“Spätzle?!” – I hear you ask? What is Spätzle?!
Let me introduce you to the smallest German dumplings – a bit like a German noodle. Originally from the Swabian region, these little dough balls have been around since the 18th century. They are made from simple ingredients: eggs, flour, milk and salt.
They are popular side dish and in Germany we use it as a substitute for noodles, potatoes and even rice. At home I often make eat it with goulash or red cabbage and sausages. A popular variation is to have it with grated cheese and fried onions (Käse Spätzle) – a recipe which I will post shortly.
Even though the ingredients are simple and easy to come by, the preparation can be quite messy. (If you are terribly clumsy like me, you will need to remove the dough from the sides of your kitchen cupboards) But thankfully these Spätzle freeze perfectly, so I normally make a big batch and freeze them in meal size portions. To defrost the Spätzle just place them in a bowl and either defrost naturally or in the microwave. To serve heat them up in the microwave or you can quickly fry them in a pan with a little butter.
The easiest way to make it is with a special Spätzlemaker – which is similar to a sieve with large holes. So if you do not have a Spätzlemaker to hand you can use a sieve with large holes and just use a wooden spoon to press through the dough into a pot of simmering water.
However I had a quick look of amazon, and you can order a Spätzlemaker quite cheaply here in the UK. YAY!
- 500 g plain flour
- 6 medium eggs
- 200 ml milk
- 20 g melted unsalted butter
- Place the flour in a large bowl and with your fingers form a little crater in the centre.
- Add the eggs, milk and salt and butter into the crater.
- Now mix everything to a liquidly, sticky dough.
- Leave the dough to rest for about 10 minutes.
- In a large saucepan bring water to boil. Add a little salt to it.
- Now if you have a Spätzlemaker slowly pour in the dough and press the strands into the boiling water.
- Alternatively use a sieve or colander with large holes.
- The Spätzle will rise to the top once they are cooked. Try to fish them out with a ladle with large holes.
- Do not try to make too many Spätzle at once, otherwise the dough might end up sticking to your saucepan.