Sunday, May 1, 2011

Homemade Pasta Dough Tutorial, With Video

Making pasta at home is so much fun!  It's edible playdough!  And it's totally doable by yourself.   

First, the dough.  Most recipes for homemade pasta use an egg dough.  I skip the eggs to keep the cholesterol levels low.  The resulting pasta is good and quite tender.   So the ingredient list is very short: flour (white and whole wheat), a pinch of salt, and water.  Easy. Simple. Brilliant!

On to mixing the dough.  Now, despite the fact that I exercise nearly everyday, I am averse to doing anything that resembles hard labor in the kitchen.  Yes, this is a post about making pasta at home.  By myself.  Which would fall under the classification of  "working harder than I have to."  Weird and ironic, I know.  But the fun factor offsets the time and labor.

One could mix the dough by hand on the kitchen counter.  Meh.  Before I got my stand mixer (woot!), I mixed the dough in my food processor. 

Then add ice cold water by the tablespoon until the dough comes together to form a ball.  It's about 11-15 tablespoons.  I, ahem, lost count during the process....

Here's a view from the top:

Here's a view from the side:

Plunk the dough ball onto a floured countertop and roll it in the flour so that it's lightly coated:

Then knead it for five minutes.  I actually timed it because as you know, I don't want to engage in unnecessary hard labor.  This develops the gluten in the dough to make it pliable. Add more flour as needed to keep  the dough from sticking. 

Divvy the dough into smaller balls about the size of a golf ball.  I got 12 mini-dough balls this time around.  This makes it infinitely easier to roll out the dough on the pasta maker.

Put the dough balls into a plastic baggie and put them in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.  This rest period allows the gluten to relax so that the resulting pasta is tender and pliable.  Or that's what I figure, anyway.  I actually leave the dough in the fridge overnight and bring one dough ball to room temperature at a time as I make the pasta.

Recipe for Eggless Pasta
Adapted from
Makes ~1 lb of fresh pasta

1 cup of all purpose flour
1 cup of whole wheat flour
1/4-1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup ice cold water, plus additional water as needed


1. Place the first three ingredients into the bowl of a food processor.  Pulse to combine.

2. With the food processor running, pour in the 1/2 cup water.  The dough should form into a ball, if it doesn't, add additional water by the tablespoon until it forms a ball.  If the dough is too wet, add additional all purpose flour.  The dough should feel a bit wet, at most. 

3. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead for 5 minutes.  Add additional flour to keep the dough from sticking to the countertop.

4. Divide the dough into golf-ball sized mini-balls.  Wrap in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator.  Allow to rest for 30 minutes.

5. Remove one-two of the pasta dough balls and allow them to come to room temperature.  Set up the pasta machine and roll out according to the directions in the Homemade Pasta Tutorial With Video.  Cook or freeze the pasta according to the tutorial.

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