I absolutely love Spaetzle! Who doesn't? Buttery little bits of dough...it's just a given. However, I never thought about making it because, well... I've become somewhat of a lazy cook and I don't like dealing with dough or special tools, like a spaetzle maker.
Well, let me tell you....never fear! This dough is super easy and you don't even need a spaetzle maker! No, all you need is a pizza baking pan with holes on the bottom! Or you can even use a pasta strainer. Who knew? Now spaetzle making is as easy as 1-2-3! Simply place the pizza pan, or strainer, over the boiling water and push that dough right through with a spatula. Spaetzle for everyone!
Now we can celebrate Oktoberfest like we should! The best part is that you probably already have every single ingredient you need, and if you don't then we need to talk, because we're talking the bare minimum ingredients here: flour, eggs, milk, butter, salt and pepper, and just about any kind of herbs for topping.
So, what on earth are you waiting for? Deliciousness awaits!
Adapted from New York Times Cooking
by Mark Bittman
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup milk, more if needed
2 to 4 tablespoons butter or olive oil
chopped fresh parsley or chives for garnish
Step One: Set a large pot of water to a boil and salt it. In a bowl, combine flour with pepper and a large pinch of salt. In a bowl, combine flour with pepper and a large pinch of salt. Lightly beat together eggs and milk, and add to the flour, stirring. If necessary, add a little more milk until the mixture has the consistency of pancake batter.
Step Two (per Mark Bittman): Scoop a tablespoon or so of batter and drop it into the water; small pieces may breakoff, but the batter should remain largely intact and form a disk. Repeat, using about one-third to one-fourth the batter, depending on the size of the pot. When spaetzle rise to the top a couple of minutes later (you may have to loosen them from the bottom, but they will pop right up), cook another minute or so, then remove with a slotted spoon into a bowl of ice water. Repeat until all the batter is used up.
Step Two (Easier Alternative): Instead of following Bittman's steps for forming and cooking the spaetzle I read and researched various ways, finally settling on a method that was easiest. If you have a non-stick pizza pan with holes you are all set! Simply place it over the boiling water and allow the batter to run through the holes - talk about easy! This is the perfect method for getting the perfect-sized spaetzle and also making a somewhat tedious job perfectly easy.
Step Three: Drain spaetzle; at this point you can toss them with a bit of oil and refrigerate, covered, for up to a day. Heat butter or oil in a large skillet, preferably nonstick, over medium-high heat. when it's hot, add spaetzle a few at a time, and quickly brown on both sides. Serve hot, garnished with parsley or chives. And, let's be real here...of course, you could use olive oil, but why on earth would you? Browned butter is the perfect accompaniment to spaetzle!
This is a helpful video if you decide to make spaetzle!