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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.