My neighbors demonstrated how tag teaming the pressing, boiling and rinsing of the dough and noodles created the perfect Spaetzle! Using his grandmother’s späetzle press, Steve (along with his sidekick, Shelli) taught my friend, Susan, and I how to make our own German noodles.
The Spaetzle Press
There are many alternatives to the classic spaetzle press, but I assure you, using the real thing is worth it. I’ve tried a ricer, a colander and even a slotted spoon. I finally broke down and purchased a proper spaetzle press, but it sat gathering dust in my pantry. When my neighbors, who have made spaetzle over a hundred times, invited me and another girlfriend over for a demo, I couldn’t refuse. Steve had a treasure in his grandmother’s press and he and Shelli have the process down to an art. When it was my turn to transform my dough into noodles, I realized how ridiculously simple the whole process can be. Thanks so much for the fun afternoon, Seve and Shelli!
Thin, Eggy Noodles
I was sent home with a gallon ziplock bag of noodles for my dinner that night. We grilled pork chops and served the spaetzle fried in butter along with some homemade applesauce. It’s the perfect base for any entree with a nice sauce or gravy like sauerbraten, beef bourguignon or any stew. It’s wonderful straight up, but frying the noodles in browned butter adds an exquisite richness along with a duality of textures, from the crispy edges to the chewy unbrowned bits. I could have eaten the whole platter. My itsy bitsy mother-in-law was visiting and she and Bill ate their share, too.
- 3 cups flour
- 1 cup water, plus more to thin if needed
- 3 eggs
- 1½ teaspoons salt
- Butter, to fry the spaetzle, if desired
- In a large bowl, mix flour, water, eggs and salt and beat well with a strong wooden spoon, until batter is elastic and shows air bubbles.
- Rinse your spaetzle press with cold water. Press batter slowly into 4 quarts of salted boiling water. For shorter noodles, hold the press 2-3 inches about the water. For longer noodles, hold the press 4-5 inches about the water.
- As soon as the noodles rise to the top, scoop out with a slotted spoon and rinse in cold water. Drain off excess water and plate. Repeat till batter is all gone. You may store the noodles in a ziplock bag in the fridge to warm/fry and serve within a day or two.
- When you are ready to serve, melt butter in a skillet (browning the butter is even better). Fry until golden and serve hot.