Steamed Dumpling (Parená Knedľa) recipe (2024)



Ingredients: 500g of flour (whole wheat or all-purpose), 0.25L of milk, 1 egg, packet of yeast, 1 teaspoon of sugar, few teaspoons of salt, few days old French bread
Prep time: 3 hours (includes about 2 hours to let the dough rise)

One of the unique staples of Slovak and Czech kitchens is not a dish, but a side. There are several dishes that are traditionally served not with the standard helping of rice or potatoes, but with a dumpling. Now, this isn’t your typical dumpling. It isn’t a round ball filled with some meats or vegetables. Instead, it is the size of a large loaf of bread. It is sliced, just like a bread would be, and maybe 4 or 5 slices will be served with your meal.

This dumpling is called parená knedľa (steamed dumpling). Sometimes it’s also referred to as the kysnutá knedľa (leavened dumpling). It is commonly served with saucy dishes – such as various goulashes or stuffed peppers. It is a great combination! You cut the dumpling into small, bite-size pieces and use them to soak up the juice. In this recipe, I show you how to prepare the dumpling. It’s not very difficult, but there are few tricky steps along the way. Just make sure to follow the steps and you will be fine.

Take little bit of milk (mlieko), and heat it up in the microwave for about 10 seconds so it’s lukewarm. Add one teaspoon of sugar (cukor) and a packet of yeast (droždie). Whisk well to aerate the concoction and let sit for about 10 minutes. The yeast will rise.

In a pot, combine about 500g of flour (múka), one egg (vajce), few dashes of salt (soľ), the yeast mixture and about 0.2L of room temperature milk. You don’t want the milk to be too cold, otherwise the yeast may stop working. Stir everything together, and knead for about 10 minutes. You want the dough to be smooth, and non-sticky. You should be able to remove the wooden spoon without the dough sticking to it. Simply add more flour if you need to make it less sticky.

Next take a slice of stale, few days-old white bread (biely chlieb), and cut it into small cubes. Gently mix it in. From my own observation, adding bread is much more common in the Czech republic. Dumplings in Slovakia are often made without it. Feel free to skip this step.

Cover the pot with some cloth and let sit for about 2 hours. Or, if your pot is on the smaller side (like mine was), until the dough starts getting dangerously close to the top, which took only about an hour.

Dust a wooden board with flour and form the dough into two loafs. The dumplings will approximately double in size when you cook them. Keep this in mind, if you don’t have a very large pot. Cover by a cloth, and let sit for another 20 minutes.

Bring salted water to boil in a large pot. Make sure you have a lid for this pot. Being single, my kitchen contains just two pots. The big one is not really big at all, so I had to cook the dumplings one at a time. Luckily Slovak cooking requires very little kitchen equipment! Hopefully your pot is bigger so you can cook both dumplings at once. Anyway, once the water is boiling, carefully place the dumpling in the pot. It should float. If it doesn’t, take a ladle and scoop to the top. Cover immediately. Reduce the heat so the pot doesn’t boil over, but make sure the water stays boiling. You want the steam – the dumpling actually cooks from the hot steam. So for this reason, make sure not to open the lid until done. This is very important! Otherwise, the dumpling won’t come out puffy. Cook for 18 minutes. Use a ladle, or two coffee plates to remove the dumpling.

Steamed Dumpling (Parená Knedľa) recipe (13) Steamed Dumpling (Parená Knedľa) recipe (14)
Poke the dumpling in couple places with a fork to let the steam out. Then, take a sewing thread (or a dental floss), and use it to slice the dumpling. Supposedly there are dedicated dumpling slicers, but this is so much easier!

And there you have it. For a delicious meal to go with a knedla, try the Segedin goulash.

Update March 15, 2010

So what if you want to make the knedľa right, and completely steam it? The method I outlined above works great, but the bottom of the dumpling will get little soggy (although it will dry in the fridge). To keep this from happening, steam the entire dumpling. The traditional way of doing this is by pouring water into a large pot, covering the top with a clean cloth, and securing the cloth by tying a string around the circumference of the pot. Bring the water to boil. Then place the dumpling on this cloth and cover by another, equally large pot (or a tall lid if you happen to have one). Make sure there is enough water in the pot for the 20 minute steam bath. This process is identical to how my grandma steamed sweet dumplings (buchty na pare).

That’s all great, but what if you don’t happen to have two large pots, a clean cloth, or a string? Or in other words, what if you want to use some modern advances in cooking technology? Well, you already have all you need if you happen to have one of the combo steam pots shown below. I found this blue one in the kitchen of the house where I am currently staying, and it made making knedľa so much easier! The only small issue that popped up was that this pot was fairly small in diameter, resulting in the dumpling expanding mostly sideways. The final dumpling was no longer than a small ear of corn.

This type of a double-steam pot makes making these dumplings so much easier! Add enough water to the pot, bring to boil, place dumpling in the basket, cover the lid and steam for about 20 minutes.

Now, let’s talk about re-heating a steamed dumpling. How do you properly reheat a knedľa? The dumplings tend to get dry in the fridge (keep them tightly wrapped in paper or shrink wrap), so before placing them in a microwave, lightly sprinkle water over them. The resulting steam will soften the dumplings. Reheat for about 20 seconds. Enjoy with Hungarian goulash or any other stew.

Steamed Dumpling (Parená Knedľa) recipe (2024)


What is the secret to perfect dumplings? ›

Don't overmix the dough: Overmixing activates gluten, resulting in tough dumplings. Mix just until the ingredients come together. Use leavening agents: Baking powder, baking soda, or self-rising flour can add air pockets for fluffiness. Cook gently: Avoid harsh boiling or frying, as it can toughen the dumplings.

How to steam cook dumplings? ›

Add your dumplings, then set the steamer on top of a wok or a saucepan that just fits underneath it filled with about one inch of water. Cover the steamer and bring the water to a hard boil. Steam the dumplings until cooked through, about 10 minutes if going directly from the freezer.

What are steamed dumplings made of? ›

The dough for steamed dumplings is typically made from wheat flour, water, and sometimes eggs. The filling can be made from a variety of meats such as chicken, beef, or pork, and vegetables like cabbage, carrots, and mushrooms, mixed with spices to enhance flavor.

What flour is best for making dumplings? ›

For dumplings, 🌾 all-purpose flour 🌾 is typically the best type to use. It has a moderate protein content, which gives the dumplings a tender and soft texture. 🍴 If you want a slightly denser dumpling, you can use 🌾 cake flour 🌾 or 🌾 self-rising flour 🌾, which have lower protein contents.

How many minutes do you steam dumplings? ›

Bring the water in your steamer/wok to a boil. Place the dumplings about 1-inch apart, giving them some room to expand. Once boiling, place the dumplings in, cover, and steam on medium to medium high heat for 8-10 minutes. The water should be simmering enough to generate steam.

How to stop dumplings from sticking to steamer? ›

You can steam dumplings in 8-10 minutes. To prevent your dumplings from sticking to your steamer, brush oil directly onto the base of your steamer and the base of dumplings, place your dumplings on lettuce leaves, or line your steamer with baking paper with small holes cut out to allow steam to come through.

Is it better to steam or boil dumplings? ›

Steaming is quicker than boiling, but you'll need a bamboo steamer. This cooking method yields dumplings with a silky wrapper that is firmer and more stretchy than boiled ones. Steaming works well with most types of dumplings, from har gow to bao zi.

How to cook dumplings on a stove? ›

Working in batches, add dumplings in a single layer and cook until bottoms begin to brown, about 30 seconds. Add 1/2 cup water, cover and cook for 3 minutes; uncover and cook until the liquid has evaporated completely and the bottoms are crisp and golden brown, about 2 more minutes.

Do you cook dumplings with the lid on or off? ›

Bring Water To Boil and Cover

Once your water comes to a boil, reduce the heat to medium or medium-low. You want a gentle boil that won't disturb your dumplings as they steam. Make sure you cover them! This allows for as much steam as possible so that your dumplings can definitely get cooked.

How to know when dumplings are done steaming? ›

  1. no need to thaw frozen dumplings.
  2. Just add them to your pot of boiling water and once they start floating, add 1 cup of cold water to slow them down.
  3. Bring the water back to a boil and as soon as they start floating to the top, add another cup of cold water.
  4. Again, when they start to float they should be done.
Jul 27, 2015

What are the 3 components of dumplings? ›

What are dumplings made of? The dumpling dough is made of three main ingredients: flour, water and salt. But which flour you use depends on which dumpling you want to make.

Is steamed dumplings good for you? ›

Steamed or boiled dumplings are healthy options, but do not forget about your fillings and serving sizes as well. One of the more popular options when it comes to dumplings are meat filled ones. Now there are many options of dumplings especially when it comes to fillings and how they are cooked.

What's the difference between potstickers and steamed dumplings? ›

Unlike dumplings, potstickers are made with a thin wrapper, sometimes referred to as a dumpling skin. This is because they are steam fried to get a crispy golden bottom layer and to ensure that the filling is juicy and delicious.

Why are my dumplings hard and not fluffy? ›

Don't Overwork the Dumpling Dough

Stir everything together until the wet and dry ingredients are combined and you don't see any more dry flour. The dough might look a little lumpy, but that's okay! Overworking the dough is one of the easiest ways to end up with tough dumplings.

Do you cook dumplings with the lid on or the lid off? ›

Once your water is boiling, let your dumplings cook in the steam for about ten minutes. Don't remove the lid as letting the steam escape will disrupt the cooking process and result in undercooked dumplings, so keep that lid on!

What keeps dumplings from falling apart? ›

Don't boil or stir the dumplings.

Vigorous boiling and stirring will cause the dumplings to fall apart.


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