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Dumplings made of day-old pretzels and bound with egg are common in Germany; they're a delicious way to use up stale bread and are great to serve alongside Roasted Goose Legs, soaking up gravy on the plate. Food & Wine editor Melanie Hansche's version, an homage to the flavors of her hometown of Garmisch-Partenkirchen in Bavaria, uses pretzel rolls, which she leaves out on the kitchen counter, uncovered, overnight. If you can't source pretzel rolls, any plain bread rolls will do. You can make the dumplings the day before and refrigerate overnight before simmering them to serve. It's not traditional to make them with mustard, but Hansche likes to add some to hers: "It's a such a lovely bedfellow with pretzels!" she says. These dumplings can be made 1 day ahead; just cover and chill until you are ready to cook them.

December 2021 / January 2022


Credit: Greg DuPree

Recipe Summary

40 mins
1 hr


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Microwave milk in a large microwavable bowl on high until hot, about 1 minute. Add pretzel roll slices; toss to evenly coat and absorb milk. Let soak 15 minutes.

  • Meanwhile, melt butter in a small skillet over medium. Add onion, and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat, and let cool 10 minutes.

  • Using your hands, break up bread in bowl into smaller pieces. Add onion mixture, eggs, parsley, mustard, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Mix thoroughly using your hands to combine, kneading to form a sticky mixture. Divide mixture evenly into 8 (about 2 1/4-inch) balls (about 3 5/8 ounces each), and place on a large plate. (Dough will be wet and sticky but will hold its shape.)

  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over medium-high. Using a slotted spoon or a spider, gently lower dumplings into boiling water. Reduce heat to medium; simmer, turning dumplings occasionally, until dumplings are fluffy and a thermometer inserted into thickest portion registers 185°F, about 20 minutes. Remove dumplings from water using a slotted spoon. Serve warm.

Make ahead

Dumplings can be prepared through step 3 and stored overnight in an airtight container in refrigerator.