Mix and sift the dry ingredients. Work in the butter with the tips of fingers, add milk gradually, roll out to a thickness of one-half inch, and cut with biscuit cutter. In some countries it is customary to season the dumplings themselves with herbs, etc., or to stuff them with bread crumbs fried in butter, instead of depending upon the gravy to season them.
A good way to cook dumplings is to put them in a buttered steamer over a kettle of hot water. They should cook from twelve to fifteen minutes. If it is necessary to cook them with the stew, enough liquid should be removed so that they may be placed upon the meat and vegetables.
Sometimes the dough is baked and served as biscuits over which the stew is poured. If the stew is made with chicken or veal it is generally termed a fricassee.