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How To Make Spaetzle

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    How To Make Spaetzle

    This one is for CaptainMike especially


    Spaetzle, also called Nokedli in Hungary, are egg/flour dumplings originating in the German region of Schwaben. They are a classic German side dish that go along with many different German and Hungarian dishes. However, they are also a classic main dish in Schwaben when prepared as KaseSpaetzle, which means, literally, Cheese Dumplings.


    There are really three key elements to preparing Spaetzle: 1. Getting the egg/cream/flour proportions correct; 2. Getting the structure of the dough correct; and 3. Cutting the dumplings properly.

    I will detail each of these things in the recipe. That said, be aware that you will have to stir the spaetzle dough vigorously for 15-20 minutes and that using a mixer is not a good substitute for hand stirring. Also, understand that if you don’t have a Hobel (a cutter for spaetzle), you will have to cut the dumplings by hand. Without experience, this won’t work out well. I highly recommend you buy a Hobel, easily available on Amazon for a reasonable price.

    One thing that is very important to note, you may find many different ways to do spaetzle on the internet. Almost all of them assume you have special equipment or knowledge of some sort. I do not. Except the Hobel mentioned below. The key to my recipe is getting the dough consistency correct and using a Hobel over boiling water. Other than that, there is nothing special to this.

    Another super important note. Please don’t substitute ingredients or leave out ingredients. This is a dough, not a batter. It is like making bread. You must have the right ingredients. In this case, you need the right amounts of fat, protein (the eggs and half & half), starches, and glutens (the flour), to create the proper structure. The salt helps you develop that structure. The things you could leave out are the nutmeg and cloves, but why would you? They add interesting depth and flavor to a bland recipe. Bottom line, until you understand how to get this dough right, don’t change my ingredients.

    That said, Spaetzle is not an easy thing to make. You probably have to try to more than once to get it right. I learned this from a lady in Schwaben who had been making it for her whole life and when I knew her she was in her 70’s.

    Takes (how long)

    Food prep - 5 minutes
    Preparing the dough - 25 minutes

    Cooking time - 3 minutes per batch, about 10 minutes total for this recipe

    Serve with

    Excellent side for most German, Austrian, and Hungarian foods. Classically served with Csirke Paprikás (Hungarian Chicken), but also many other Central European dishes. Also, classically, served in Schwaben as KaseSpaetzle …. Literally Cheese Dumplings (with onions).

    Special tools

    A Hobel - You can get one on Amazon easily. Look up Spaetzle Hobel on Amazon.

    If you don’t have a Hobel, you will have to cut the spaetzle on a board with a very sharp knife. If you aren’t Schwaebisch or Magyar with many years of experience, I don’t recommend this.


    4 large eggs
    1/4 cup half and half
    1/4 cup water
    2 cups all purpose flour
    1 tsp sea salt (or 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt)
    1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
    1/4 tsp ground cloves

    1. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together eggs, half and half, water, salt, nutmeg, cloves until frothy
    2. In that same bowl, slowly whisk in flour until too thick to continue whisking, about 1 1/2 cups of the flour. You will need a strong wire whisk for this and need to go slowly, about 5 minutes of work here. Don’t go fast, take your time. It’s a journey
    3. Once to thick to continue whisking, start slowly adding flour and using a wooden spoon to work the flour into the batter. Be gentle and work the flour in until you have all the remaining flour in.
    4. Now you need to briskly work the dough with your wooden spoon. You are going to stir/beat for about 15 minutes to reach the right consistency.
    5. The right consistency is when the batter forms bubbles that take 1-2 seconds to collapse. See picture below. This takes experience to get right. At this point your dough has "structure" … it will be similar to a sourdough.
    6. Now, bring a large pot of water, with some salt, to a rolling boil.
    7. Place your Hobel on the pot using it’s hooks, fill the dough container about halfway (use 1-2 spoons to fill and scrape). Then rapidly move the Hobel over the grater until all the dough is in the boiling water. Remove Hobel/Grater from pot.
    8. Cook spaetzle at a boil for about 3 minutes. You will have to judge by eye when they are done. Roughly, they are floating and easily moving in the water. Test one to check done. To reiterate, they take about 3 minutes.
    9. Strain spaetzle from boiling water using a slotted spoon or spider strainer into a non-reactive bowl. Dump onto paper towels, pat dry, and back into your bowl to hold them.
    10. Repeat this process until all your dough is cooked, approximately 3 batches.
    11. Serve with something yummy

    This is a Spaetzle Hobel. Easily available on Amazon. A must have for cooking Spaetzle
    Click image for larger version  Name:	F7E381F2-00BB-4309-9881-D0134155B488.jpeg Views:	1 Size:	24.5 KB ID:	1067775
    Here you can see the bubbles forming in the Spaetzle dough. If your dough isn’t forming bubbles, it’s too thin, add a bit of flour. If it is feeling very thick and not forming bubbles, it is too thick, add a bit of water. This takes experience.
    Click image for larger version  Name:	567EAE34-7FAA-4942-B1C2-11FDBD06953C.jpeg Views:	1 Size:	102.4 KB ID:	1067777
    This is what Spaetzle looks like cooked. It should be plump, firm, but not chewy.
    Click image for larger version  Name:	8E1EA9B5-587A-4C76-AD82-E793075C79C7.jpeg Views:	1 Size:	2.86 MB ID:	1067776
    Last edited by ecowper; July 28, 2021, 01:24 AM.

    CaptainMike let me know if this makes sense and works for you!


    • CaptainMike
      CaptainMike commented
      Editing a comment
      It does and thank you!!! This seems more "authentic" than any recipes I've seen so far. It looks like the mixing component is key and I have not seen that mentioned. I ordered the hobel before I finished reading and it should be here tomorrow. Looks like schnitzel and spaetzle for dinner!!! Thank you so much, Eric! I'll let you know how it goes.

    • ecowper
      ecowper commented
      Editing a comment
      CaptainMike the mixing is definitely key. You have to get the dough right. Using a hobel will make it much easier to cut the spaetzle. Don't worry if it isn't perfect the first time, this recipe should get you on the right track.

    Looking good in the Amazing Rib Hood.
    Googled it. Spaetzle Recipe | Tyler Florence | Food Network


    • CaptainMike
      CaptainMike commented
      Editing a comment
      I've tried this one, and while it's okay, it's not as good as I had when I first tried spätzle. I think Eric's half and half and longer working time will give it more structure and richness.

    • ecowper
      ecowper commented
      Editing a comment
      technically, my use of half and half makes it not authentic. It should just be eggs, water, flour, salt .... but I fiddled with it until I liked it better. If you follow this particular recipe and don't get the dough right, it will be disappointing.

    Yeah baby!!!! Now this is it! Love love love love it!

    and you got it! Have to make that dough blister, but it’s a technique that my Oma has taught me as well. And the best thing, she does it all by eye and feel! No measurements!

    Your dough looks perfect and getting those first few blisters feels like an eternity but once you get those, you know you are going to have great noodles.

    I’m sure you know kas spatzen - perhaps you don’t but if you are making spaetzle I’d guess you do?

    this is wonderful - thank you for sharing, makes me smile getting to see this type of food being discussed!

    edit - just realized you and I have had a few posts back and forth on this topic spatzen and Rouladen!


    • ecowper
      ecowper commented
      Editing a comment
      I love KaseSpaetzle! :-)

    • CaptainMike
      CaptainMike commented
      Editing a comment
      Hmmm, Rouladen.....


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