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I have a new blog/video addiction – James Townsend and Sons which is a copy that sells replicas of 18th century items.  They have a series on 18th century cooking.  It’s so fun to watch the videos.  When they did Norfolk Dumplings, I knew I had an experiment in the making.

Norfolk dumpling are a simple batter cooked by boiling.  In the video, they use water to boil the dumplings but I realized that this recipe could give me what I’ve always wanted.  I love chicken and dumplings, well if I am honest – I love the dumplings.  I just never realized I could have them without all that extra stuff.

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Since I can’t have eggs, I made my dumplings with flour and milk.  I wanted a true method that I could follow so I started with a 1:1 ratio (1 cup flour to 1 cup milk).

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After adding just a bit over half of my milk, I realized that the ratio is more 2:1.  It’s not a true 2:1.  I’ve made these dumplings three times now and the last time, I used exactly half the liquid to the flour and the dough was too dry.  In adding more liquid, I over mixed the batter and tough dumplings.
So err on the side of caution and add just a touch too much liquid.  The dumplings will survive if the batter is too wet.  Make sure to stir until the batter just comes together.  Being lumpy is not a crime.

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Let the batter sit for about 5 minutes (more is okay).

Meanwhile here comes where I did something different.  I boiled a quart of homemade turkey stock instead of water.

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Because this is not a huge pot of boiling water, the number of dumplings I could make at one time was about 4 – 6 depending on the size of the dumplings.  I cooked them for 2 minutes before pulling them out with my fancy straining ladle thing that I think is called a spider (don’t ask me why, I didn’t name it).  You could use a large slotted spoon.

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We added butter to our first batch of dumplings and then ladled on some broth.  This has easily become our favorite Sunday dish.

I didn’t salt my dumplings because I added salt to the broth.  This first batch could have used a bit more salt but it was tasty.

My second batch I went with a broth made from bouillon.  Because I didn’t add salt to the batter before, I added some here.  Wow it was salty.

So this is what I learned – if you use a salty broth, do not salt the batter.  A more bland broth, add salt to the batter and a little to the broth.

It’s not perfected yet but we are enjoying them.  It’s a nice brunch sort of meal.  It doesn’t take as much work as it feels.  I was able to make 2 big batches for a late breakfast in about 10 minutes.  I serve it like soup because that’s what I like.

Now we need to make more stock because there really wasn’t enough in the house to support the dumpling habit we want to have.

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