Bread Dumplings


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

The Italian Regional Cookbook

The Italian Regional Cookbook

By Valentina Harris

Published 2017

  • About

In Trentino-Alto Adige these simple bread dumplings, floating in a meaty broth, are served as an antipasto, before a main course of meat with polenta. As with many recipes from this region, the cheapest of ingredients are turned into nourishing food. Brown bread is common in these parts, so it is likely that the breadcrumbs used would be wholemeal, although you can use any you have to hand. Many different versions of canederli exist, some with the addition of chopped bacon, or pork fat instead of butter.


  • 350 g/12 oz dried bread
  • 100 g/ oz unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 60 ml/4 tbsp finely chopped fresh flat leaf parsley, plus extra to garnish
  • 115 g/4 oz/1 cup plain/all-purpose or wholemeal/whole-wheat flour
  • 1.5 ml/¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 200 ml/7 fl oz/scant 1 cup full cream/whole milk, warmed
  • 1.5 litres/ pints/ cups rich meat stock
  • sea salt


  1. Crumble or grate the bread finely. Transfer the crumbs to a mixing bowl and add the butter. Mix well.
  2. Add the eggs, parsley, flour and nutmeg, and mix well. Season with salt. Stir in the warmed milk to make a fairly soft paste.

  3. Leave to stand for 30 minutes to allow the bread to swell. With damp hands, shape the mixture into balls 5 cm/2 in in diameter.

  4. Bring the stock to a gentle boil in a pan and add the balls. Simmer for 20 minutes, then serve sprinkled with extra parsley.