Goodcookbecky's Blog

Letting the juices of life (or food) drip from my chin!

Semmelknödel – Austrian Bread Dumplings with Bacon


Here is another favorite from my childhood.  Any time we ate out at an Austrian restaurant and I could order these, I would.  They were my absolute favorite food growing up.  I still make them a few times a year, but my children do not care for them as I did.  They are great with a rich mushroom gravy.  If ever you are in Austria a tip of manners: cutting them with a knife is an insult to the cook — these should always be tender enough to cut with a fork.

Semmel are Austrian rolls that look like Kaiser Rolls, but in Austria the texture is similar to a french baguette, not soft like the Kaiser rolls common in the United States.

Semmelknödel – Austrian Cookbook/Becky

  • 1 French Baguette (they are the closest thing to the Austrian semmel and one baguette equals about 5 semmel)
  • Baking fat — optional
  • 1/4 cup fresh Parsley, minced
  • 1/2 cup Onion   — finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup Flour  — or more
  • 8 ounces Bacon — diced
  • Salt — to taste plus for water
  • 2    large    Eggs  — lightly beaten
  • 3/4    cups    Milk

Cut bacon and bread into cubes.  Cook bacon and onion in fat until cooked.  Remove bacon and roast the bread cubes in remaining fat, a little at a time until toasted (I have also toasted the bread cubes in the oven until they were dry but not browned and had good success).  In a separate bowl, combine egg and milk.  Combine bread, parsley, cooked onions and bacon together.  Mix the flour into the toasted bread cubes.  Gently mix milk mixture into bread.  Form fist- size dumplings.  Roll dumplings in flour and form again to make them into solid fist-sized balls of bread. I find they hold together better if I refrigerate them for at least an hour before cooking them.   Boil salted water and cook dumplings in water for 10-15 minutes.  Serve with gulash or mushroom gravy.

Be sure to check up my tutorial for Semmelknödel re-blogged 08/2016.

Recipe Notes
I found this in an Austrian cookbook and then I translated the measurements into US from metric.

If the Semmelknödel fall apart in the water you can still rescue them — use a slotted spoon and remove the bits and pieces, put them in foil and wrap them like a log in the foil.  Then proceed cooking it in the foil in boiling water for 20-25 minutes.  This would be called Serviettenknödel (napkin dumplings). The taste will still be the same!

A little humor: my German Shepherd Dog’s name is Kaiser.. and since I was talking about Kaiser Rolls (Semmel) I wanted to show: Kaiser roll!

Printable Recipe


Author: goodcookbecky

I am a home school mom of three wonderful kids. I have been married for over 20 years and am still in love. I love to cook, as a young child I enjoyed spending time with my mom in the kitchen and that love has grown into a passion. I started this blog to share my favorite recipes with friends and family and have enjoyed seeing it grow beyond those boundaries.

7 thoughts on “Semmelknödel – Austrian Bread Dumplings with Bacon

  1. Hey, I found your blog from Food Blog Forum and scrolling down I came across this. So excited about this recipe, we went to Austria last month and I’ve been wanting to make them since then! I will be trying them soon 🙂
    Didn’t know about the knife etiquette either, I must have offended many people…. 😛

    • Don’t get discouraged if they fall apart the first time you make them. It helps to have damp hands and really form them into tight balls like you are making a snowball to launch at your arch enemy. Sometimes rolling them in flour after wards keeps them from falling apart in the water during cooking. They are not the easiest to make, but they are easy to eat I promise! 🙂

  2. I have watched two different Viennese women make these. They form the mixture into a log and then wrap it in several layers of heavy plastic wrap that they have buttered and tie the ends closed and boil them. It keeps them from falling apart and becoming water logged. Then to serve them they slice them. They didn’t use an actual recipe, just knew how much of things to throw in.
    So thanks for your recipe! I’m making them today.

    • Yes, the Austrians know by texture when it is done.. and you do have to play with it at times, depending on humidity and so on, but I find this recipe works most of the time. It is from a cookbook I had when I had home ec in 7th grade in Austria. I still love to thumb through the well worn pages.

  3. Pingback: Semmelknödel – Austrian Bread Dumplings with Bacon – I Cook Different

  4. Pingback: Austrian Bread Dumplings 101 | Goodcookbecky's Blog

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