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in the kitchen with: susanne schanz kropp’s dumplings

by Kristina Gill

Just recently, I saw a tweet from a friend who is looking forward to morel mushroom season. As such, I thought this week’s In the Kitchen With would be the perfect time to offer up a traditional Austrian recipe for bread dumplings (semmelknoedel) with mushroom sauce by photographer Susanne Schanz Kropp. It isn’t made with morels but is easily adapted to whatever mushrooms are in season. The recipe makes seven dumplings but serves three, so who gets to eat the seventh dumpling? Or will you save it for yourself until the next day as Susanne does? Do tell! — Kristina

About Susanne: Photographer Susanne Schanz Kropp got her start in the creative world as a location scout for film, television and advertising in Vienna in 2003. From there she went on to set design and props and finished her university degree in film and media studies. Since 2005, she has worked as a freelance food, interior and lifestyle photographer in Cologne, Germany. She is represented by Stockfood. You can find her blog, which she styles and shoots herself, here. Her portfolio is here.

CLICK HERE for the full recipe after the jump!

Semmelknoedel with Mushroom Sauce
Makes seven pieces, for three people

  • 250 g (8.9 oz) dry white bread, cut in cubes
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 50 g (1/3 cup) flour
  • 250 ml (1 cup) milk
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 3 stems of flat parsley, coarsely chopped
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • olive oil


1. Place the bread cubes in a large bowl. Heat olive oil in a medium pan, add the onions and stir until they get soft and golden. Add the onions to the bread cubes.

2. Now do the same with the parsley. Then gently heat the milk in a small saucepan, but don’t let it boil!

3. Mix in the beaten egg and pour both over the bread mixture. Add the salt and the flour and knead it by hand until everything is mixed. If the mixture is too moist, add some flour; if it’s too dry, add some liquid.

4. Form seven small knoedel, put them in salted cooking water and let them simmer for 10 to 15 minutes.

Mushroom Sauce

  • 300 g (10.7 oz) mushrooms (champignons)
  • 100 g (3.5 oz) king trumpet (kraeuterseitlinge)
  • 50 g (1.7 oz) shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 50 ml (1/4 cup) white wine
  • 100 ml (1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon) heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon flat parsley, chopped
  • salt
  • fresh-ground white pepper
  • olive oil


1. Wipe mushrooms clean with a damp kitchen towel. Never wash the mushrooms; they get soaked with water and lose flavor. Cut them into slices.

2. Heat oil in a large saucepan, add the chopped onions and gently fry over heat until they get soft. Add the mushrooms and cook for a few minutes. Be sure that all mushroom slices have contact with the pan bottom. Otherwise liquid escapes, and the mushrooms get more cooked than fried.

3. Dust the mushrooms with flour, pour in the white wine and bring all to a boil. Reduce the heat and stir in the heavy cream. Add the parsley and season with salt and pepper.

Why Susanne Chose This Recipe
I love Austrian cuisine — being inspired by my Austrian mother from an early age on, I developed a love for food and cooking. This is one of my favorite dishes, which is served in Bavaria (where my father is from) as much as in Austria. It is originally made with chanterelles. I adapted the original recipe, using white wine and a mixture of mushrooms. But you can use any kind of mushroom. Normally I make more knoedel as needed for the dish, so I can eat them the next day stir-fried with scrambled eggs. Like my mother did when we were kids. So easy, so good!

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  • oh, this makes me miss one of my favorite restaurants, cafe steinhof, in brooklyn. now that i love so far away i will have to try it myself! looks delicious!

  • Hello everyone! Thanks for all the nice comments!

    Hello Kimberley, cilantro is a really strong tasting herb. What about trying with dried herbs? Last option: Try without herbs. Although there will be something missing compared to the original, it will still taste wonderful !

  • This looks spectacular. My boyfriend speaks of his non-vegetarian days longingly and often mentions dumplings in the lament. These lovelies should temper the temptation. We’re definitely making these soon. Thanks for sharing!

  • I couldn’t stand it. This was exactly what I was looking for in a meal today, so I made an attempt for supper tonight. They definitely weren’t as beautiful as the photos, and now I understand how the meal comes together. However it was still incredibly delicious and comforting. Thank you so much for this, I plan to make it for more special meals in the future. A nap was required after!

  • Hi Cathal, I’m so sorry, but I don’t calculated the nutritional information for the recipe. Actually I never do. I don’t know for what you need it, but if you just want to eat less fat, substitute the wine by water and the heavy cream by sour cream or joghurt. If you use joghurt don’t let cook to long, it will coagulate. Have fun cooking!

  • Thank you, Susanne! I wanted to make it for my girlfriend as a surprise but she is on a specific number calorie diet and I wouldn’t want to ruin it for her. I will try the substitutions you mentioned and hopefully it will smell too good for her to question.

  • Thank you all for your kind and warm comments! They really made my weekend having such a bad old, lying in bed most of the time. I’m longing for warm weather and spring so badly, can’t tell. So the response here on designsponge cheered me up a lot!

  • This looks spectacular. My boyfriend speaks of his non-vegetarian days longingly and often mentions dumplings in the lament. These lovelies should temper the temptation. We’re definitely making these soon. Thanks for sharing..

  • I was at a party yesterday and the host was saying that he likes to make semmelknoedel and that they are delicious. So now I have a recipe! Thanks.

  • Made this for dinner tonight, probably with a bit more cream and a few more mushrooms than called for. We also divvied up the dough into 6 dumplings instead of seven (we were hungry!). It certainly didn’t make for a light dinner (pretty carb-heavy), but it was delicious. The mushroom sauce is a definite keeper. I see it doing well with a nice bed of eggy noodles.

  • thanks for sharing the recipe! made it last night and seemed to have very wet dough – added flour but I must have done something wrong since shaping the dumplings was pretty messy – am I way off or is that somewhat normal?

  • Hello marydougherty! I’m sorry that the recipe didn’t work out the right way but normally the milk will be totally soaked by the dry (!) bread cubes. My dough normally is lightly to dry and I have to add milk. So the problem the dough being to wet never happend to me. Now I can only guess what might have went wrong: Did you maybe use fresh bread?

  • These are beautiful, and exactly what I was looking to make for tonite and I didn’t even know it! Thank you!

  • My grandmother made these for a special Sunday dinner with gravy made from two roasts, one veal, one pork. They were served with a big platter of Brussels sprouts. My late father loved slicing and frying the leftovers in butter the next day. Thanks for bringing back some good memories. btw, her parents were Bavarian.

    • YES we fried them brown and threw eggs[ beaten] over them sometimes with crumbled bacon…great breakfast and we made extra to make sure we had some leftover to fry up for breakfast.