Basic Dumpling Recipe
So, when making basic dumplings, what should the texture be? How large should they be, should they be bready inside or doughy, heavy or light etc? I made dumplings for the first time the other night and mine were HUGE and they sort of tasted light and bready, and that's not how I remember them from the Campbell’s soup chicken and dumplings when I was a kid.
I did use the Bisquik recipe and what I got was the "crumb" consistency that Todoa described, so I guess I got them right after all. The Campbell's soup kind were like dense noodles - that was a good way to describe them, and they probably were potato based.
There is a German potato based dumpling called something like Wiggleglase which is stuffed with some kind f bread crouton and it's got a very similar texture, and they are amazing. Has anyone ever heard of these?
I don't recognize "Wiggleglase" but there are a number of recipes similar to the one you describe. The one that comes first to mind is kartoffelkloesse - a potato dumpling with croutons in the center. If you Google that you'll find lots of choices.
The spaetzle worked well with the grilled pork ribs tonight. I usually brown the spaetzle in butter after they've left the boil but tonight I seasoned them with a bit of fresh nutmeg and drizzled with butter. The finished plate included broccoli with Shitaki mushrooms. I even got a compliment from my wife. Life is good.
It takes about fifteen minutes for the spaetzle to cook. I'd suggest you give it a try with your soup and see how it works out. Just mix up about 1/3 cup of whole milk with one beaten egg and add to 4.5 ounces (1 cup) AP flour with about 1/8 tsp salt to create a dough. If you don't have a spaetzle maker just force the dough through the holes in a colander into rapidly boiling salted water and stir periodically to keep them moving. Test for done at about 12 - 15 minutes, the drain and pop into your soup and continue to cook in there for a minute or two. Don't cook them in the soup. The starchy residue in the soup liquid would not be appealing.
There are various styles of dumplings, ranging from light biscuits (but steamed instead of baked) to dense noodle like bits. There are no rules saying how large or dense they should be. That's your choice.
The style coming from a condensed can would have to be the small and dense.
This has been discussed in earlier threads about chicken and dumplings.
You might also like spaetzel, a simple German/Austrian egg noodle.
After trying many times experimenting with other's recipes, and to see there is a better dumpling recipe out there, I quit searching. I find the Bisquick product and its recipe the best. I have make them from scratch, added herbs, etc., and I still stick with the Bisquick dumplings.
re: chef chicklet
One of the reasons why Bisquick makes good dumplings is that it contains 15 grams of fat per cup. Most simple dumpling recipes include about 2 Tbsp. of butter or around 11 - 12 grams of fat. Try increasing the butter in your simple dumpling recipe (better yet, use a vegetable oil that offers a 15 gram per cup fat ratio) and you may find your scratch dumplings are better.
Mel.D, the dumplings you remember from the soup you describe were, I am certain, something close to potato dumplings (Kartoffelkloesse). Dumplings served in soups and stews are often more dense than those served as a side. Dumplings served as a side or often much lighter with a tender sumptuous crumb.
I prefer to drop my dumplings in 3 ounce +/- pieces. I just think they cook more evenly when they're no larger than that and I like the way they look on the plate at that scale. But you can make them any size you like.