Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Homemade Whole Grain Noodle Tutorial

It's Tutorial Tuesday here on the blog. Are we excited? Yes! Doesn't it just warm the cogs of your heart to see children's handwriting? It made me break a big toothy grin when I saw this recipe in my son's cooking notebook. Why? Because I knew it was a class we had done together...and whole grain noodles where now a part of his wholesome upbringing. We made chicken noodle soup and homemade ravioli. I wanted my children to learn how to make noodles without a hand cranked pasta machine. Why? Well, let's just say for argument's sake, they ever where to want pasta, not have dry noodle...and not have a pasta crank? What then? Rice? No...not if I can arm them with the mental ammo to make a good noodle. Use the noodle to make the noodles (so to speak). Look at these noodles...
Whole Grain Noodle dough
yield about 16 oz of noodles
2 cups high quality well ground high protein wheat flour ( I grind my own from Hard white wheat so I know it's fresh).
3 eggs or 3/4 cup egg whites
1 tsp salt if desired. (I use my all purpose seasoning blend)

Combine the flour and salt/seasoning. Dig a well in the flour and add the eggs.
With a fork, whisk the eggs into the flour forming a soft-batter type stuff, soft dough and then a nice rough dough.
Stir well. There may be a little flour left over that doesn't mix into the dough. make a rough ball out of the stuff that sticks together. I clear off my table top of any extra flour and funky dough. Lightly flour counter tops.
Knead the dough a few minutes until it gets well combined and a lot smoother. It will still look a little rough, but the whole wheat is just that way. Divide into two balls.

Take one of the balls of dough and roll it out on a well floured table top, about 1/2 inch thick and 2 feet long.
Fold dough into thirds like a travel brochure.
Roll out the dough again, on a well floured surface until it is about 3 feet long.

Repeat the folding step and roll one last time until it is very very thin, about 1/8 an inch or less. Mine is so thin you can almost see through it. A well floured table top will really help this process...but also some good muscles applying the pressure to the center of the rolling pin instead of the handles.
When rolled out, it is about 5 feet long.
With a sharp knife or pizza cutter, make the cuts for the noodles. Make sure you get through all of the dough and the noodles are about 1/4 inch wide and 12 inches long. Repeat the whole process with your second ball of dough.
Transfer the noodles to a drying rack and allow to air dry a few minutes. This is when I start my water boiling to cook noodles. If you want to allow them to air dry a few hours that works as well.

Bring a gallon of water to a rolling boil. Add plenty of salt to the water. Put the noodles in all at once and cook 2-4 minutes (depending on how long you let them dry). Drain and lightly drizzle with olive oil. Season as desired. Top with sauce or serve with cooked sausage, olives, tomatoes, cheese...whatever you love.

Spinach noodles: Use 1/2 cup thick spinach puree and 1/4 cup egg in the batter
Herb noodles: Use ground or fine minced herbs in the dough (about 1 tsp dry or 1T fresh)
Lemon pepper: Use zest of one lemon and 1/2 tsp fresh cracked pepper in the dough
Sun dried tomato: Use 3T Sun dried tomato pesto in the dough
Pink pasta: Add 1/2 cup beet juice and 1/4 cup egg to the dough in place of the straight egg
There you go.


Coby said...

These look wonderful! The last time I tried to make noodles they were too thick and I could not get them any thinner by rolling. I will have to try your rolling method. I have little ravioli press maker dohickies. Do you have a cheese filling recipe for raviolis?

Lynn said...

Is there a way to make homemade noodles without the egg? I have people in my family that can not eat eggs or dairy products

aswesow said...

Everybody knows Canadian Amber Durum makes the best pasta! I've used the food processor and made sprouted wheat noodles...it works real well...but how do you keep the noodles from sticking together when you dry them...without keeping them all seperated?

Chef Tess said...

@Coby, I do have a cheese filling recipe for ravioli...in fact I have pictures too...we'll get that one up next week. @Lynn, I need to try using gelatine in place of the egg. I know it can be done with just water, but the texture is hard to get right. You have to cook them a really short time or they will be gummy. I'll mess around with the egg less ones. @aswesow...do you have a website that folks can get this Canadian Amber Durum? Lentils too? I love your comments. How do I keep the noodles from sticking together? I have several large drying racks that I use. They are the size of sheet pans and I lay the noodles out (like in the picture.) and stack them. It is possible to lay them out on large screens or over pasta drying racks as well. Should I do a tutorial on how to make a pasta drying rack? That would be fun.

Tracey said...

I can't wait to try this recipe. I have not had any luck making my own noodles.

Chef Tess said...

Tracey, I thought of you when I posted this. You mentioned that you hadn't had luck at noodles at our Bakeroose class. It's the fold and roll that develops the good protein chewy-ness. I use the Prairie Gold from your store...so it works! I think our kids can learn this one, right?!

Coby said...

I have another question....what is the best way to store the uncooked noodles? There is no way my family of 3 would eat all those at once! Should I freeze them or cook them first??? How long do they stay good if I just keep them in the fridge? Or can I dry them and put them in the pantry?

I guess that is several questions!!!!

Chef Tess said...

You can leave them on the drying rack for a day or so and then store them dry. You can lightly dust them with flour when they are undried and put the rack in the freezer. Freeze one hour and then transfer to freezer bags. Good 6 months frozen. Or...you can cook them and keep them in the fridge for up to 5 days. Great question!