Who invented it? The Swabians - at least they think so. One thing is certain: Cheese spaetzle are among the favorite dishes, especially in Swabia, the Allgäu and Austria. The Teignocken are also known under the names Kässpatzen, Chäschnöpfli or Käsknöpfle. Fresh Käsespätzle are a meal in their own right - they are layered with strong mountain cheese and served with fried onions and a little parsley. There is also a green salad. We clarify the most important questions about the preparation of cheese spaetzle.
What do you need to make spaetzle yourself?
You need the following basic ingredients:
300 g of flour
4 eggs, size M
some grated nutmeg
4-6 tbsp mineral water
approx. 250 g mountain cheese or Emmentaler
2 large onions
1 tbsp clarified butter
The viscous dough is stirred by hand or with a dough hook until it bubbles and has a silky sheen. If the dough is too firm, just add some more mineral water. Put a cloth over the bowl and let the dough rest for at least half an hour. Put on a saucepan with plenty of (important!) Salt water and squeeze or scrape the spaetzle directly into the slightly bubbly water. For scraping you need a knife with a long blade and a spaetzle board (a normal board is sufficient at first). When the spaetzle swim on top (after about three minutes), take them out of the water with a ladle and put them in a baking dish that has been greased with butter. Layer the spaetzle alternately with grated mountain cheese, the last layer is cheese.
Varieties such as Appenzeller, Emmentaler or Le Gruyère are common - you can of course also make a cheese mix. If you want the spaetzle to be particularly creamy, just add some cream. The cheese spaetzle then of course have even more calories.
Keep the baking dish warm between layers at around 120 to 150 degrees. Now cut the onions into rings and brown them in clarified butter until golden brown, rinse the parsley, dry it, cut it into small pieces, fold in and serve with the spaetzle.
By the way: You can also prepare the spaetzle in the traditional way in the pan.
Tip: In addition to mountain cheese, Emmentaler, beer cheese or medieval Gouda go well with cheese spaetzle.
Vegan cheese spaetzle
For a vegan variant, leave out ingredients such as egg and cheese - with turmeric you can give the spaetzle the beautiful yellow color that the eggs normally have. The basic recipe:
200 g flour
3 tbsp durum wheat semolina
2 teaspoons of vegetable oil
2 teaspoons of salt
250 ml sparkling water
50 ml of vegetable cream
100 g vegan cheese (grated)
Parsley or chives for serving
>> Try our cheese spaetzle variant with mushrooms
Which flour for spaetzle?
One can literally argue about this question: While some make their spaetzle with conventional wheat flour (type 405 or 550), others only use spaetzle flour or wheat steam. When the recipe suddenly mentions this flour, there are many question marks. So what is the difference between wheat flour and wheat steam or spaetzle flour ? Wheat steam, or just steam, or spaetzle flour, is a mixture of flour and semolina and, due to the grain, has a better grip than normal wheat flour.
The special mixture makes the dough more firm to the bite and absorbs significantly more water. Spaetzle flour is therefore also ideal for making dough for noodles and pasta as well as dumpling dough. You can also thicken sauces with it. Just try out which flour you can work better with!
Press or scrape spaetzle?
Whether you prefer to scrape or press spaetzle is a matter of taste. Scraping definitely takes some skill and practice. If you are making spaetzle yourself for the first time and want to serve it to guests straight away, then a spaetzle dough press or a spaetzle grater is recommended . Simply add the dough in portions and press it directly into the water. When scraping, spread about 2 tablespoons of dough evenly on the lower half of a moistened piece of wood and cut the spaetzle threads with the knife. It is important to work quickly here so that the spaetzle are cooked evenly.
Scare off spaetzle - a good idea?
Only if they are not subsequently processed or consumed directly. When quenched, the cold water ensures that the cooking process is interrupted and the spaetzle do not stick together in a lump. However, if the spaetzle are to be eaten directly or processed for cheese spaetzle, they can be placed directly on the plate or in an oven dish. Whether you put off spaetzle or not depends on the further processing or consumption.
Why are spaetzle actually called spaetzle?
If you don't know for sure, what do you do? You argue! This is also the case with the spaetzle, because the linguistic origin is unknown - and therefore all the more controversial. This is all about:
Before you had scraped the spaetzle off the board and pressed the button through a button strainer, housewives made spaetzle by hand or with a spoon without tools. Because the dough in the hand has been compared or associated with sparrows, spaetzle were first called "sparrows." The dough pieces were larger then than they are today.
Then there is this theory: The word “Spätzle” is supposed to come from the Italian “Spezzato”, which translates as “Stückeltes” or “Geschnetzeltes”: “pezzo” means “piece”, “Spezzare” “to cut into pieces”. The dough was cut into pieces or torn - this became the "sparrow shape". In the Swabian dialect, it became the now known “Spätzle”.