Use a spaetzle maker by squeezing dough through its extruder mechanism, which is dependant on the type of device. Spaetzle makers come in three basic designs: a small extruder that operates like a hand-held garlic press, a larger grater and a rotary design that extrudes dough through a screened bowl.
If you’re using a hand-held spaetzle press, spoon the spaetzle dough into the extruder compartment, being careful not to overfill, and squeeze the handles together. As you squeeze, the extruder presses dough through oblong holes in the bottom of the compartment, rendering small dumplings. If the dough is a little loose, flouring the inside of the spaetzle maker keeps the dough from sticking and clogging the extruder.
To use a grater-style spaetzle maker, roll the dough into a firm ball, and grate the dumplings directly into boiling water. These spaetlze makers come in different sizes with different sizes and shapes of holes, and they are typically more convenient than presses because they can make bigger batches of spaetzle.
Another style of spaetzle maker combines a metal bowl with a screened bottom and a hand crank. To extrude the dumplings, press the dough into the bottom of the bowl and turn the crank. Also good for making large batches, many have a long handle that makes it possible to extrude the dumplings into boiling water or onto a plate. Usually makers of this style come with more than one screen for different sizes and shapes of dumplings.