Prep 20 mins
Cook 15 mins
Spaetzle, "little sparrows," are very like hornli, "little horns," and knopfli, "little buttons." They are all tiny dumplings, very popular in Germany and Switzerland. A plateful of these lovely golden nuggets can be a meal in itself, with salad and wine. Otherwise, serve them with chicken, game, or meat. The purchase of a spaetzle mill will simply the procedure of make them, although you can certainly make do with a large-hole colander, or even a wooden board and a sharp knife
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 4 eggs
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 grindings black pepper
- 1 cup warm water
- 4 quarts salt water, approximately
- 1⁄4 cup butter
- In a large bowl, combine the flour with the eggs, salt, pepper, and warm water.
- Beat hard with a wooden spoon to form a thick, smooth batter.
- Continue beating for 5 minutes.
- This should be done rather energetically, by scraping the dough toward you with a regular rhythm, so as to incorporate as much air as possible.
- Let the dough rest, covered, for 15 minutes.
- Bring the salted water to a boil.
- If you are using a spaetzle mill, simply push the dough through it into the boiling salted water.
- If you do not have a mill, balance a colander (the largest you own) on the rim of the pot in which the water is boiling.
- Make sure that the water is at least 8 inches below the colander or the dough will simply congeal from the steam.
- Use a large wooden spoon to press the dough through the holes in the colander into the water.
- A third alternative is to add a little more flour to the dough (about 1/2 cup) to stiffen it.
- Remove the dough to a floured board and with a sharp knife slice it into strips about 1/4 inch wide and 1/2 inch long.
- Boil the spaetzle for 4 minutes.
- Drain in a large colander, and rinse briefly under cold running water.
- *Melt the butter in an ovenproof skillet.
- Saute the spaetzle for 3 to 4 minutes, then place the skillet in a 350°F.
- oven and bake for 10 minutes.
- Serves 6 to 8.
- NOTES AND VARIATIONS:*You can make the spaetzle ahead up to this point.
- Spread them out on a kitchen towel and cover them with a damp towel.
- They will keep for several hours.
- The Dumpling Cookbook.