STEP 1: Add the flour, salt and nutmeg the bowl of a stand mixer. Stir to combine.
STEP 2: Crack four eggs into a bowl and whisk to combine. Then make a well in the center of the flour and add the eggs.
STEP 3: Add the milk and with the dough hook of the stand mixer attached, knead the dough on the “2″ setting for 18-20 minutes. Add more flour if the mixture is too runny, or more milk if it is too stiff.
The dough is done when “bubbles” begin to form. Use a wooden spoon and scoop and pull the dough, If bubbly holes appear, the dough is done. If not, continue kneading with the mixer for another minute or two, repeating the “test” process.
Okay, it’s time to make the Spätzle! Traditionally, Spätzle was made by hand using a Spätzle Brett, or Spätzle board. You would rub a slab of dough out onto a wetted board and use a pastry cutter or long sharp knife to quickly cut off strands of the dough into simmering water. Schwabian women of previous generations were highly skilled at this and could do it so fast it would make you dizzy to watch. Nowadays most Germans use a Spätzle maker (and even more just buy it ready made at the store. It’s the “convenience generation”).
As I already mentioned, there are a few different kinds of Spätzle makers out there and you can find them easily online.
Let’s Talk Spätzle Makers
You can purchase this Original Kull Spätzle Maker, Made in Germany online. This particular model is dishwasher safe. And there is another Kull spätzle maker, same model, but it’s highly polished and thus not dishwasher safe. Just a matter of personal preference. You can use either as a potato ricer, too. Again, it’s pricey, but it’s the one I recommend because it’s built like a tank and will last a lifetime – and it will become a family heirloom you can pass on to your children and grandchildren!
Another option is the German Küchenprofi Spätzle Lid & Scraper. I’ve used this one as well with good results and it’s much cheaper. It produces different shape of noodle – a shorter, stubbier one. Again, simply personal preference. You see both kinds of Spätzle in Germany.
Lastly, there’s the Küchenprofi Spätzle Plane with Pusher, which is my least favorite as it can be a little clumsy, messy, and more difficult to work with.
If you don’t want to buy a Spätzle maker, you can alternatively use a colander or steamer with large holes.
You would need a sturdy object with a straight edge, like this wooden spoon.
STEP 4: You would place some of the dough in the steamer over the simmering water and scrape the dough through the holes. I will say that this option can be a bit challenging and lead to some frustration.
Place the spatzle maker over a pot of lightly salted simmering water and scoop some dough into it.
STEP 5: Press the Spätzle maker down to squeeze the Spätzle noodles out into the simmering water. Simmer the Spätzle for about 2-3 minutes or until they float to the top.
STEP 6: Using a slotted spoon, transfer the Spätzle to a colander and then immediately put them in a bowl of very cold water. This helps them firm up to the desired consistency.
STEP 7: Drain the Spätzle again and toss with a little oil or melted butter to keep them from sticking. Spätzle will keep in the fridge for at least a couple of days and then heated to serve. Melt some butter in a pan and toss the Spätzle in it to warm through.
Serving Recommendation: Goes well with all meat dishes in particular game such as venison ragout.
This will be a traditional Schnitzel with Spätzle type of dish. Though the Hunter’s Pork Chops aren’t technically “Schnitzel”, the only difference is that the pork chops are left in “chops” form instead of pounded flat before they’re breaded and fried. You can do that if you prefer.
RECIPE OF THE MONTH:
Swabia is home to some of Germany’s best food. Some, including myself, would argue it’s home to the best food in all of Germany (and that’s saying a lot because every region of Germany has some amazing, amazing food). Swabia is known for its soups, sauces, meats and wursts, and its salads, to name a few. Maultaschen, a unique kind of Swabian ravioli, is another popular and beloved dish and one that I’ll definitely need to feature on The Daring Gourmet at some point.
Today we’re featuring Spätzle. A Swabian specialty, it is also enjoyed in Austria, Switzerland and Hungary. It is a special type of egg noodle that is enjoyed with sauces and gravies as well as incorporated into a variety of different dishes. One example is Käsespätzle (a cheese spätzle casserole with crispy fried onions) and something that I will feature in the future on my sausage stand..
A couple of additional facts from Wikipedia: ”The total estimated annual commercial production of spätzle in Germany is approximately 40,000 tons. Literally translated, Spätzle means “little sparrow”. Before the invention and use of mechanical devices to make these noodles, they were shaped by hand or with a spoon and the results resembled Spatzen (meaning little sparrows).”
So without further ado, let’s get to Spätzle makin’!
Prep time 25 mins | Cook time 10 mins | Total time 35 mins
4 cups all-purpose flour (you can also use whole wheat flour)
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
3 large eggs
1¼ cup milk