Tyrolean Cheese and Bread Dumplings

Tyrolean Cheese Dumplings

A traditional Tyrolean dumpling is one of the nicest things that can happen to white bread! Mixed with eggs and milk, enhanced with spices, herbs or bacon and finally poached in salted water, the bread turns into delicious little dumplings. Together with roast meat they are the ultimate mountain dish, their spongy texture is perfect to soak up the juices and gravy. They are usually cooked in big batches so that the leftovers can be sliced and fried in butter till golden and crisp.

Sometimes I just skip the first meal, the meat and the gravy and I fry the dumplings right away, filled with aromatic cheese like a strong, ripe mountain cheese, a Tyrolean grey cheese or Swiss raclette. You could also mix all the cheese leftovers which you find in your fridge, I do that sometimes and it can create some interesting results. This time I went for a ripe Swiss cheese, strong without being overpowering and it melted into the bread perfectly. I didn’t wait until the next day to fry them, I just let the cooked dumplings dry on a wire rack for about half an hour before I threw them in hot butter and oil. Sometimes, the leftover meal is at least as good as the main!

Tyrolean Cheese Dumplings

Tyrolean Cheese and Bread Dumplings

For 3-4 people you need

white bread or buns, cut into 1 x 1cm / 1/2 x 1/2″ cubes, 350g / 12.5 ounces
milk 250ml / 8.5 ounces
organic eggs 4
plain flour 130g / 4.5 ounces plus more if the mixture is too moist
salt 2 teaspoons
hard mountain cheese (like Appenzeller, Gruyère or Raclette), finely chopped, 100g / 3.5 ounces
medium sized onion, finely chopped, 1
butter for frying
olive oil for frying
salt and black pepper
chives, snipped, a small bunch

In a large pot, bring lots of salted water to a boil.

Fry the onion in a little butter for a few minutes till golden and soft. In a large bowl, mix the bread, fried onions, cheese and chives, leave a few tablespoons for topping. Whisk the milk with the eggs, salt and pepper and pour over the bread. Add the flour, mix with a spoon or your hands. The mixture will be sticky but shouldn’t be runny, the dumplings should keep their shape. Add a little more flour if it’s too soft. Fill a little bowl with water, wet your clean fingers and form the dumplings into long egg shapes (you need around a heaped tablespoon of the mixture). If you wet you fingers once in a while the mixture won’t stick to your hands and it will be easier to form the dumplings.

Simmer the dumplings, in batches on a medium-low heat for about 12 minutes. Take one out with a slotted ladle to check if they are done. Let them dry and cool on a wire rack before you cut them in half (lengthwise) and fry them in a splash of olive oil and around 2 tablespoons of butter on medium temperature till golden brown and crisp on both sides. Season with salt and pepper to taste and sprinkle with chives.

Tyrolean Cheese Dumplings