Cheese Bread Dumplings, better known as Pressknödel, is an Austrian regional Knödel dumpling variety.
Those are great comfort food and help you to use up stale bread.
What are Pressknödel?
Pressknödel are flattened cheese bread dumplings.
They are a specialty in the region of Tyrol, Austria, and South Tyrol, Italy.
The word Pressknödel means a pressed down dumpling (Knödel are dumplings).
These cheese bread "patties" are special because they are my winter comfort food.
Most visitors to Austria usually get to try them out as they are presented as soup dumplings with a clear soup.
Advantages making them
Yep, these dumplings taste so good that most of us get addicted to them but that's not the reason why they are so great.
The dumplings were created by peasants to use up leftover stale bread because back then people would not waste food.
The zero-waste, sustainable and eco-friendly diet (yep that's a thing!) is an advocate for dinner meals that reuse foods that are not necessarily spoiled but stale.
Your stale bread is cut into cubes or chunks and is turned into a wonderful dish, almost effortlessly.
How to make it?
Here is a rough outline of how you can make this one-pan cheese bread dumplings recipe from scratch.
The full recipe with ingredients and instructions can be found at the bottom of this post.
Sautee chopped onion soft in a pan with butter.
Combine the sauteed onion, cubed stale bread, milk, eggs, cheese and seasoning in a bowl.
Leave the mass to rest for at least 30 minutes and mix it all up again just before shaping.
Shape into same sized balls (not all too large).
Heat up a frying pan with butter or oil and wait for the oil to get hot enough.
Place a few dumplings into the pan and press them gently down. Don't overcrowd the pan.
Cook on both sides golden brown.
Traditionally these flat tyrolean dumplings are served with a clear soup.
I just love them with a green salad at the side.
Normally we serve them up for lunch or dinner but we always make some extra.
That way they can be enjoyed as a savory afternoon snack too.
Traditionally mountain cheese or beer cheese is used. You can choose any other well seasoned salty cheese. The cheese gives all the flavors to these bread patties, making cheese the main ingredient.
Stale white bread, such as bread rolls, are used to make these bread dumplings. You can use stale country-style bread too or the same cubed stale bread that you would use for a Thanksgiving holiday stuffing.
Yes, you can freeze these Knödel dumplings. Just prepare and shape them as per the recipe directions and place them on a sheet pan in the freezer. When hard frozen, take them out and place frozen into containers and back into the freezer until further use. To thaw keep in the fridge overnight or use the defrost function on your oven or microwave.
No, these are not German dumplings because these bread dumplings are a regional specialty from Austria. The North Italian region of South Tyrol shares this dumplings specialty with the Austrian North Tyrol region. South Tyrol was a gift to Italy by Hitler during the 2nd world war but was a part of Austria before that.
More Knödel Dumpling Recipes
- Semmelknödel (plain round bread dumplings)
- Bratknödel (with beef)
- Canederli North Italian dumplings recipe by disgracesonthemenu.com
- Marillenknödel (sweet apricot dumplings)
Cheese Bread Dumplings (Pressknödel) Recipe
- Heat up a pan with 1 tablespoon butter and sautee your onion soft. Take from heat when done and keep aside.
- Add to a large bowl the sauteed onion, stale bread cut in cubes, cheese, all-purpose flour, eggs, salt, black pepper, oregano or marjoram, and the milk.
- Mix it all with your hands to a semi-dry/wet mass. It should be able to stick together. If it's too wet or dry adjust by adding small quantities of flour, stale bread or milk.
- Leave the mass to rest for 30 minutes at least.
- Mix again the mass before shaping and then take some bread dumpling mass into your hand and shape into a tight sticking ball. Repeat the process with the remaining mass and keep the dumplings on a pan.
- Heat up the same pan from earlier with the remaining 1 tablespoon butter. Wait for it to get hot but don't get to smoking point.
- Take dumplings and press into the hot pan to create flattened dumplings. Fill up the pan but don't overcrowd. There should be enough space to turn the dumplings.
- Control the heat all the time and turn dumplings to cook on both sides golden crispy.
- Serve still hot. See serving suggestions in the post.
- You can use stale bread or you can buy prepared cubed stale bread, just like the one you would use for your thanksgiving stuffing.
- Pick a flavorful cheese of your choice. We use mountain cheese but something like a sharp cheddar is a good choice too.