Three Ways to Make Spaetzle




Introduction: Three Ways to Make Spaetzle

Spaetzle is a standard in South German cuisine as well as in parts of Austria and Switzerland.

There are different ways to form them and I would like to show you three of them.
Each way leads to a different looking noodle. The longer ones are the actual Spaetzle (which means "little sparrow"), the little knot shaped ones are called Knoepfle (little button) and are more common in Austria and Switzerland.

They are versatile and pretty easy to make.

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Step 1: A Little About the Used Flour

The best flour to use when making Spaetzle is a rather coarse one. It will make the finished noodles a little more chewy.

So you can go out and start searching for a coarse ground pasta flour or use a mixture of all purpose and semolina 1:4.
I described the type of flour used already in an older Ible.

If you don't have semolina either you can as well take usual all purpose flour alone. But the noodles will turn out a little softer.

Step 2: Basic Recipe

500g  Flour
(4.5 cups flour)
5        Eggs
(5 eggs :)

2tsp   Salt 
(2tsp salt)

200ml Water (more or less)
(7/8 cup water)

Mix flour, salt and eggs together. Add water a little at a time until you get a dough which is soft but not runny.
It should be somewhere between a bread dough and pancake batter

Then beat this dough till there are no lumps left and it starts getting bubbles. Let it rest for a while.

For the different ways to actually form the noodles you will need a firmer or softer dough.

Step 3: As You Like

To your basic recipe you can add different spices or herbs.

Very popular are:
  • Nutmeg
  • Saffron
  • minced Spinach
You can mix in minced calf's liver. (Trust me it tastes much nicer than it sounds)

Step 4: So You Got You Dough-

-but what to do next?

1. get a large pot and fill it up with water. Don't fill it up to the rim. Let some space for the noodles
2. put your pot on the stove and bring the water to a boil
3. put a little salt in your boiling water

fill a big bowl with cold water and set aside

You will also need a strainer and a skimmer

Step 5: The First and Original Way to Make Spaetzle

For this way you will need only a small wooden board and any kind of scraper. This could be a dough scraper or, like in this case, the back side of a knife.

Your dough should be not too soft (when you drop it from your spoon it should rip rather than flow)

  1. soak your board in cold water. This will make in a little slippery and easier to transport your dough into the pot
  2. when sufficiently soaked, put a blob of the dough on your board and kind of stretch it out to the edge
  3. cut small stripes from the dough directly into the boiling water, wet your knife every now and then
  4. let boil for 2-3 minutes, take the noodles out with a skimmer and put them in cold water

This is the way my grandmother made them. It is also the easiest way to make a small amount of spaetzle for one person. You don't need a lot of hardware and what you need will probably be on hand.

As you can see on the picture, this is not the way I'm usually making my spaetzle, that's why there are a little irregular in size and form :)
Chances are that yours will look similar the first couple of times. Probably they will look nicer.

Step 6: Second Way to Make Spaetzle (which Are Actually Knoepfle)

For this method you will need the colander with the biggest holes you can find.
You will also need a spoon or scraper and a rather soft dough.

  1. put some dough in the colander
  2. place colander over your pot with boiling water -be careful not to touch the surface, it would clog the holes
  3. push the dough with a spoon/scraper through the holes into the water
  4. let boil for 2-3 minutes, take the noodles out with a skimmer and put them in cold water
This method makes smaller, shorter noodles which look a little like small buttons.
You see that the noodles are a little lumpy. That's because the holes in my colander are bit too close together. If you can find one with the holes further apart they will look much nicer.  Fortunately they do taste as good as in any other shape :)

Step 7: Third and Last Method of Today

for this way you need a so-called spaetzle grater. It is made of two parts
  1. a kind of rasp with holes on the upper and small tongues on the bottom side
  2. a carriage which holds the dough
Your dough should be rather soft

  1. put some of your dough in the carriage, don't overfill it
  2. place the grater over your pot an move the carriage slowly to an fro
  3. when you see that the surface is crowded, stop grading you will not be able to separate them when you put new dough on top of the noodles
  4. let boil for 2-3 minutes, take the noodles out with a skimmer and put them in cold water
This is certainly my favorite way to make spaetzle. It is especially comfortable when you want to make a large amount.

Step 8: Now That You Have Got Your Spaetzle-

-what are you going to do with them?

  • The easiest way is to eat them the way they are. But then you should only quench them and not put them in cold water for a longer than 1-2 seconds.
  • they do go well with any kind of roast, goulash, sauerkraut, stew.....................
  • you could fry them in a little butter, mix in a beaten egg or two
  • fry them with some bacon and sauerkraut
  • put the in a casserole with some strong cheese in between, bake and top with browned onions
  • put them into soup
  • you like tomato sauce? Don't be shy!
Have fun :)

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    4 Discussions


    7 years ago on Introduction

    I love spaetzle, and it's so fun to make! Thanks for sharing this


    7 years ago on Introduction

    My Dad always made it with a grater (your third method) but sins I don't have that I'll be using a cutting board.
    Should be good (I haven't had any in years).