Saturday, February 12, 2011

Taste of Home: Spätzle!!!

The other day, the contestants in "Worst Cooks in America" made spätzle from scratch.  The show made me realize that my kids only knew spätzle from the packages that I would buy since I had cooked them from scratch in their lifetime - maybe once....

Turns our, spätzle are easy and quick to make. Unlike spaghetti or egg noodles, they're the noodles you'd want to actually make yourself.  The homemade version is much better than what you get in the dry package.

So, I decided to make spätzle  - to go along with the pork roast I made yesterday - for dinner tonight.

Yes, I know that the recipe book is in German.  Don't worry, I'll translate!

First you need 400 g of flour.  I used bread flour, because that's what I had on hand.  Using my flour, that works out to be 3 cups - I measured it!  It may be different for yours.  (Using a little more than I did would probably not hurt.)

Put into the KitchenAid mixer, make a small indentation on the middle of the flour and add 4 large eggs and 1 tsp of salt.  Stir with the flat paddle until flour and eggs are starting to mix and slowly add 200 ml of sparkling water.*  The recipe calls for plain water, but my Mom swears that sparkling water works better.  Mix on slow speed until the dough forms bubbles. I don't really know what that really looks like, but the dough ends up being  fairly smooth and it seems to be pulling in pieces off the sides that could be considered bubbles..

Now you need to bring saltwater to a boil in a tall pot.  I used my pressure cooker, because that's the tallest pot I have. You also need a ricer - some people call it a potato masher, see below.  (The pot on the left back burner contains the pork.  The pot on the right back burner is warming up with a little butter.  That's what the noodles will go into when they're done.)

The holes on the ricer should be fairly small.  

Fill the ricer with the dough and push it into the boiling water. 

My dough was thin enough so that the noodles fell into the water when the dough was pushed through.  If your dough is thicker and insists on sticking to the bottom of the ricer, use a sharp knife to cut the noodles away from the ricer.  

(The cat in the background is optional, and no - that is not his paw in the mixing bowl.)

The noodles will sink to the bottom of the pot and they will be done when they come back up.  Move them around a little in the water when they come back up or else they will stick together.  Give them a minute or two to make sure that they are done. 

Then fish the noodles out of the water using a colander and put them in a pot that is warm and contains a little butter.  The result should look something like this: 

My dough was fairly thin.  That's why the spätzle are relatively thin and short.  If your dough ends up being a little thicker, the noodles will be thicker and a little longer.  They will need to cook a little longer, too. 

Guten Appetit!


Spätzle (German noodles)
400 g flour
4 eggs
1 tsp salt
12 TBsp water (200 ml)
50 g butter

Mix flour, eggs, salt and water into a dough. 
Push the resulting mixture through a ricer into boiling salt water.  
Fish the dumplings out of the water using a colander. 
Heat butter in a separate pot.  Add the dumplings into the pot.
Spätzle are often paired with a meat and sauce.  They can also be mixed with cheese or sour cream.   

Addendum - footnote
*If you wait with the addition of water until the egg/flour mixture has turned into a clump all is not lost.  Just add the water at that time and keep mixing the dough.  Your dough will likely have floury lumps now, but don't despair and keep mixing the dough.  I'm not sure if you can overmix this particular dough, but when my second attempt at making spätzle started to go horribly wrong (hence the reason for the footnote..), I just kept on mixing it in my trusted Kitchenaid machine and it turned out just fine in the end.

1 comment:

  1. This looks awesome Stephanie! So glad I found your place. Looking forward to future recipes!

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