Simple Spaetzle from Scratch

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I’ve been meaning to try making spaetzle for years. It’s one of those yummy foods that seem really hard and you can’t often find on a regular basis, so if you want it, you have to figure out how to make it. I even bought a spaetzle maker two years ago in the hopes that one day soon I would find the inspiration and time to try it. And just last week, a recipe in my local newspaper reminded me of my mission, and so I made it.

What is spaetzle? It’s a little egg-based noodle or dumpling made in boiling water and basically, the basis for any sort of gravy, butter, or sauce. It’s of German origin—apparently spaetzle means “little sparrow,” but a true modern spaetzle looks more like “boogies.” I’m sorry, that doesn’t sound appetizing, but it really is what they look like and how I described them to my 5-year-old: boogie noodles. Only, they taste much better! They taste like an egg noodle and go with almost anything.

Lo and behold, spaetzle, like most ethnic comfort foods, isn’t really hard to make at all. And like most basic side dishes, it consists of very simple ingredients. In fact, one day I’m going to write a blog titled “500 Things To Do with Eggs, Flour, Milk or Water, and Salt.” AND I even used King Arthur’s White Whole Wheat Organic Flour so it’s not just a white food anymore; it’s kinda healthy!

I made mine using an official spaetzle maker like this one. But legend has it you can use a regular colander and just pour the batter in and push it through with a spoon or spatula.

Spaetzle

Ingredients:

  • 4 eggs
  • ¾ cup milk
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups flour (white whole wheat!)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Butter for on top

Directions:

  1. Mix everything together in a bowl (except the butter) with a whisk. Apparently, it helps to let the mixture sit for a half hour or so, so do this before you put the cooking water on to boil.
  2. Put a big pot of water on to boil (add some salt if you are feeling particular).
  3. When the water is boiling, start pouring the mixture into the spaetzle maker and push it through. When the spaetzle rises to the top, skim it off with a skimmer and put it in a strainer to let the water drain. This takes from 1 to 3 minutes—NOT LONG! Cooking a whole batch of spaetzle using this recipe will take you 5 to 10 minutes.
  4. When you are done, put the spaetzle in a dish, melt the butter, and pour over the top. Brown butter is good. But so is plain melted butter. Chop some herbs or, better yet, serve it with chicken and gravy. Or sausage and gravy. Or meat and gravy. Well, anything with any kind of gravy is awesome.


There you have it. Speatzle made simple, made from scratch! It’s good left over, too.

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9 Responses to Simple Spaetzle from Scratch

  1. Vanessa December 12, 2011 at 1:26 pm #

    ooooh…. poutine with spaetzle in lieu of potatoes…yummy!

  2. Dana B December 12, 2011 at 2:53 pm #

    An “official spaetzle maker” whoa. I’ve never made this, or had it myself, but from reading the recipe I can’t help from wanting to fill a ziplock bag with the dough, cut the corner and sort of pipe it in to the water like funnel cake. Is that against official spaetzle rules and regulations? Maybe I just really want funnel cake.

  3. Jenny December 12, 2011 at 3:34 pm #

    We love spaetzle in our house! I will definitely try this homemade recipe, but if you need a quick fix, Wegman’s also carries a delicious brand in the International Food section as well. :-)

  4. Maggie December 13, 2011 at 10:50 am #

    My boyfriends family does this with a little larger spaetzl, which they make by flicking tiny spoonfuls of the dough into soup (sauerkraut soup in this case but I could see other types working). They end up being about three to four times the size of normal spaetzl, but they make excellent dumplings. Whatever method you use to make the noodles, I would recommend just throwing them into a soup and using the broth to cook them. It’s yummy!

  5. Donna in Delaware December 14, 2011 at 11:38 pm #

    I love these with any meat and gravy. So versatile and easy to make. When in Germany, I eat it with a delicious, crisp goose or fleisch. You can substitute them with a good Czech bread dumpling! Like Jenny said, especially if you are in a hurry, buy them dried in a bag and just drop them in boiling water!

  6. Denise January 4, 2012 at 5:45 pm #

    I have been eating spaetzl for Christmas dinner for 35 years. It is a traditional German meal and goes w/ rouladen…which of course, has LOTS of gravy!

  7. Glenda January 5, 2012 at 1:13 pm #

    Has anyone found a print “button” for just the speatzl recipe?

  8. Julie January 6, 2012 at 11:42 am #

    I’ve made them for years. They are so simple. Before I had a spaetzle maker I used a colandar or the holes in a cheese grater. The grater is a little awkward to use, but it gets the job done. I wouldn’t buy the premade ones for anything. They’re absolutely nasty compared to the real thing.

  9. Dani January 21, 2012 at 9:52 pm #

    I cook spaetzle pretty often as a simple egg noodle to serve with a saucy dish. Recently, while staying with a friend who didn’t have a spaetzle maker, I flipped over a cheese grater, and used a football shaped cookie cutter to improvise. Lay the cookie cutter on the grater, fill it up with batter, and gently move it back and forth across the grater. It worked perfect! haha!

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