Classic Spätzle
Simple ingredients plus the right technique make spätzle perfect as a side dish or an entrée. This substitute for potatoes or rice can also be found in Austrian cuisine and goes well with Chicken Paprikash and many other saucy main courses.
Servings Prep Time
6guest 10minute
Cook Time Passive Time
6minute 30minute
Servings Prep Time
6guest 10minute
Cook Time Passive Time
6minute 30minute
Ingredients
Instructions
Classic Spätzle Dough Directions:
  1. Fit an electric mixing bowl with a whisk attachment and add the cracked eggs. Beat the eggs for a minute on medium speed until they’re light, fluffy and pale yellow. Add the flour and salt, then incorporate the flour on a low speed or it will fly out of the mixing bowl. Increase the speed to medium and beat the batter for 3 – 4 minutes. The batter should be a little stringy, with a slight pull to the dough. The water in the eggs will combine with the flour and create gluten as they are beaten. Turn off the mixer, remove the whisk, cover and rest the dough for 20 – 30 minutes to fully hydrate the flour.
Boiled Spätzle Directions:
  1. As the batter rests, fill a large pot with water and enough salt to taste and place over high heat. Bring the water to a boil, then lower the heat to a simmer. Take the spaetzle maker, colander or slotted spoon, place it over the simmering water and fill it halfway with spätzle batter.
  2. Lightly press the handle down to slowly expel the thin noodles into the water. Fill the press again, about two to three times per batch. Stir the spätzle with a skimmer to gently break the noodles up and to avoid any clumps. Cook for 5 – 6 minutes. Using a spider, skimmer or another hand strainer, remove the spätzle from the water into another large bowl. Repeat this process until all the batter is cooked, and then drain any remaining water from the bowl.
Spätzle Serving Options:
  1. Once the spätzle is boiled they can be plated and eaten as is, or served under a sliced Sauerbraten, Wiener Schnitzel or Hasenpfeffer. Fluffy, tender and delicious, they are great either way. Here are a few other serving suggestions.
Fried Spätzle Directions:
  1. To create more texture, fry the batter instead. Place a sauté pan or skillet over medium-high heat and add 3–4 tablespoons of fat (vegetable oil, olive oil, rendered bacon fat or, for extra richness and Old World flavor, goose or duck fat). Or add a nutty note with browned butter. Add the drained spätzle in an even layer. Let the noodles sit for 2–3 minutes, allowing the spätzle to brown and create a crust. Do not stir. Then stir them gently, and give them a few more minutes to brown again. Do this 3–5 times, depending on the heat of your stovetop. Lightly season the fried spätzle with salt and freshly cracked peppercorns before transferring them to a serving bowl. To add more flavor and color and to help build flavors that are also found in hops, try mixing in chopped parsley, marjoram, thyme or chives. I find these flavors enhance the Noble hops used in many German lagers and can aid in beer pairing. To further enhance the flavor of the bacon fat, try adding cooked crumbled bacon or speck, a German-style cured meat that is cold smoked for a long period of time. Along with the herb seasonings, the speck will bring out a wonderful richness when paired with Rauchbier.
Baked Spätzle Directions:
  1. Another way to use the spätzle is in a gratin. Take 1/2 – 3/4 pound of grated cheese (quark, Gouda, smoked Gouda, or a beer-washed cheese, like Weisslacker), mix it with the slightly cooled spätzle, and place it into a lightly buttered oven-proof container. Garnish the top with a handful of cheese and place the baking dish in an oven preheated to 375˚F | 191°C. Bake the gratin for 20 – 35 minutes, until the cheese has melted and the top has turned a lovely golden brown color.
  2. Another variation for baked spätzle is to add a German Beer Cheese Sauce, essentially creating a German-style Mac & Cheese. Follow the German Beer Cheese Sauce recipe and mix in the boiled and drained spätzle, tossing to combine. Pour into a buttered baking dish (topping with seasoned bread crumbs or another cup of the grated cheese used in the German Beer Cheese Sauce) and place into an oven preheated to 375˚F | 191°C for 30 – 45 minutes, or until the sauce is bubbling and the cheese on top is golden brown.

Executive Chef: Sean Z. Paxton

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