The Maultasche is probably the most classic dish in Swabian cuisine, next to spaetzle of course, for which you can find a recipe here. “Schwäbische Maultasche” is even a protected designation of origin in the EU.
The name “Maultasche” is surrounded by many speculations and legends. According to a widespread saga, the Maultasche was invented in the Maulbronn monastery to hide the meat inside during the fasting period – which is probably where the name “Hergottsbscheißerle” (lord god deceivers, but in more explicit terms) comes from.
However, this is not certain. According to another legend, the noblewoman Margarete of Tyrol, also given the unflattering name Margarete Maultasch, brought the filled noodle to Swabia.
Finally, it is stated that “Maultasche” is an old word for a slap in the face. What this should have to do with the noodle, however, is not apparent to us.
But now for the preparation. We present all three classic ways to bring Maultaschen to the table in style. We also choose the classic filling, which contains meat. Since you can fill Maultaschen with almost anything, creating the vegetarian version of your choice is not a problem at all.
As a side dish we serve potato salad – Swabian, of course.
First, the potatoes are cooked until done, which takes 20 – 25 minutes depending on the sort. They are ready when a knife slides in easily. Important: When you have drained the potatoes, put them back into the pot while it is still warm so that they can steam out and become drier.
Blanch the spinach in boiling salted water for 30 – 60 seconds, then immediately transfer to water that is as cold as possible to stop the cooking process and preserve the beautiful colour.
The bread rolls should be at least from the day before and have become a little dry. Soak them in water for approx. 5 min. Then squeeze them vigorously.
Start with the dough, because it has to rest and mature for quite a while.
Shape the flour into a volcano as described here. Make sure that it is high enough so that your eggs don’t flow away. Then add the salt, the whole eggs and 1 tablespoon of water and mix with a fork, gradually incorporating more flour. Now it’s time for manual labour. Knead, knead, knead.
After about 5 minutes, the dough has a texture like this:
After about 10 minutes you will have a smooth and homogeneous dough. If you need more liquid, moisten your hands with LITTLE water and continue kneading.
Now the dough is wrapped in foil, this is really important. We are very reluctant to use such products – if you want to avoid even this small amount of foil, you can use an airtight container, but it must hardly be bigger than the dough.
Peel the potatoes, cut them in half and then slice them. Not too thin, because they will still fall apart a bit on their own and you don’t want it to be mashed potato in the end.
The onions are diced and lightly browned in butter over medium heat. This can take up to 10 minutes.
We want more freshness and cut some spring onions into very fine strips. This is optional.
Once in a while, stir the potatoes gently so that they can absorb all the flavours of the meat broth. If they should do that completely, you may add more broth. The potato salad should be juicy but not wet. Then add the browned onions.
Season well with pepper and salt, then add the vinegar and oil and mix well. While the potato salad is waiting for the other dishes, stir it occasionally.
Now for the filling:
Divide the soaked and squeezed bread rolls into small pieces with your fingers. Add the chopped onion, the finely diced bacon (we use less fatty raw ham) and the chopped parsley.
Add the chopped spinach and the eggs. Season well with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Then use your hands again and knead everything thoroughly.
Salad ready – filling ready – time to bring it all together:
You need a rolling pin and a suitable work surface. As always, we use our dough board and an Italian matarello. If you don’t have a rolling pin: A wine bottle is not ideal but will also do the job 😉
Process no more than half of the dough at a time and immediately store the rest in an airtight container so that it does not dry out.
Form a rectangle and press it flatter first….
…before you start to roll out a long and at least 25 cm wide sheet of dough.
The dough is thin enough when your hand shines through.
We cut off the ends of the dough that are too narrow and knead them with the next portion of dough. Then we spread ¾ of our dough sheet with the filling, about ½ cm thick.
Now fold over the lower end by about 5 – 6 cm. Repeat this two more times.
Brush the end of the dough with beaten egg to seal the dough.
Use the handle of a wooden spoon to press down individual Maultaschen to the desired width.
Then the individual Maultaschen can be cut apart, exactly in the middle of the pressure marks. Cook them in almost boiling but not bubbling salted water for 7 – 8 minutes. Then let them rest on a piece of cloth.
We want to serve the Maultaschen with “melted” onions. To do this, we gently heat 50 g of butter and add 3 onions, which we have first halved and then sliced across the grain.
Sprinkle the onions delicately with salt. When they have developed a first browning, add a little icing sugar.
How far you want to cook the onions like this is a matter of taste. We like this result:
We fry the Maultaschen on both sides in butter until delicately crispy…
…then top them with the buttery melted onions and serve with some potato salad and chives.
But there are still two other classic ways of preparing them that we don’t want to deprive you of:
Roast onions, cut the Maultaschen into slices and roast them on the sides of the dough…
…then place on the cut sides….
…mix the egg with the fried onions and pour over…
…then flip them over. Done.
Third variation: Gently heat in the broth of your choice and enjoy.
And may the taste be with you.
Ingredients (for 4 hungry people):
For the dough:
1 – 2 tbsp water
½ tsp salt
350 g flour for pasta (DE: type 550, AUT: type 700, ITA: Tipo 00)
For the filling:
2 dry bread rolls
300 g spinach
250 g minced beef
50 g bacon cubes (or raw ham)
1 bunch of parsley
2 tbsp butter
1 egg and 1 egg yolk
Salt, pepper, nutmeg
For the finish:
1 egg to stick the dough together
Butter, onions, salt and icing sugar for melted onions
or onions and more eggs for fried Maultaschen
or the broth of your choice
Chives go very well with all the variations
For the potato salad:
800 g waxy potatoes
1/8 – ¼ L beef stock
Optional: 2 – 3 spring onions
6 tbsp neutral oil
4 tbsp light vinegar
Optional: some parsley or chervil