Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Homemade Pasta Dough

I recently purchased a pasta roller after one of my cooking classes at Orange Tree Imports. Making pasta seemed like something that should be easy enough to do. And, honestly it really was! I think the most difficult thing about making the pasta is just having enough hands to coordinate the rolling through the machine, especially when you're using a hand-crank version and not one that attaches to your Kitchen-Aid.

The recipe I used wasn't one that I spent tons of time looking for. So, are there better, more authentic pasta recipes out there that DON'T use all-purpose flour? Probably. But, I was looking for something I could make quickly with ingredients I had on hand.

Results were pretty good! I thought these noodles would be a little more delicate and light, and would therefore do well in a carbonara sauce. However, these turned out a bit thicker and stronger than I expected and could have held up to a much heartier sauce. Probably would make a great lasagna noodle!

I think this recipe,while not perfect or uber-traditional, is a great starting point for learning how to make pasta. Next time I'll roll the dough even thinner, make sure I don't over-knead, and continue to refine things!

Recipe from Cooking Channel, makes 4-6 servings.
Ingredients

  • 2 cups flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp olive oil


Directions:


  1. Mound the flour on a clean work surface. Hollow out the center making a well in the middle of the flour with steep sides.
  2. Break the eggs into the well. Add the salt, and olive oil to the hollow center and gently mix together with a fork. Gradually start incorporating the flour by pulling in the flour from the sides of the well. As you incorporate more of the flour, the dough will start to take shape.
  3. With your hands or a bench scraper continue working the dough until it comes together. If the dough is too dry, add a little water; if too wet or sticky, add a little flour.
  4. Begin kneading the dough and keep kneading until it becomes smooth and elastic, about 8 to 10 minutes. At this point, set the dough aside, cover it with plastic, and let it rest for 15 to 20 minutes. You can store the dough in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours, but allow it to return to room temperature before rolling it out.
  5. Divide the pasta dough into 4 even sections. Keep each section covered with plastic wrap or a clean towel while you work with each one. Flour the dough, the rollers of a pasta roller (or your rolling pin), your hands, and the work surface.
  6. If using a pasta machine: Flatten 1 of the of the dough pieces between your hands or with a floured rolling pin until it forms a thick oval disk. Dust the disk, the roller, and your hands with additional flour. Flour a baking sheet to hold the rolled out finished pasta.
  7. With the roller on the widest setting, pass the pasta through the machine's rollers a few times until it is smooth. Fold the dough over into 1/3, and continue to pass through a few more times until the pasta is smooth again. Begin adjusting the pasta machine settings to become thinner, passing the dough through a few times at each setting.
  8. If rolling the pasta by hand: Flatten a dough piece into a thick oval disk with your hands. Flour a baking sheet for the rolled out finished pasta. Place the oval dough disk on a floured work surface, and sprinkle with additional flour. Begin rolling out the dough with a floured rolling pin working from the center of the dough outwards, constantly moving the dough and lifting it to make sure it's not sticking.

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