If you wouldn’t dare making Semmelknödel because you worry about having them disintegrate while cooking, this is the perfect recipe for you. It’s a Knödel cooked in a dish towel which will make sure that nothing falls apart. This type of Knödel was considered quite fancy in the 18th century, served as a side at weddings to the upper class. It still is - my grandma used to make it on the 2nd Christmas day accompanying her famous pig-goose. Her name was Hilde, but I have always called her Oma Ludwigsburg. 

  • 10 small rolls or 4 pieces of baguette
  • one cup of whole milk, warm
  • 2 eggs
  • one onion, finely minced
  • one bunch of flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of clarified butter
  • salt and pepper
  • a teaspoon of flour

Cut the rolls or the baguette into cubes a couple of days ahead and let the bread dry out on a baking sheet. Transfer the bread into a large mixing bowl and pour the warm milk over the bread. Let sit until the bread is soft and the milk has absorbed, about 20 minutes. 

Melt the clarified butter in a heavy pan and sauté the onion until it is translucent, not browned. Then add the parsley and let it wilt. Allow this mixture to cool before adding it to the bread, together with the eggs and a generous amount of salt and pepper. Knead the bread mixture with your hands to form a lumpy dough. If there are still some hard bits of bread in the mixture, let it sit for another 10 minutes for the bread to soften. If the mixture feels too soft, you can add a teaspoon of flour. 

Fill a large heavy stock pot, that has a lid, with salted water and bring the water to a boil. Reduce the heat to a low simmer. You will need a very clean cotton cloth that does not smell of detergent or perfume in any way, plus some cotton kitchen twine. Soak the cloth in water and spread it onto your work surface. Place the bread mixture in the center of the cloth, forming a long loaf that is about 3" thick. Snugly wrap the cloth around the bread mixture, rolling it up. Then pinch and tie the ends closed as well as pinching and tying the center together as if you were making two links of a large sausage. You could, of course, also use two cotton cloths and form two separate Knödel sausages.

Place the Knödel into the simmering water, setting the lid ajar and simmer for 40 minutes. Do not let the water come to a rapid boil and make sure that the Knödel does not touch the bottom of the pot.  

When the time is up, carefully remove the Knödel from the water and unwrap it. Let it sit for about 5 minutes, then cut it into slices with a sharp knife. 

Serve with Sauerbraten, roasted goose, or a mushroom ragout. Leftovers can be fried crispy brown in a bit of butter the next day and served with a big salad. 

PUBLISHED ON NOV. 14th, 2014

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