Start to Finish: 25 to 30 minutes
Servings: 4 to 6
Difficulty Level: Beginner

You can mix up your own batch of pillowy dumplings with minimal ingredients and minimal time. Whether you choose to cook the dumplings right in the broth of your soup or stew — reminiscent of chicken and dumplings — or boil them to tender perfection before tossing them with butter, serve these rich homemade dumplings anytime you need a dose of cozy, comforting goodness alongside your main dish. This dumpling recipe is adapted from Yankee magazine.

  • 2 whole eggs
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon table salt

  • Water

Tips

For less richness and a lighter dumpling dough, swap the buttermilk and butter for 1/2 cup vegetable oil and 3/4 cup water.

Beat the eggs lightly before adding the melted butter and buttermilk in a small- to medium-size bowl. Whisk the ingredients together until the mixture is lightly frothy.

Sift the flour and baking power into a large separate bowl. Stir the salt into the mixture.

Add the egg mixture to the bowl of flour and stir it until it begins coming together. At this point, it should look relatively shaggy.

Tips

Alternatively, you can skip rolling the dough out and just drop your dumpling dough into a simmering soup or stew.

Flour a wooden board or countertop and turn the dough out onto the floured surface. Use your hand to divide the dough in half.

Roll the first half of the dough into a thin rectangle, approximately 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick.

Slice the rolled-out dough into strips that are approximately 1/2 inch wide. Cut those strips crosswise into 4-inch pieces.

Repeat the rolling and cutting process with the second half of the dough.

Fill a large saucepan or pot with water. Bring it to a boil over medium-high heat.

Drop the cut dumpling pieces into the boiling pot. Turn the heat to medium-low and simmer the dumplings, uncovered, for approximately 20 minutes, or until they are tender.

Drain the dumplings, return them to the saucepan and toss them with butter.

Like buttered rice or potatoes, simply buttered dumplings make a tasty side for a variety of dishes. When you want to jazz up your dumplings, however, you can choose from several variations, including the following:

  • Herbed dumplings: Before rolling out the dough or dropping it into boiling liquid, stir in approximately 1/2 cup of minced fresh herbs such as parsley, chives, thyme, basil or oregano.
  • Tamale dumplings: Instead of using all-purpose flour, use finely ground masa harina cornmeal. Add a pinch of cumin and chili powder for Southwestern flair.  Drop this flavorful dough into soups such as Mexican wedding soup, or into Southwestern-style stews.
  • Crispy dumplings: After draining the dumplings, heat some butter or oil in a heavy-bottomed skillet. Saute the dumplings in batches to avoid overcrowding the pan. Cook them until they’re lightly golden and crisp. Serve them with sauteed onions and crispy bacon bits.