Most countries and cultures put dry, leftover bread to good use. All forms of bread can be brought back to life with a little liquid and is a great way to stretch a dish. The first recipe that comes to mind is Thanksgiving stuffing. You have to have stale bread for stuffing! Panzanella salad, French Toast and bread pudding are just a few recipes and they all say one thing - soul-satisfying comfort food. Just the word "dumpling" creates a thought of home style Chicken and Dumplings.
Growing up, I can remember stale bread on the counter that was usually "for the birds", but the bread was never wasted. It still reminds me of a simpler time when something like a loaf of bread was sacred and valuable.
These traditional bread dumplings from Austria and Bavaria are great for sopping up rich gravy from any meat dish. They are very similar in texture to "stuffing".
5 kaiser rolls - stale and thinly sliced and cubed
3 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1/2 cup onion, minced
2 cups milk
1/4 cup minced parsley
1/4 cup flour
Breadcrumbs (if needed)
1/2 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
3 eggs, lightly beaten
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Transfer bread cubes to a large bowl. Heat butter in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, and cook, stirring occasionally until golden brown; transfer to the bowl with the bread. Add milk to the same saucepan and bring to a simmer. Pour over bread. Add parsley, flour, nutmeg and eggs. Season with salt and pepper and using your hands, mix until evenly combined. If the mixture is too wet, add breadcrumbs until the mixture can be formed into a ball.
Bring an 8-qt. pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Moisten hands with cold water and form bread mixture into 2" balls. Carefully add dumplings to boiling water. When dumplings float to the top, lower heat to a simmer and cook until firm; about 15 minutes(uncovered). Using a slotted spoon, drain on paper towel and transfer to a serving platter. Serve in bowls with plenty of hot gravy.