Recipe Fool proof Dumplings

SatNavSaysStraightOn

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I 'devised' this recipe whilst on a world cycle tour, looking for something that I could add to a 'one pot stew' on a trangia (methylated spirits stove). It became an instant success and still gets used at home. It does not need the usual beef or veg suet and never fails to rise if you make the dumplings small enough and that is the key. It is a cross between a cobbler & a traditional dumpling recipe and is not that far away from being a scone either... best of all worlds.

Ingredients.
8oz self raising flour
1 teaspoon of baking powder
upto 1/2 teaspoon of salt
2oz fat (I use a vegan soya margerine, but it works equally as well with butter)
up to 2 teaspoons of herbs & spices
1 egg (omit if vegan)
milk (soya/nut/dairy as desired) to bind.

Herbs & Spices - use what is suitable for the recipe. We normally use 1tsp of mixed herbs & 1tsp of paprika, but if your recipe has other flavours, match the dumplings to those. Fresh herbs can also be used and work well, just add more of them.

Method
Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl, and add the fat (softening it will help if needed) intil the mixture resembles bread crumbs and there are no visible fat lumps left.
beat an egg with a touch of milk (to make 1/4pt of fluid) and add slowly to the mixture until it resembles a soft dough. If needed use more milk. It should be soft and easy to pull pieces off with floured hands.

Now the fun bit. And this is where most people go wrong with dumplings - they try to make them too big. Break off bits of the dough and make small balls from them pinching their middles almost through as though they are donuts. Floured hands are essential. You are aiming for something around a 2p or 10p piece size, certainly not a 50p piece. They expand considerably on cooking.

Cooking
Ensure that whatever stew/soup or other one pot meal you are making has ample stock available and when it is 10 mins from being cooked, add the dumplings and put a lid over them. Try to submerge the dumplings initally, but once they are cooking, don't disturb them. Serve immediately.

We usually find that the dumplings take over from bread, and usually eat all the dumplings adding fresh the next time we re-heat the pot.

Freezing
Often the mixture makes more dumplings that the meal requires. Just wrap the extra dough in clingfilm and freeze. Defrost before use and add to stew as needed. Just remember what herbs & spices you used and match to the meal.

Cheese
I can't have any dairy in my diet, but I have made this recipe for others who can and you can easily add around 2oz of a hard tasty grated cheddar to the recipe, after the breadcrumbing, but before the egg/milk which adds a nice touch, so I am told.
 
I make dumplins every week but I only use flour, salt and water, adding herbs is new to me but l'd like to try it:)
 
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