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spaetzle

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  • belle Oct 24, 2005 11:58 AM

I tried spaetzle for the first time last year at Cafe Sabarsky in NYC and LOVED it. I tried to make it myself (i cant remember what recipe I used) and it came out horrible. Does anyone have a good recipe/method for me to try?

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  1. A low-tech spaetzle maker gadget makes the process much easier and less messy--the dumplings are more uniform in size this way. It looks like a one-sided grater, with a cup-shaped hopper that runs on tracks back and forth while the gadget sits over your pot of boiling water. I can't remember where I got mine--hardware store or cooking store--but I find this much easier than using a colander.

    I use a very simple recipe, a variation of the one that came with the gadget:

    2 1/2 c flour
    1/4 t salt
    2 eggs
    1/2 c milk
    1/2 c water

    Sift flour and salt into a bowl. Lightly beat the eggs, then add the milk and water. Gradually add this mixture to the dry ingredients. You can add more flour if the batter seems too thin. Use the gadget over a pot of salted boiling water, moving the hopper back and forth. When spaetzle are done they will float to the top. As they are finished, remove with a spider or a slotted spoon; I put them on sheets of waxed paper on the counter to dry and cool off. When ready to eat (I often make these a few hours ahead of time), saute in some butter. Add a little chopped parsley if you like.

    I hope this is helpful. I too love spaetlze--my Austro-Hungarian grandmother (the only cook on either side of my family) would make this when I was a very young child, and learning to make it myself was extremely satisfying.

    1 Reply
    1. re: LindaMc

      I too have one of those hopper devices for spatzle. My recipe is a bit different.

      This will make 4 servings.

      Combine 3/4 C. flour with about 1/8th tsp. baking powder and a healthy pinch of salt in a bowl. Give it a stir to mix it. Then beat in 1 egg and enough water to make a stiffish batter.

      Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and then add the batter, you may have to do it in a couple of batches, to the hopper of the spatzle maker. Run the hopper back and forth over the track and the dumplings will drop down into the water and float to the surface when done. Draiin them and butter well.

      An old James Beard recipe suggests using semolina, 2/3 C. with 1 egg and 1/4 C.warm water or milk. I have not tried that recipe but may soon. I imagine the spatzle would be a bit chewier.

    2. i recently used the zuni recipe with success (my first time making spaetzle, but i thought they were comparable to those i've enjoyed at restaurants). lacking a convenient spaetzle-maker, i had to press the dough through a colander. i enjoyed the resulting irregularity, but it was a bit messy. you need a colander with large holes. the dough itself was simple - flour, 1 egg, and water mixed with a fork. i let it rest for a while after mixing so the glutens could relax. i'll look up the proportions and post for you. salty, buttery cooking water seemed to be the secret to success.

      1 Reply
      1. re: queue

        If you can't find a special spaetzle machine, you also get graters which consist of a little box which runs back and forth over a grater sheet. I think it's for cheese. I make mine by rubbing it through a large-holled grater. Once cooked (should take v short time) scoop them out with a colander spoon, and into a frying pan were a little butter is melted. Grate cheese on top, and serve. You can also add a bit of saffron to the butter as it is melting,o chopped chives/herbs, or even saute tiny cubes of zucchini or another delicate veg in the butter, and toss gently with spaetzle.

        Enjoy - it's great winter food.

      2. Use the freshest, most natural eggs you can get and you will get a better, golder color.

        1. Once the spaetzle are boiled, let them dry off, then sautee in butter, sage, garlic, salt and pepper.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Mv

            they're awesome with potroast and lots of gravy!

          2. I use the Joy of Cooking recipe, and a ziplock bag to "pipe" the batter into the boiling water! I tried to use a number of types of spaetzle makers-and always made a big mess... I highly recommend the bag method.

            5 Replies
            1. re: Liz K

              I second the bag method. Works great.

              1. re: cleo

                How thick should spaetzle be? I'm wondering whether to cut a hole into the bat or use my 1/4" circular piping tip. It's been a long time since I've eaten spaetzle. I just remember the shape and thickness being very inconsistent.

                1. re: nooodles

                  I'm not sure there is an "official" size. I cut a corner off the bag, aiming for smaller than I think is right, then pipe a bit of batter to see how it cooks up. Adjust from there. Nobody ever complains about the size!

                  1. re: nooodles

                    hold a collinder with large holes over the boiling water, dump the dough into it and push them through with a spatula you'll be done in 2 seconds...

                    1. re: nooodles

                      There are different sized spaetzle-some are little stubby dumpling shapes (resembling their German name *little sparrows*), others are longer and appear more like thick, golden spaghetti (many of the dried packaged spaetzle look like this). And then there's long, noodley yet rustic (irregular) shapes like the pic below. It all depends on how wet your dough is (some are more like a batter, some more like solid dough) and if you use a colander or special cutter or cut with a knife into boiling water.

                      Image: http://www.marions-kochbuch.de/rezept...

                2. My spaetzle maker is like a giant garlic press. Be sure to add a touch of nutmeg. Spaetzle is so quick to make that most of the time is spent waiting for the water to boil. I have tried making it with water and with milk as the liquid. I don't think it really makes a lot of difference in the taste.