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Spaetzle

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 
Spaetzle is common to multiple countries / regions somewhat surrounding present day Austria. It is often translated as "dumplings" or "noodles" - however I am unaware of a similar dish "here."
I usually describe it as a "pasta cheese doodle" - without the cheese.....

the primary "problem" with homemade spaetzle is having the proper equipment to produce the fat noodle like shape.
I've tried the hobs - not too useful
for a long time I used a flat "wash board" style grater (large holes) and a rubber spatula to squeeze the dough through
CuisiPro makes a ricer with interchangeable small/medium/large hole plates - the large works well - but small volume of ricer makes for multiple passes and is a tad messy.
The best tool I've found is the KuchenProfi (or KuechenProfi) "plate" - looks like an upside down lid, stepped for various pot diameters, with big holes in the middle. This is big enough to process the entire batch qty (below) in one pass - dump on, squeeze through. This can be a hard to find item.
see: Kuchenprofi Spaetzle Lid with Scraper: KitchenProven

Variations abound, here's a very basic one:

4-6 quarts lightly salted boiling water

350 grams AP flour
240 grams cold water / 1 cup
3 large eggs
1/2 to 1 tablespoon salt, to preference
a grinding of nutmeg is traditional - about 1/8 teaspoon; optional

in the USA, eggs are graded by weight; hence there is a reasonable consistency in amounts.
I weigh the water, too - it's faster/more consistent, since I have the scale at the ready anyway.

beat the eggs into the water
add salt / nutmeg; blend
make a well
pour in all liquid in one batch
mix

this is a wet and very sticky dough.
process into noodles using equipment of choice - drop the noodle directly into boiling water

cook at a vigorous boil 4-5 minutes; scoop out & drain
I add 3-4 teaspoons of butter in the colander and toss lightly (while still hot) to coat.

the eating texture is best if they are allowed to cool thoroughly then reheated.
reheat methods:
"refried" ie pan saute with a bit of butter or oil; lightly brown - my personal favorite
add to sauce (if used)
2 minutes in boiling water; drain well
post #2 of 28
I LOVE spaetzle! I bought a gizmo for making them but it's still sitting on the shelf. I've used the boxed ones; I don't recommend them unless you like your spaetzle really, really chewy.
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post #3 of 28
I've only made them with a large hole disk in the ricer. Bit of a pain. The lid looks handy. I've sent the link to the Christmas shopper as something the kids could give me.

Phil
Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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post #4 of 28
Thanks for the recipe and hardware notes, I may have to try again to make some. Of course, that place in Hamburg I mentioned has probably been cranking out a hundred pounds or of the stuff every day for the last five or six hundred years, so most likely they have a bit of a head start compared to my skills in the area!

mjb.
Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
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Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
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post #5 of 28
teamfat, ever tried the spaetzle at Siegfried's? It's pretty good.
Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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post #6 of 28
Most "spaetzli" sieves are jsut a perforated aluminum plate with a handle and little "feet" so it can sit on the rim of a large pot.
It was always the apprentice's job to make spaetzli, and boy did I make a lot of them. Basically you just scoop up a handful of the dough with your bare hands and push/rub it through the holes. When the spaetzli swim up to the surface, scoop them off with a wire strainer and shock them in cold water.

The next best thing to finding a "proper" spaeztli sieve is a large, perforated pizza pan. Take a screwdriver or similar tool and "lift up" each hole a little so that it resembles a large box grater (the holes are not sharp, so you can't cut yourself).

I've seen those littel spaetzli sieves in kitchen shops that look like a grater with a little box that slides on it. Too tiny in my opinion, for all that futzing around you don't get a lot of batter in that tiny little box....
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...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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post #7 of 28
In a restaurant setting I just use the large colanders. I find the holes in them to be about the perfect size.
post #8 of 28

Forming the Spaetzle

My German mother and grandmothers (maternal and paternal) placed dough onto a small cutting board or even a flat lid and scraped (with a spatula) small portions of the dough into a bubbling meat stock, or water. Have never learned to be proficient at this method, so purchased a spaetzle plane.
post #9 of 28
Thread Starter 
....dried spaetzle - amen, don't go there <g> stuff's awful.

it's one of the dishes that once you 'get the hang of it' you can whip out quick&easy - the 350 g flour size batch is more than we typically need so I lay out the extra flat on a sheet pan and freeze it, then put it in a ziplock bag. keeps very nicely.

the lid has multiple uses too - I've used it as a pot sieve and it's a great lid for reducing example stewed tomato (from fresh) - lets steam through but blocks most of the burps.... fast draining shallow 'colander' for dried bean stone checks (larger sizes...)
post #10 of 28
Another vote for the chopping board method, it takes a little bit of time to get proficient in it, but once you have it down pat then it's very fast and allows you to vary the size and shape of the spaetzle at will.

I used to work with one guy who really had the knack - he could reduce a pound of dough to perfect noodles in a few seconds.
post #11 of 28
Thread Starter 
....he could reduce a pound of dough to perfect noodles in a few seconds.

my admirations in spades. never succeeded with the "chop off" technique - seen it many many times in reference but not never got there.....
post #12 of 28
They key is a rolling motion with the knife, push a lump of dough to the edge of the board, then smear it back onto the board to create a layer of paste that is approx 1/3 of the desired thickness. The just start flicking bits of dough off the board by rolling the blade through the paste and flicking it off, the angle of the blade relative to the end of the board gives you control of the length of the noodles.

It's one of those little tricks that it is good to have up your sleeves, it's worth it just to amuse other chefs - if it is done well they can't help but stop and stare.
post #13 of 28
Thread Starter 
....they can't help but stop and stare.

they is me, too! <g>

I'm trying to mentality follow the description.... I think I need video . . . .

you lop off a long string, squish it sorta' flat on the board
(board is usually described as a 'plate' - das board ist flat, die plate ist not a flat thingie....but..... poets, and license.... and go forth thee and try thou that......heh, I'm game!)
then separate bits and pieces of the squished part into 'chunks" which get tip-tossed into the boiling water....

that's what I read; the "separate squished bits" is however a new revelation, I should give it a go . . .
post #14 of 28
I use a flat board and a pallet knife - the first step is to spread the paste evenly over the last couple of inches of the board, then it's a bit like curling chocolate but without any of the finesse.

If you use the knife parallel to the end of the board then you should get noodles that are the same length as the board is wide, if you angle the knife then you can shorten the noodles by chipping away at the edges.

If you do it slowly then you have to hold the board, knife, etc in the steam coming off the pot of boiling stock underneath...this gets to hurt after a while, so work the knife with a little more vigour so you can flick the noodles into the pot from about 6-12 inches off to one side.
post #15 of 28

Forming the Spaetzle

I wandered over to "You Tube" to see if I could find a demo. on how to use a board in forming the spaetzle noodles. Most of what I found was just nonsense......but here is one that I think is good; the man is an expert at it!

YouTube - Spätzle schaben
post #16 of 28
Thread Starter 
Miraz & Lisbet -

thanks for the info and tracking down that clip - I never "caught up" with the technique of squishing it out - I was always trying to snip off a chunk from the "mound" and that does not work too well <g>

as to steaming your hands - did you notice the water does not look to be at boil in the video clip?

even with the gadgets you can get steamed . . .

I'm going to give the hand snipping method a go - I've got a narrow board and dough scrapers a-plenty.
post #17 of 28

A Website to See

Take a Look Here:

How to Make Spaetzle - Little Sparrow Dumplings
post #18 of 28
Lisbet, that's an excellent video! The second one, using what looks like a potato ricer, seems to make much heavier, thicker and longer noodles.
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post #19 of 28

Spaetzle

Just one more !! A recipe and technique by a Master Chef, that I look up to and admire very much !!! :chef:

Spaetzle - Fine Cooking
post #20 of 28
Thread Starter 
that looks like an interesting 'twist' - I think I'll try a batch without the seasonings first - to compare how the manyegg&milk is vs. the littleegg&water . .
post #21 of 28
That was one of the ways I learned to do it at a Continental restaurant I worked at, from the German owner.
A little practice and it's easy, far less messy than the spaetzle presses.
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My latest musical venture!
http://myspace.com/nikandtheniceguys
 
Also
http://www.myspace.com/popshowband "I'm at the age when food has taken the place of sex in my life. In fact I've just had a mirror put over my kitchen table." Rodney Dangerfield RIP
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post #22 of 28
I've made the hungarian version (galushka) but it's basically the same thing. And I did a variation on an italian type of gnocchi using the same principle. (I tried the gizmo with the holed plate and the box on top and it's fine, i suppose, for making a dish of them, but to serve a bunch of people, it;s way too slow for my taste. I can't imaging making them one at a time, no matter how fast. I like the holed plate that hooks on the outside of the pot and spans over the top of it and metal scraper. I make these gnocchi for about fifty people for my yearly christmas party and it doesn;t take that long.
For the gnocchi, cook a good gnocchi or ravioli squash (the ones they usually use are drier and yellower (inside) than the usual types, but really any type will do, anyway, the best i;ve tried are sort of like a slightly deflated basketball you're sitting on and have wart-shaped bumps all over them (like guords) and are dark blackish green, with a bright greenish yellow inside.
I steam them and then scrape the pulp out of the skin (NEVER peel a squash first, it's horrible work, and so much easier when it's cooked!). Put in my kitchen aid, add about 3/4 in volume of flour, salt and an egg (really, no measuring is needed- you want a thing that will hold together but be sticky and hold its shape but slightly flatten). You can drop by teaspoons into boiling water, but i prefer the galushka maker. Then serve with butter and parmigiano.
"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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post #23 of 28
Not to pull the thread off on a tangent, but...

Darn, Siduri! I never knew you could grate gnocchi like that. It's obvious in retrospect ... Duh! But until you posted, I had this very specific image of rolling out ropes, marking them with the tines of of a fork, and cutting them into short lengths. It's always been a game to put two snakes parallel to each other and cut them with a board knife as fast and as evenly as possible -- of course, the faster the less even.

After you rough puree the squash, or the spinach or whatever, before mixing in the flour and egg, you can put it in a fine sieve and squeeze the water out -- or if the puree is too fine not to be forced through the sieve, even just allow it to drain for awhile in the same sieve or a cheesecloth bag hung over the sink. You can process quite a few different vegetables that way.

BDL
post #24 of 28
I guess spaetzle are actually a form of dumpling or gnocco.

There are two or three things i refuse to do in the kitchen, one of which is making gnocchi the traditional way. Another is making fettuccine. They seem not to be worth it from the cost/benefit point of view, if we consider time as the cost and benefit as the taste. And they involve TEDIOUS jobs, (I'm tireless in cooking if the work is varied). Similarly i never stir polenta and it comes out lump free. (Much of traditional italian cooking seems geared to keep someone for hours in a hot kitchen doing something mindless).

Anyway, yes, traditional potato gnocchi are good, though nto good enough to my taste to merit the one-by-one production of them. Same with fettuccine. And here, at least, i can buy ones as good as i can make at home (i mean, what's there to make in fettuccine, flour and eggs, knead and roll) and really, a whole lot of tedious work.

But i do like pumpkin or squash gnocchi. I used to make them by just dropping the dough by teaspoonsful. They look rough but are just as good, and indeed require less flour so are more tasty. But that, too, is tedious, and the prospect of making them one by one like that for the hungry horde i have at christmas was just too time consuming, considering i make some 15 or 20 dishes, all from scratch, and really don;t have time.
My hungarian friend gave me a galushka maker and i had an inspiration one time and did them that way ever since. It's not quite the same, but i like the texture and the feel in the mouth.

I hesitate to drain the water out of squash because i imagine flavor going out with it - or is it only water? Anyway I steam them in a way where they don;t get under water, and anyway, they're gnocchi, not ravioli, and a little extra water is ok. The special type of squash is because it's tastier, and the flavor comes through more in the gnocchi. But i;ve had good success with butternut and acorn too.
"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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post #25 of 28
Young girl who worked for us this summer said her family (German grandmother & mother) made spaetzle not to serve fresh on day one but to serve the next day by pan frying in butter and grating cheese on once hot.
Also, we add some grainy mustard to our (wet) mixture as suggested to me by an acquaintance a long time ago to complement a savory usage.

doodle
Life is too short to eat bad food!
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Life is too short to eat bad food!
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post #26 of 28
Dillbert, you failed to mention the wonderful technical name for this spaetzle lid. Only the packaging itself adequately conveys the impact.



Phil
Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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post #27 of 28
Thread Starter 
yeh, chuckles no? somebody failed International Marketing 101 . . .
post #28 of 28
there was a brand of toilet paper here that used to be called (you won;t believe it) soff-***
i think it was an acronym of the paper company or something. They changed the name after a couple of years, someone must have told them what it meant. I bet you could make a nice collection of words with double meanings like that.
"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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