I've tried to make it a number of times now. It always comes out clumpy and flavorless. Does anyone have some tips?
Do you cook it in plenty of salted water and then give it a cool water rinse? Using enough water and the cool water bath at the end should solve the clumping. The salt might solve the flavor problem.
Do you use a press? Do you salt the batter? Do you beat it until the elastic forms? The process is important for the outcome.
Agreed on the clumping-basically you are making pasta, so follow pasta rules-boil in a large pot with plenty of salted water, the water should taste like seawater. The salted water should help with flavor also. But like pasta, spaetzle is supposed to be a neutral foil for gravies, sauces or a simple mix of herbs thrown into a quick saute of the spaetzle in butter.
We made Spätzle from all purpose flour when I was growing up, but in southern Germany there is a specially formulated flour for Spätzle, Spätzlemehl. It is AP flour to which semolina is added. I think you could make your own by adding a spoon or three of semolina or Cream of Wheat (straight from the box) to your flour. That should take care of the clumpiness. And yes, you must beat the dough until the glutens develop, THEN let the dough rest for 15-30 minutes. This is also important.
How are you forming the Spätzle? You should drop them immediately into boiling, salted water and let them cook until they come to the surface. If you do not use them immediately, scoop them into a bowl of iced water. Drain, then store. When you are ready to eat them, throw a hunk of butter into a frying pan. Onions and bacon wouldn't hurt either. Then add the Spätzle and fry til golden and crisp. Serve. Or to make a full meal, top with Emmenthaler or Gruyere while still in the frying pan and allow the cheese to melt.
You can also add finely chopped parsley or spinach to the dough--this gives the Spätzle a bit more flavor, but they are really like noodles--intended to sop up a sauce or gravy.
My tip is ... make extra ! It is sooo good you will crave a second helping.
I salted my dough this time. And rested my dough. I have always use a Spaetzel maker right into salted boiling water. This time I put it right into an ice bath and when completely cooled into hot buttered pan. Much better. Thank you everyone.