Friday, April 8, 2011

Most Excellent Homemade Noodles

This noodle recipe is a workhorse to be sure.  I use it for lasagna, fettucine alfredo, baked sphagetti, chow mein, etc. 

There are two great modern mechanisms that will make your life infinitely easier when making these; a Kitchenaid and a pasta machine.  If you're lucky you might even have a pasta attachment for your Kitchenaid.  That being said, neither one is necessary.  Just try not to drip sweat into your dough when you're kneading it.

The basic ingredients are:

2 cups flour (preferrably high gluten, i.e. bread flour)
2 cups semolina flour
1-4 eggs
less than 1/2 c. cold water
1 t. salt
1 T. oil

You can alter the flour and the number of eggs to suit your taste.  If you want whole wheat noodles, substitute it in.  I've used all manner of flours in conjunction with semolina, including rice flour.  If I'm using the noodles for pasta I usually use only 1 or 2 eggs.  If it's for chow mein I'll put four.  Anyway...

Put the flours together in your bowl and whisk them together until uniform.  Put the remaining four ingredients into a small bowl and mix well.  I prefer putting them in a pint jar and "shaking the shizzle" out of it, as it's affectionately referred to here.  Make a well in the middle of the flour and pour the concoction in.  If you're doing this by hand start folding the mixture together with your hands until you can start to knead it.  If you have a Kitchenaid just put the dough hook on and let it slowly incorporate the liquid into the flour.  It's going to be pretty dry, which is good.  If you have to add a little water.  I let it knead for about 5 minutes once it's become a solitary lump of dough with no straggler crumbs.  If you're uncertain stop and check it.  It should be extremely stiff and unpliable.  Not at all like bread dough.

This is what mine looks like.  You can let it sit for awhile if you want, but it's not necessary.  I just start cutting mine up and feeding it to the machine.  You might have to run it through multiple times if it's not kneaded completely.  I do mine one pass on a 5.  Just remember that noodles expand when cooked.  By the way, the black flecks in mine are fresh ground pepper.  Feel free to add whatever you want.  You can put basil into the mix, spinach, garlic...Be creative.

If you don't have a pasta machine, buy one.  You can usually find them at Ross for 20 bucks.  Barring that, you're gonna have to break out the trusty rolling pin and roll it out nice and flat and cut it up with a pasta roller or a knife.  With lasagna it wouldn't be so bad, but forget about angel hair.

This is what it should look like coming out.  If it's bunched up and all stuck together that means your dough wasn't dry enough.  That's o.k.  Just dust each piece with flour before you run it through and it should be o.k.
Either way, at this point you should have some water boiling rapidly on your stovetop.  Throw the noodles in and the clumps will break up into nice lonely noodles.  It only takes a few seconds for them to cook so be ready to pull them out once they float to the top.  This recipe is a large batch of noodles, so I do it in stages.  You'll see...

These noodles were destined for some chow mein so here they are browning in my wok.  After I fry them for a few minutes I'll put them in the fridge until dinner time.

One final note on this recipe.  The proportions given make a heck of a lot of noodles.  I rarely make a batch that big.  If it's just for my wife and I for dinner one night I half it.  You can keep unused dough for a short while, but it's much better fresh.


  1. I've been wanting to try making my own pasta for a while now... I never would have known that the dough needs to be so dry. Thanks for the awesome info!
    - Andrea

  2. Beware...once you start you'll never be satisfied with packaged noodles again...