tennis balls while cooking.

Cover with a clean towel and let sit for 1 hour

Fill a pot (large enough to accommodate the number of balls you plan to make) about 1/2 way to 2/3 with water and chicken stock bring to boil.

Using a spoon, set dumplings into the boiling water. Once they’re all in, let cook for 20 minutes. If making a double or quadruple batch, let cook for 30 minutes.

Remove from water with slotted spoon and place on a serving dish

Drain off excess water before serving.

Another meal idea: Drop one in a bowl of chicken broth for a delicious Semmelknoedelsuppe similar to Jewish matzo ball soup. ☕


Melt the butter on medium-high heat in a Dutch oven or stew pot then brown the meat in batches. Transfer meat to a dish and set aside.

Saute diced onion in the same pot until it begins to caramelize.

Stir in paprika and cook for a minute or two.

Add wine and meat. Cook, stirring frequently, until most of the liquid is gone.

Add water just to cover meat. Stir in tomato paste, garlic, salt, and pepper.

Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover, and let simmer over very low heat for 90 minutes.

For a thicker gravy: Corn starch slurry = 2 heaping tbsp. cornstarch dissolved in 1 cup cold water. Stir into boiling sauce at the very end of cooking. Turn down to simmer and cook for an additional 5 minutes until sauce is slightly thickened.

Serve over semmelknoedel (German bread dumplings), egg noodles such as Reames, salzkartoffeln

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