How to Make Tender Dumplings
Soft and Fluffy Instead of Claggy Lumps That Even a Dog Wouldn't Eat
How to make perfect dumplings using a fail-proof recipe and a "magic" ingredient
Do you have a hankering for dumplings? Dumplings are the perfect accompaniment to stews and soups and somehow round out a meal. They are a nice change from bread and, of course, are served right from the bowl.
Dumplings take just minutes to throw together and add to a crock pot or pot of soup simmering on the stove. And they have an unmistakable flavor that goes so well with soups and stews.
Some cooks find, though, that their dumplings turn out claggy and heavy. And no matter what they try, this seems to be the norm. And they mistakenly think it may be the temperature. What is happening? Most often, it is not the temperature, nor whether the lid was lifted or not. You can make light non-claggy dumplings every time and this can be avoided by using the right ingredients.
Traditional dumpling recipes call for lard or shortening. While these may be suitable for biscuits, they are not the best choice for tender dumplings.
The trick is to use either soft margarine or butter, simply replacing the lard portion with butter or marg for much better results. if you do, you will be amazed at the results.
A Word About Lifting the Lid
Many cooks believe you can't lift the lid when making dumplings. Fiddlesticks! Tender dumplings have less to do with steam and more to do with ingredients.
Chicken and Dumplings
- 2 cups flour
- 4 tsp bakng powder
- 1/2-1 tsp salt
- 4 tbsp soft butter or margarine
- 1 cup milk
- Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl.
- Cut in butter that's been kept at room temperature or use soft margarine.
- Stir milk lightly into the flour mixture with a wooden spoon and adjust liquid amount to make sure that you have a moist dumpling dough.
Never boil your pot ingredients in order to cook your dumplings. This is the fastest way to burn your soup or stew and spoil your dinner.
Dumpling Cooking Tips
- Make sure your soup or stew is on a gentle simmer. The liquid does not have to be boiling to cook tender dumplings. Remember that pot temperature rises with the lid on and you don't want the contents to stick to the bottom and burn.
- Drop dumpling dough into the liquid by teaspoonfuls. There's no need to worry about shaping perfect dumplings because they will puff up as they cook. Cover your pot with a lid so that the dumplings can steam.
- Check your dumplings after 10 minutes. The old rule of thumb was "no peeking" but this makes no difference to the finished result. Use a knife to cut a slit in a dumpling and check inside. Cook until dumplings are no longer raw in the middle. They should be slightly moist and light.
Do not overcook dumplings. They may disintegrate if left to cook too long.
Like a little sweet with your meat?
Add the following ingredients to dumpling recipe:
- 1/2 cup of raisins
- 1 tsp chopped onion
- 1 tbsp. chopped pecans
Sweet Drop Dumplings
For spicy, sweet dumplings, add:
- 1/4 cup of raisins
- 1/4 cup of apples
- dash of cinnamon
Sweet Dumplings for Chicken or Turkey Dishes
Add peaches or mangos to Your dumpling recipe:
- 1/4 cup of raisins
- 1/4 cup of chopped peaches or mangos
Favorite Dumplings?See results without voting
Under the Hood
The next time you're wondering what to serve with that chicken soup or beef stew, why not pop some dumplings "under the hood" for hearty, down-home goodness?
My Favorite Quick breads
- Savory Turkey-Filled Biscuit Spirals
Turkey-filled biscuit spirals look as good as they taste. the flavor combo of turkey with a biscuit crust is hard to beat.
- Best Ever Biscuits
How do you make the best-ever biscuits? Learn the secrets to making delicious homemade biscuits that rise a mile high and are light and fluffy on the inside. Biscuit-making is an art that anyone can learn.
© 2013 Athlyn Green
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