Dumplings are a classic American favorite and can be used as part of a variety of dishes. Simple balls of pastry dough, occasionally stuffed with meats, cheeses or vegetables, you can't go wrong with these delectable treats. You can add dumplings to almost any soup or stew or even deep fry them in boiling oil.
Measure all of the dry ingredients into a flour sifter and carefully sift them into a mixing bowl.
Soften the butter by allowing it to sit at room temperature for a few hours, or placing it in the microwave for a few seconds. The butter should be soft; however, make sure it is not liquid. Add the softened butter to the dry dumpling ingredients and use your hands to mix the ingredients.
Allow the milk to warm to room temperature as well and then add it slowly to your ingredients. When the mix takes on a stiff dough consistency, you are ready to begin forming your dumplings.
Make sure the dough does not stick to your hands by adding a light layer of flour to your palms. Form the dough into 3-inch balls and then stuff your dumplings, if desired. To stuff your dumplings, poke your finger into the center of your dough balls and fill with about 1 tbsp. of meat, cheese or vegetables. Pinch the hole closed and carefully reform into a ball.
Finish your dumpling by adding them to a boiling pot of stew or soup, reducing the heat to a simmer and cooking for 20 to 30 minutes. Alternatively, you can make crispy dumplings by dipping them into hot, boiling oil until brown.