Has anyone here made fresh spaezle successfully? It seems so simple, flour, eggs. milk, boil for a few minutes, voila!, yet I've made it a few times and it comes out looking and tasting like un-cooked mush. NOTHING like what I had in Germany, and nothing that I would expect anyone to eat. Help!
Resting the batter for an hour helps the gluten develop. When cooking I use a Spaetzle maker (a metal board with perforations and a fill slide), consistent size of 'sparrows' ensures even cooking. They are done cooking when they float to the top.
My favorite way of finishing them is to sautée with butter until lightly browned.
I tend to make my batter a bit stiffer than most recipes call for. I boil it until it floats and then give 1 more minute to make sure the center is well done. Special spaezle makes are fine, but I tend to force it through a slotted spoon if I am only make it for 2-3 people.
Drain well, and pan fry in melted butter until golden, tossing it with bread crumbs and then garnish w/ parsley.
What recipe are you using? I find that there are huge variations in the ratios of the ingredients in different ones. I've been using the one in the Balthazar cookbook for a couple of years now, and also use a spaetzle maker. As an aside, I was watching Rick Stein make them the other day and he kept calling them "spet-zah-le" - with the emphasis on the "zah" - at first I had no idea what he was making!
MMRuth, my Grandmothers recipe is;
2 Tbl lard, soft butter or oil (she used lard, but they work equally well with unsalted butter)
1/2 Cup milk
1/2 Cup water
2-3/4 Cups AP flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking powder
bring 1 gallon of water or chicken stock to a boil.
Mix the eggs, fats, 1/2 C water, and milk, and then stir in the dry ingredients that have been sifted together, until relatively smooth, and set aside for 20 minutes to rest.
drop the batter in small pieces using a speatzel maker, or a forced though a slotted spoon. They are done when they float to the surface, but I usually let them go for 1 minute longer, just to make sure. remove with a spider and set aside.
Pan fry the noodles in melted butter and bread crumbs, When they are golden brown, sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve. They are best served with the pan gravy from saurbraten or paprikash.
The chicken stock can be strained, cooled/frozen and reused.
Here are the ingredients in the Balthazar recipe that I've been using for a couple of years now:
2 cups all purpose flour
7 large eggs
1/4 cup whole milk
Recipe says to combine and refrigerate for at least one hour or overnight, and that after you remove it from the fridge it should be the consistency of "thick pancake batter" and to adjust with more milk or flour if necessary.
I'm assuming that your grandmother made her recipe forever and it was wonderful, and of course I hate to dissent from any grandmother, but my thought is there is too much liquid in her recipe, and if I were you I'd try another one to see if you results that work for you.
I found my Austrian version that works every time.
4 whole Eggs
2 egg Yolks
1 lb. All Purpose Flour
1 cup Milk
¼ cup Dijon Mustard
¼ cup Pommery Mustard
1/8 cup chopped fresh Rosemary
Salt and freshly ground White Pepper
Using a mixer fitted with a dough hook work ingredients into a smooth batter. Let rest 1 hour. Prepare boiling salted water with a little oil. Grate spätzle into water using a large holed colander with a pastry card or with a spätzle machine. Remove after floating on the surface and cool under cold running water.
I've been happy with the simple recipe from Joy of Cooking
1 1/2 c flour
1/2 c milk or water
1/4 t salt
1/2 t bp (I'm not sure this is needed)
nutmeg (I don't always use this)
I don't recall any instructions about letting the batter rest. Texture does vary some with exact proportions of flour and liquid. Obviously they should be done and distinct (no mush), I prefer them on the light side.