The recipe is as easy as they come..
One cup of flour, 2 tsp of baking powder, a pinch of salt, 1 tsp of sugar (if you want) 1 tbsp. of cold butter or lard or tallow and half cup to 3-4th of a cup of cold whole milk.. its a tricky one, half a cup is not enough, and 3-4ths is to much but if you have to pick on, then go with 3-4th a cup..
Cut your butter with a knife into little pats, then blend it with your fingers in the same way I taught in regards to your pie dough mixing, or use a pastry cutter, your choice, DO NOT Mix this with a spoon!
Once rubbed in and all the above are mixed well together, then make a well in the center of your flour and add your milk
Mix together with a wooden type spoon till it comes together enough to clear the sides of the bowl.. Do not overmix, do not kneed, do not turn out onto a floured surface and work it.. REPEAT.. just till it comes together! I know, I know but its important.. 🙂
Then get two soup spoons or two tables spoons and cut it over into chunks..
After they are all done it should look something like this.. in the bowl.
Now we have tender balls of dough ready to put in our stew, but we need to talk about the stew and the stove for min.. So we need to have our stew in a lovely pot that is ideally great at keeping a steady simmer and that has a very nice tight fitting lid, We can have our pot anywhere from half to two thirds full but we need to have it no more.. otherwise, our dumplings will not have the required room to lift, puff and steam.
So play around before making dumplings and find out what setting you need for your stove and that pot in regards to a steady hard simmer, and by that I mean, you should be able to see the simmer breaking bubbles over the coils but not boiling the whole pot
Then and only then, do we lift each ball, give it a palm swirl to even it outs its edges and with our wood spoon, place it into the stew, it goes down and into the stew on a sideways slide off the spoon into its spot..
Yes you read that right, Spot.. there is a plan on how those dumplings need to go in.. Trust me on this.. I have made many dumplings and this is the plan that will give you the best! ones. If you want smaller feel free to make one for the middle as well.
Then put the lid on and set the timer for 12 min.. DO not even think about peeking or checking on this yummies.. 12 min, is the average for the size I make, If smaller but crowded, 12 in, if you went four huge ones.. 14 min is the most I have ever needed and done..
Now here is the next trick, lift the lids and then get them out of the pot.. Do not! leave them in the stew.. out and onto a plate with a bit of nice drippings on the bottom half of each one..
Then serve your stew and place the dumpling in the bowl.. yum, but did it turn out fluffy!
O ya, doubled in size, soft and dumpling on the outside, fluffy and light and just a hint of sweet on the side.. delightfully.. Now you can also add herbs to your dumplings for different flavour changes.