March Cookoff – German Bread Dumplings

Have you ever played Cooking Mama? For those who haven’t, it is a cooking game for the Nintendo consoles and is really quite entertaining. When you fail, ‘mama’ gets all fired up and will say “don’t worry, Mama will fix it” or something akin.

And do you remember the monthly cookoffs? There was a reason why I picked the fired up ‘mama’ as my mascot on the banner as the cookoff was meant to challenge us and push us out of our comfort zone. And well…. it did.

For the month of march, the theme was German. I was still in a dumplings loving phase so when I came across German Bread Dumplings (otherwise known as Semmelknoedel) I felt like I had struck gold. Well……

The recipe came from Tasty German and it sounded simple enough.

450g white bread or rolls from the day before
170ml milk
3 eggs
salt and freshly ground pepper
freshly grated nutmeg
1 dessert spoon fresh parsley leaves

Slice the bread or rolls into very thin slices. Place into a large bowl. Heat the milk until boiling and remove from heat. Beat the eggs and then mix with the milk, salt, pepper and pinch of nutmeg. Pour the egg and milk mixture over the stale bread. Cover and leave to rest for a few minutes.

Mix the parsley leaves into the egg and bread mixture and with damp hands form 8 dumplings out of the mixture. The dumplings should be firm in your hands and quite sticky so that they don’t fall apart in the boiling water. In a very large pan bring salted water to the boil. Place the dumplings in the scalding water and simmer for 15-20 minutes.

It started well enough:

I got my photos as we worked through the steps:
And added onions as another recipe had suggested onions which I thought would be a nice addition.

And then we added the liquid mixture to the bread.

It was then, I started getting the first hint of trouble. I had forgotten that I really really really dislike the smell of soggy bread. And boy did this reek of it. I was trying so desperately not to gag! Not cool.

Of course like a good soldier, I pushed that aside and march right on. And what do you know, there was way too much liquid in the mixture and the dumplings wouldn’t form! It wouldn’t stick, wouldn’t stay in a ball shape and nothing I did would coax it into being dumplings. Oh yuck.

So in a desperate attempt, I added flour to hopefully dry out the liquid and encourage the foul mixture to stick together. And it didn’t work. I tried everything I could think of but nothing worked. Oh this failed so terribly I’m shuddering just thinking about it. I’ve never had quite an epic failure in cooking before, so this was a huge blow to my ego. And most definitely this was one failure ‘Mama’ wouldn’t be able to fix.

I ended up throwing the whole lot out. It looked like vomit anyways.

Needless to say, I failed the March Cookoff, the mains course anyways. So why did I decide to blog about this?

Because we can all learn from our mistakes. There is always room to grow, and my food blog is not just a shiny shrine for me to post my successes. On this road and quest towards better food and healthier lifestyles, there will always be bumps and falls and by realising what they are, we grow from it.

I hope I haven’t disgusted you too much, but I know this much. I will get this recipe right. One day.

Have you had any cooking failures? I’d love for you to share your stories!


  1. oh no! oh well – we live and learn right?!
    .-= Lisa (bakebikeblog)´s last blog ..Coast lovin’ =-.

  2. Oh what a shame! I do like Knodel dumplings but yes the first time I made them they didn’t work out so you’re defnitely not alone there!
    .-= Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella´s last blog ..Zebra Cheesecake =-.

  3. Oh dear, I’ve had a few cooking mishaps myself! I once mistook this bitter Chinese green vegetable (I don’t know the name of it but found it in Mum’s fridge) for gai larn (Chinese broccoli) and used it in a stir-fried rice noodle dish. It smelt great but the bitterness of the vegetable ruined all my efforts :(
    .-= Jen´s last blog ..MoVida Next Door, Melbourne =-.

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