Friday, April 22, 2011

Hand-Made Whole-Wheat Noodles

You can buy whole wheat noodles, and they are perfectly acceptable noodles, but in my opinion there is no noodle better than a thick home made noodle in a delicious home made sauce.
This noodle recipe is my personal adaptation of the noodle my mother taught me, that her mother taught her, and so on and so forth. It's a good, simple recipe. The noodles can be rolled out with a rolling pin and sliced with a sharp knife, and for the many years before I had a pasta roller of my own I did that, but I'm glad I have a pasta roller. Many people have never eaten fresh home made noodles, so a noodle party always goes down well.

Whole Wheat Noodles
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup all purpose or bread flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 egg
1/4 cup water or milk
1 tsp olive oil (optional)

Mix the flours and salt together in a small bowl, make a well in the center and break in the egg, add the olive oil and half of the milk. With a fork, whisk the liquids together until the egg is well beaten. Gradually incorporate more and more of the flour until you have a stiff, dry, but not floury, dough, gradually adding the rest of the milk if needed. Turn the dough out onto the counter and knead it a few times to make a smooth ball. Return to the bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and let sit, preferably for at least an hour.
When you are ready for your noodles, set up your pasta roller, set a large pot of water to boil on the stove, and with your hands press the noodle dough out into a rectangle. Feed it through the roller at the widest setting a few times, you may need to fold the dough over on itself and roll it through again a few times for the dough to start behaving itself.
Cut the dough in half to make more manageable lengths, and roll it through a few more settings until you reach your desired noodle thickness. At this point, it is perfect for Lazagna, just lay it across your pan on the desired layer and trim it to size.
If you want noodle-noodles, cut the dough in half again, so you have four quarters of approximately equal length, and run it through the slicer attachment. If you don't have a pasta roller, lightly flour the pieces, fold them in thirds, and slice thinly with a knife. They won't be perfectly even, but will still be delicious.
Dump the noodles into a pot of boiling water and, after a few seconds, stir them gently with a wooden spoon to separate them. Let the water come back to a rolling boil, and let boil until your particular noodles are done. They will cook much faster than dry noodles, so check them often.
Drain them and serve them the way you like best. Maybe with pesto, a creamy roasted pepper sauce, or a tomato sauce?
Yay picture recycling! Noodles with Creamy Pepper Sauce
If you are throwing a noodle party, or just making a huge batch of noodles, it's fun to vary the colors and flavors of the different batches. A few of the easiest are spinach or tomato noodles, to make them, put all the liquids in the recipe in a blender or food processor along with a few leaves of baby spinach or a spoonful of tomato paste. Blend well, then use in the recipe as usual.

How to have a Noodle Party:
Do make your sauces ahead of time- make at least two different kinds.
Do make your doughs up ahead of time - make lots, count on each batch of dough serving 2.
Do prepare toppings ahead of time - sauteed mushrooms, grated cheeses, meatballs, etc...
Do give your guests the option to help roll the dough. Pasta rollers are fun.
Do cook the noodles in batches - encouraging people to have many smaller servings instead of one big one, trying different sauces and toppings and noodle flavors.
Do Not expect the noodles to be sufficient entertainment for most groups. Plan on having other activities going on at the same time.

A good texture of noodle dough
Knead the dough and let sit

a helper is good for rolling the dough
The noodles can rest while the water boils

Noodles in water. Stir to unstick them.
Boiling noodles

-I have been trying recently to stick to a Sunday/Wednesday blog update schedule, but I just had to break out of the pattern for this recipe. In order to show proper reverence to the FSM, this recipe is published on Friday, zer holy day.
Touch us with your noodly appendage, that our bellies may be filled with your delicious pasta,
 (P.S. There will be no update on Sunday. It's my birthday and I will be away camping.)

1 comment:

  1. definitely more satisfying to make your own noodles, not to mention healthier because you can choose what goes into it! I made sourdough pasta using whole spelt too (:


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