Pro tips on how to make traditional German spatzle at home!
To get started you will need:
250 grams of all-purpose flour
3 whole eggs
1 teaspoon salt (I used fresh ground sea salt)
90ml of water
While you bring all the ingredients together, turn on a large pot of water and bring it to a boil. This way, you don’t have to wait for the water to heat up once you’ve finished mixing the dough. Multitasking is important in any kitchen! Add a little salt to the water to help season the noodles as they cook, but not too much! We don’t want salty noodles!
Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and mix with a wooden spoon. If you see that the dough is going to dry you can add another touch of water. Whether or not you will need to add more water may depend on the size of the eggs you used (how much moisture they added to the overall recipe) and the measuring cup you used to measure the water. Some measuring cups appear to be slightly larger than others.
Once the batter is smooth and dripping off the spoon in large lumps, it should be ready to use. It’s okay if the mixture is a bit thicker, this will simply result in a denser, less fluffy noodle. You can adjust the amount of water in future recipes to create a more runny batter if you like.
To cook spätzle, 3 main methods are generally used. Running the dough through a manual pasta extruder will result in long spaghetti like noodles. You can also place some of the mixture on a specially made cutting board or spatzle board and with the help of a wet knife or spatula, push/cut small sections of the dough into the boiling water. The method I use is with a colander (or perforated hotel tray) that has large holes about 5mm in diameter. Press the dough through the holes directly into the boiling water. Traditionally you’d use a spätzlehobel, but if you don’t have access to one you can even use a table cheese grater, though it’s not as quick and a bit more complicated.
You’ll know the spätzle are done when they float to the top. Be sure to remove them from the water right away with a slotted spoon or strainer so they don’t overcook and turn tough. For this reason, it’s best to boil spätzle in smaller batches.
Once the Spatzle are cooked, you can chill and refrigerate them to use in stews, or substitute in any pasta dish! They are delicious fried until lightly browned and simply coated in butter too!