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Spaetzle Quantity Production

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

Had to make spaetzle for 75 the other day, but I'm not happy with the way it turned out. It's been a while since I've had to make it anywhere other then at home. The end product had the look of scrambled eggs, rather then the distinct nubblets you're supposed to get. It tasted ok, and was a bit softer then I think it should have been.

 

I think I might have been over loading the kettle w/ batter because the batter looked almost like it was 'pooling' on top of the water. It also lost its boil fast. I was using a ~60qt stock pot about half full of salted boiling water, and forcing the batter through a perforated hotel pan. I guess I was using maybe 2 qts of batter per batch.

 

Am I right in thinking that the way to correct this problem is to drop less batter per batch and use more water in the pot?

post #2 of 10

More water and less batter will help.

 

One place I worked we used really deep hotel pans bridged across 2 burners, 8" deep I think?  It was a long time ago.

 

We'd setup 3 or 4 or them and then place 3 or 4 perf pans on top   Then ladle in the batter and scrape it through with a bench scraper.  Leave the pan in place for a bit as it acts like a partial lid, getting the water temp back up fast.  You can also throw a cover on to really get things going but watch out for boil overs.   

 

The larger surface area let the noodles spread out more and not get tangled up and gummy.

 

The water we used was also really really salty - almost over salted.

 

The two pans being the same size really helped get the noodles all into the cooking water quickly so that everything cooked evenly and was ready at practically the same time.

 

We used about 1.5 qts per pan, again it was a long time back.

 

One other trick we occasionally used was to put a little alkaline water into the dough (baking soda) to give it more chew, only used it when our test batch  of the batter came out too soft.  (it's quite common with asian noodles)

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"Plus, this method makes you look like a complete lunatic. If you care about that sort of thing".  - Dave Arnold

 

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"Plus, this method makes you look like a complete lunatic. If you care about that sort of thing".  - Dave Arnold

 

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post #3 of 10

Yeah, more water.

 

Also, when the spaeztli float up, then is the time to scoop off.

 

Usually with perf. hotel pans the batter has to be thick enough that you really have to push it through, either with a plastic scraper or the heel of your hand.

 

What I do is get a perf. pizza pan, about 14" in dia, and stick a screwdriver through each hole and bend it slightly up, so it resembles a cheese grater. It helps with the forming better.   The pizza pans are aluminum and easy to bend, but are awkward to balance on the rim of a pot.

 

The Austrian version is to put a whack of batter on a cutting board and scrape/roll off thin threads into the water with a knife. Different presentation, same batter, and more work, but kind nice.  Swiss version is called "Knoepfli" or little buttons, again, same batter.

 

Spaetzli will souffle slightly when sauted with butter, and form a nice crunch on the outside with soft insides.  They gratinee well too.

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...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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post #4 of 10

A large Colander works well too.  Good advice all. Doing the spaetzle in batches also helps. You can use a spider strainer to remove what was cooked to an ice bath and then resume when the water returns to a simmer again.

post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 

Thanks guys!

 

Food pump, you're talking about the pizza screens made from expanded metal?

post #6 of 10

You are trying to do to much to fast . Water must stay at least on a simmer if not a boil. I used to use a spatzel boar (looked like a washboard)  d and spetz was a bit more solid then they make today. It was then cooled and sauteed in butter with s&p and hint nutmeg to .order.  Now I use potato ricer.

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post #7 of 10

Do you have a GI pan?  Put it over four burners.

post #8 of 10

Tin Cook:

 

No, the regular pizza pan with 3/8" holes

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...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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post #9 of 10

He is talking about a round pizza pan thaT HE DRILLED OR PUNCHED HOLES IN.

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post #10 of 10

yea some good advise.  i live now in austria and i cook this daily and many different types.  in austria we call it nockerl,  spätzel is what the germans call it.  i make the mistake of calling it spätzel some times in my kitchen and the austrians don't like it.   we cook it in heavly salted water and lots of  it.  we have a nockerl board, it is like a perferated insert but used only to make nockerln.  i never saw any one cut the tieg with a knife here that is new to me.  you could also use a potato press and get longer strands of nockerln.   you may want to check your dough consistancy.  the best spätzel is with a combination of a glätt and griffig mehl or a smooth and course flour.  the course flour helps absorb water and makes it more fluffy but stable and firm.  you may want to watch how you regernerate the spätzel,  here it is better to steam it back to life or heat it in the microwave before going in to the pan.  i find if it is in water first it gets to sticky and will not fry good.  in germany they use water as the liquid with eggs.  in austria they use milk.  in germany they put no butter in the dough in austria melted butter goes in the dough.  i have a kitchen helper that makes my spätzel for me and she can make 6kg of flour into finished spätzel in 30-45 min. and at the same time she is telling us all about her mom and kids and oma and friends and sister and cousin.  some times i am glad my german is not so good.

 

spinach is popular here in spätzel and served with a ham cream sauce.

we fry it with bacon and left over meats cut into small peices and call it a bauren nockerln or farmers spätzel

fry it with onions and then stir in raw eggs for a egg spätzel topped with roasted onions.

bierkäse und nockerln.  a stinky cheese fried with onions and the spätzel then topped with roasted onions and chives is the most popular.  käsenockerln 

we also serve it as a side dish with goulash. or any type of meat with a sauce.

 

some times i mess with the austrians heads and fry the spätzel with different things for a fussion cusine like a mexican nockerln.  yea they dont like me doing that.

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