Czech bread dumplings on a board

Fluffy Czech bread dumplings are a common side dish in the Czech Republic

Bread dumplings are made of similar ingredients as classic bread dough, but instead of baking the dumpling loaf, Czechs steam it. That's the main secret to its distinctive taste. 

The Czech bread dumplings pair well with a variety of traditional Czech dishes, such as svíčková cream sauce,vepřo knedlo zelo (roast pork and sauer kraut), hovězí guláš (Czech goulash), roast goose or roast beef. 

Dumplings are not only an integral part of Czech cuisine, but they're also popular in Germany, Austria, Poland, Hungary and Slovakia.

In Czech, bread dumplings are called knedlíky

There are many different variations of traditional Czech dumplings. You can make them with yeast, baking powder or mixed with potatoes, bread cubes, bacon and even a sweet version filled with fruit. 

This recipe is focused on basic but wholesome bread dumplings made with yeast - houskový knedlíky.

A plate of goulash and Czech bread dumplings


To get the authentic bread dumplings taste and the right consistency, it's best to use coarse wheat flour. This type of flour is different from typical all-purpose flour. It’s more coarse in texture.

  • USA: Wondra flour

  • Czech Republic: Hrubá mouka

  • Canada: Robin Hood Easy Blend

  • Australia: Continental flour (any brand)

  • Germany: Aurora Instant Mehl Type 405 or any Spätzlemehl

Fresh yeast vs active dry yeast

Czechs generally use fresh yeast, which I opted for in this recipe. In my opinion, fresh yeast will give you a better texture and flavor. However, if you can't source fresh yeast, active dry yeast is fine too. 

Check the ingredients and full recipe below for the exact amount. 

Boiling vs steaming

Although boiling the dough works fine, steaming is the best way to get the most visually pleasing bread dumplings. To steam the bread loaves, you can use a steamer pot or steamer basket / rack.

Whether steamed or boiled, the taste is equally delicious, especially when the Czech bread dumplings are warm and fresh.


  • 10g fresh yeast (1/4 cube) or 1 tsp dry yeast
  • 250 ml milk
  • 1 egg
  • 350 g course wheat flour
  • salt
  • a little sugar
  • dried white bread cubes (optional)

Makes 5 servings (2 bread dumpling loaves)


  1. 1
    Add a pinch of sugar, salt, yeast, and one-third of the flour to lukewarm milk. Stir thoroughly and allow to rise in a warm place.
  2. 2
    After the yeast mixture rises, add the eggs and remaining flour and use your hands or stand mixer to knead all ingredients together into a smooth, not sticky, dough. Then allow the dough to rise for about 30 minutes.
  3. 3
    When the dough has rised, knead and work the chopped stale bread cubes into it, if using. Then cut the dough into two equal parts with a knife or piece of thread and form those parts into two small loaves on a lightly floured surface.
  4. 4
    Prepare a large pot with low-boiling salted water in the meantime. Boil or, for best result, steam the dumpling loaves above the water for about 15–20 minutes. While cooking, turn the loaves several times.
  5. 5
    After removing the cooked dumplings from the water, they must be immediately perforated with a fork or skewer so that the warm dough does not harden and remains light and fluffy. Brush the dumpling loaves with melted butter (optional).
  6. 6
    Cut the loaf with a knife into slices on a cutting board, and voila, your Czech bread dumplings are ready to be served.

Note: You can freeze leftover dumplings inside a plastic wrap or aluminium foil to store them. To reheat them, you can simply steam them again or use a microwave.

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Kamila Jakubjakova

Author - Kamila Jakubjakova

Kamila is a freelance writer and blogger originally from Slovakia and now based in Canada. On her blog, she and her partner share useful tips for expat life in Canada. When she isn't writing, you can find her on a yoga mat or enjoying a cup of tea.

Last Updated 15 January 2024

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