Season well with salt and pepper, then add the parsley and thyme (if using).
Add water a little at a time - just enough to bring it together into a dough.
Divide the dough into 6 sections and roll each into a round ball.
Place the dumplings in your stew or casserole, and press down until half-submerged in the liquid. Cover with a lid and cook on the hob or oven for 25-30 minutes until well risen and fluffy.
If you want to brown your dumplings a little on top, you can put the casserole dish under a hot grill for a minute or two. Serve immediately.
Add the water little by little, until there is just enough to bring the dough together.The dumplings suck up quite a bit of moisture from your stew as they cook, so check the consistency of the stew occasionally to make sure it isn't drying out.For a nice crispy golden finish to your dumplings you can pop them under a hot grill for just a minute.