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Spaetzle maker


Linda Rose
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I recently decided to try making spätzle. Of course I have to get the correct gadget to do this. In my internet search I have found 3 types of makers:

1. A thing that looks like a potato ricer

2. A thing that looks like a food mill

3. A thing that looks like a flat grater with a hopper on top.

The ricer seems like it would make 2-inch spagetti-like spätzle. The grater/hopper looks like it'd make shorter little clumps (gnocci-ish). And the food mill would make something in between.

Is there a "correct" form of spätzle? And which is the best maker for the task?

BTW Any good recipes for the gadget recommended?

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I recently decided to try making spätzle.  Of course I have to get the correct gadget to do this.  In my internet search I have found 3 types of makers: 

1.  A thing that looks like a potato ricer

2.  A thing that looks like a food mill

3.  A thing that looks like a flat grater with a hopper on top.

The ricer seems like it would make 2-inch spagetti-like spätzle.  The grater/hopper looks like it'd make shorter little clumps (gnocci-ish).  And the food mill would make something in between.

Is there a "correct" form of spätzle?  And which is the best maker for the task?

BTW  Any good recipes for the gadget recommended?

I use my potato ricer with the largest disc. I just can't justify the space for a dedicated spätzle maker.

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I don't have a recipe at hand, but on some cooking show ages ago, the cook used a metal pie pan with holes punched in the bottom. It was placed over the simmering water and the dough was pushed through the holes with a scraper.

"Fat is money." (Per a cracklings maker shown on Dirty Jobs.)
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I have the hopper type. Quick and easy, except for the cleanup. And that is not too bad, if you leave the whole works to soak for an hour or so in cool water.

Whether it makes the "right" kind of spatzle, I don't know--I have only had mine, never in a restaurant. :raz:

sparrowgrass
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I don't have a recipe at hand, but on some cooking show ages ago, the cook used a metal pie pan with holes punched in the bottom.  It was placed over the simmering water and the dough was pushed through the holes with a scraper.

This reminds me of type number 4: like a perforated pizza pan with a squeegie to press the dough through.

Are there any German or Austrians out there that can report what Oma's spätzle looked like and how she made them?

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I have a device that looks like a deep sided pan with holes in the bottom. It came with a scraper to push the dough back and forth over the holes. After watching me use it, my friend Dave ( a professional who is my go to for most cooking problems ) said he just spreads it out on a pastry board and cuts it into thin strips with a knife. After trying Dave's method with no special tools, I have found it to be just as easy with no extra devices to clean.

Goodness knows I love kitchen devices but there are a few I have but really don't need.

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I use a wire rack that has 3/8" squares. It's a commercial type that fits in a hotel pan. I spray it with pan spray, set it in top of the pan of boiling water and just dump the batter on it and push it through with a dough scraper. Works great and makes the right size spaetzle. I've also use a perforated hotel pan. If you have a restaurant supply store nearby, they'd have both or a site like this - https://www.surfasonline.com/index.cfm

The recipe I use is

Mix together dry ingredients

AP Flour 3/4 c

baking powder 1/4 t

salt 1/4 t

nutmeg 1 pinch

egg 1

beat w/ milk 1/4 c

Add to dry ingredients and mix well. Push through rack into salted boiling water. Scoop them out after they float for a minute.

I like to then saute them in butter w/ sage, s&p, maybe garlic and top w/ parm.

Really easy and can be done for a crowd with no problem.

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Here in Germany the real Spätzle is formed with a knife. They (the grandmothers that actually have time to do it right) make the dough, place it on a board, and scrape the noodles right into the water with a knife. As for myself, I buy my dried Spätzle in a bag. Just like Italy makes great dried pasta, Germans do the same with Spätzle.

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I've tried 'em all, and without doubt I get the best results from type 3: the flat perforated rectangle with a sliding hopper on top. I quite like the method that kpzachary describes too, and it's fun. But the sliding hopper thing (which is quite cheap - I think I paid ten bucks for mine) is amazingly fast and yields nice spaetzle. It is dishwasher-safe as well.

Edited by emsny (log)
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I've tried 'em all, and without doubt I get the best results from type 3: the flat perforated rectangle with a sliding hopper on top. I quite like the method that kpzachary describes too, and it's fun. But the sliding hopper thing (which is quite cheap - I think I paid ten bucks for mine) is amazingly fast and yields nice spaetzle. It is dishwasher-safe as well.

I think this will be my choice. It seems to be the easiest to me also.

Next question: How thick should the dough be? Pancake batter, bread dough, or somewhere in between?

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I've used the cheese grater and it worked well. I've also seen a technique that uses a pastry bag and a small tip. You squeeze the dough into the water. You can vary the size buy trimming the dough coming out of the pastry bag.

Jeff

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" Are there any German or Austrians out there that can report what Oma's spätzle looked like and how she made them? "

OK, hier bin ich:

Spaetzle:

500 gr. Mehl (17.5 oz)

5 Eier (large)

150/200 ml Wasser ( 5/6.5 oz)

Salz

Alle Zutaten werden in einer Schüssel vermengt und geschlagen, bis der Teig Blasen wirft. Traditionalisten verweden dazu ihre Hände, andere immerhin noch einen Kochlöffel mit Loch. Mit dem Handrührgerät geht es aber auch, wenn das auch bei vielen verpönt ist. Wenn der langsam und zäh von einem Löffel fließt ohne zu reißen, hat er die richtige Konsistenz. Andernfalls mehr Wasser oder Mehl dazugeben.

I still make them like Omi did, the above is Flour, Eggs, Water & Salt.

A very wide (mine is 14") but shallow (5") pot with salted boiling water, and another with a large amount of icecold water.

A friend of mine, who does wood working, cut me a 1/4" thick 16" X 10" white birch (dried for a year) board.

Water boiling rapidly, wetted down board at an angle of 45 degree sitting on the rim of the pot, I scrape a one inch thick & 4" to 5" wide layer of batter, by very fast moving of my hand back and forth quickly over the board edge into the boiling water. Never using more than a cup of batter at the time.

Oh, the 'scraper', is a pastry chef's 2" wide 14" long stainless steel spatula.

Within two to three minutes the Spaetzle will float to the top, using a wire scimmer, they get removed from the boil int that cols water.

They look like cream colored three to five inch, varying thickness "nightcrawlers"

Working in batches like this will cool them enough in the same time as I scrape another batch. So in that time one should remove the cold ones into a colander to drain.

I always make Spaetzle a day ahead of use. Storing them right in the colander, but uncovered, in the fridge will sufficiently dry them to receive the final prep of sauteing:

Heat some clarified butter, sprinkle a few white fine breadcrumbs into it, slightly coloring them, add Spaetzle, freshly ground Nutmeg, possibly some salt and more lumps of fresh butter, toss and sautee and toss and sautee

Do not forget to eat.

Peter
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