A traditional way to use up rolls (semmel) to make dumplings (knödel).
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine German
Servings 6 dumplings


  • 6 cups cubed stale rolls torn into small pieces
  • 1 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 onion fine dice
  • 1/4 cup loose cup parsley
  • salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 egg


  • Heat the milk and nutmeg in a small pan until bubbles start forming around the edges. Pour over the crumbled rolls and allow to soak for about 20 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, saute the onion in a small amount of butter until translucent. Scrape into the bowl and add the remaining ingredients. Stir until everything is combined; it will look like a damp dough.
  • Bring a large pot of water to almost boiling.
  • Use your hands to form roughly three-inch balls of dough. If it can't hold its shape, sprinkle it with bread crumbs and try again.
  • Drop into the simmering water and simmer, don't boil, for 15 minutes. Scoop them out of the water and serve them immediately.


You can boil all the dumplings at once but resist the urge to stir or you risk breaking them up.
Keyword dumplings
For the last couple of years, I’ve been obsessed with leftover bread recipes for some reason and I’ve been looking for an excuse to make semmelknödel which are made up of leftover rolls. I had picked up some day-old rolls at the bakery, had them for dinner one night and then I made them into dumplings the next.
I had leftover roast so I sautéd that up with red cabbage, some apples, caraway, and onions and served the bread dumplings on the side. I think traditionally you’d serve them with gravy but I thought they were fine on their own.

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