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Whole Wheat Pasta Dough Problem

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
I've made many batches of pasta dough with flour and semolina and never once had a problem until I decided to venture into a new realm of pasta: whole wheat.

I made the pasta dough the same way (100g per 1 egg) and, as I making ravioli di zucca I made a double batch of 200g/2 eggs with a little (very little) splash of olive oil. After working the dough into the consistency that seemed right to me, I went to running it through the pasta machine and the dough would not work together. Instead it seemed to shred when going through the rollers. My first thought it: too dry, so I wet my hands and worked the dough some more. Same issue. Again, I tried the wet hands and did this at least 3 times with the same results. I finally went to the rolling pin to work it flat and then sliced it and fed it through the machine on the #2 setting which worked okay for the filling process.

My question is, when working with whole wheat flour (pastry grade), do you need to add more liquid to the dough and will the dough have the same 'feel' as regular white flour or semolina? I'm new to working with the whole wheat flours and it seems as if the glutens are reacting different.

Any suggestions or reasonings as to the why and what I should do for the future?

BTW.. the ravioli were great (butternut squash filled seasoned with nutmeg, cinnamon and vanilla with a couple of tablespoons of ricotta and served with a brown butter sage sauce) and so was the the fettucine pasta I made with the leftover dough.

post #2 of 3
It's been along time since I worked with any kind of dough, and I'm no expert by any means. But no, the dough will not have the same "feel" White flour has the wheat germ and hull removed, and therefore has more gluten per measure than wole wheat. I know when I make pizza dough using whole wheat flour, I add more leavening to the dough. I think if you work it longer (knead) and let it bench longer so the gluten has time to develop, you might have better results. You might want to put your question on the baker's forum as they probably have better knowlege about the properties of various flours.
post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 

Thanks... I'll do that. I asked a friend of mine, who is a pro chef as well, and he suggested my posting as he didn't know either.

I understand the theory and it's probably the 'why'... thanks again for the advice!!
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