What Is Spaetzle?
Spaetzle is a form of small dumpling or noodle that originated in South Germany and is popular in Austria, Hungary, and Switzerland. Spaetzle is a simple dish similar to pasta, but much easier to make. Spaetzle is generally made with eggs, flour, and milk.
Many modern variations of spaetzle exist. Spaetzle is often served with gravy or in a stew or soup. Spaetzle is sometimes also paired with sweet ingredients like sugar, cinnamon, apples, and cherries.
While it is not generally considered the star of the dish, spaetzle acts as a great carrier for delicious meats and sweet or savory sauces.
How to Make Spaetzle Without a Spaetzle Maker
While spaetzle makers can be purchased to make the dish at home, there are many other tools that can be used to make the dish if you do not own a spaetzle maker. Spaetzle makers are generally made out of a metal surface that has holes for the noodle mixture to pass through.
This article will provide various alternatives to the spaetzle maker. You can use anything that has small holes to create your own spaetzle maker. Ideally, the holes should be around ¼ to ½ an inch wide.
Spaetzle Maker Alternatives
- Wooden board and knife
- Potato ricer
- Potato masher
- Cheese grater
You can use a wooden board for spreading the spaetzle dough. Spread the dough in a thin layer. Then, cut the dough into small, elongated shapes with the knife. You can slide the spaetzle into the boiling water with the use of a spoon or egg flip.
Alternatively, you could place the spaetzle dough into a potato ricer. Then, hold the ricer over the boiling water and compress it. This will force the spaetzle out of the ricer and into the boiling water. You may need to use a knife to cut the remaining dough off the bottom of the ricer.
If you usually use a masher rather than a ricer to make mashed potatoes, you can use this to make spaetzle too. Form round balls of spaetzle dough and then hold the potato masher over the boiling pot of water.
Take a ball of dough and push it through the top of the masher’s metal plate and down into the boiling water. Repeat with the other balls of dough.
A colander can also be used as an alternative to a spaetzle maker. Place all your spaetzle dough into the colander and place the colander on top of the pot of boiling water. Slowly push the dough through the holes in the colander and into the water below.
Alternatively, a cheese grater can be used. Form round balls of spaetzle dough and hold the cheese grater above the pot of boiling water. Push the balls of dough one at a time through the holes of the cheese grater and into the boiling water.
The instructions above all suggest holding the device above the boiling water so that the spaetzle falls right into it. This prevents the pieces of spaetzle from sticking to one another and forming large clumps which become stodgy when cooked.
However, if you are not confident doing this above a pot of boiling water, you can sprinkle flour over a wooden board and use whatever device you have selected on the floured board. Be sure to gently empty the spaetzle into the boiling water as soon as you are finished.
- This recipe serves 5-6 people.
- 2 cups of flour
- 1 tablespoon minced/crushed fresh parsley
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- 6 large eggs
- 1 cup of milk
- ¼ cup butter
- Select a large mixing bowl. You can either use a food processor or a stand-alone bowl with a hand mixer.
- Add the flour, parsley, and nutmeg to the bowl and whisk well.
- Select another mixing bowl and use it to beat the eggs.
- Add the milk to the flour and parsley mixture and stir until the batter is completely smooth and free from lumps. The batter should be a similar consistency to thick pancake batter.
- Leave the batter to rest for 20 to 25 minutes at room temperature. This allows time for any remaining lumps to dissolve.
- Next, fill a large pot with hot water and salt. Bring it to the boil.
- Once the batter has rested, push the spaetzle batter through the tool that you have selected to make the spaetzle. Hold the tool over the pot of boiling water so that the spaetzle falls directly into the pot. Remember to make long slender pieces of spaetzle when you push the batter through the tool.
- Boil the batter until it begins to rise to the top of the water. You can use a spoon with holes in it to remove the spaetzle from the water. This will ensure that the spaetzle does not become soggy.
- Melt the butter in a skillet on medium heat.
- Place the spaetzle that you have just removed from the pot into the skillet.
- Fry the spaetzle dough for approximately 5 minutes.
- Serve warm and garnish with fresh parsley.
This is how you make the delicious recipe Spaetzle without using a Spaetzle maker. Try it out!