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Help! Pasta Doughs

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Hello All,

I know there must be a billion variations of the classic pasta dough and i think ive tried them all. The results are edible and most likely the quality you may find in the majority of kitchens. However im looking for something more. My complaint is a little to much density to the noodle. Im refering to tagliatelle.

currently im using yolks alone, a splash of oil, whole milk and salt
the amount of yolks will dictate the amount of flour, im eyeballing it bc the 200 - 215 grams of flour per two yolks rule was just too tough.
i let the dough rest for 20-30 min in a chilled environment
i knead and roll the dough by hand as im sure this was how it had to be done 100's of years ago right? (about this time i can already feel the resistance of the dough to my dismay)
then i fold the dough "s" meathod
cut the noodles
let them hang for about 10 minutes
and cook for about 20-30 seconds

could it be me eyeballing the dough from the start?
the lack of 00 flour?
the chilling of the dough while resting?
should i even let it rest?
should i hang them or just immediatly go to boil?
anything else?

thank you in advance for any help you can provide.

post #2 of 6
Make sure you use semolina flour for a better pasta product. Wrap in Plastic and let chill overnight if possible.
post #3 of 6

Invention, my dear friends, is ninety-three percent perspiration, six percent electricity, four percent evaporation, and two percent butterscotch ripple

My Author Page


Invention, my dear friends, is ninety-three percent perspiration, six percent electricity, four percent evaporation, and two percent butterscotch ripple

My Author Page

post #4 of 6
Recipes aren't the source of problems nearly as often as often as technique. In your case, it's both. Start with losing the milk. Do some googling and synthesizing your own formula out of the mainstream recipes you find all over the web -- here, Food Network, Epicurious, and so on -- always going for the simple. It's a very good way of putting together a sort of ur-recipe out of similar formulas.

If you like, I can write one out and pass one on to you. It's something I meant to get to anyway. But, I get the feeling you don't need the whole megillah and would rather handle it without more input from me than is in this post. Either way...

Most pasta is made from flour, eggs, oil and salt -- and unless you want to get into flavoring with spinach powder, tomato powder or the like, or adding a few herbs into the dough mix. You should stick with a very abbreviated ingredient list until you're getting a texture you really like.

Use the "volcano method" to mix the ingredients and bring the dough together, as you're already doing. Knead it, as before.

Cut into pieces, if you won't be using all of it that meal. Wrap the pieces in cling wrap. Then, flatten into disc(s). Note, the discs will be better and flatter (useful when you go to roll thin) if you wrap first). Refrigerate what you're going to use, and freeze the rest. Refrigeration relaxes the glutens.

Use a pasta roller, whether mechanized or hand cranked to roll your pasta. A pin is doable, but nowhere near as good for reasons of working the dough, and uniform consistency, both. There are a number of good hand and motor driven rollers on the market. I use a hand-cranked Atlas myself -- but have to admit the Kitchen Aid pasta attachment is as good as it gets.

Depending on the width and shape desired, you may cut the pasta with the roller-cutter attachment; use a cutter (as for ravili); or in the case of wide pastas like tagliatella, use a knife. If you want pasta with a round cross section, ala spaghetti, you need to use an extruder after the knead, rather than rolling and cutting.

IMO, the lack of resting, the lack of refrigeration, rolling by pin, and the presence of milk are the sources of your dissatisfaction. Each is counterproductive, taken together -- not a recipe for success.

Good luck with this,
Ex owner/operator Predominantly French catering; ex cook at a couple of decent joints
post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 
CHEFS, Thank You All. Ive tried mixtures of semolina but not 100%, and now i will. Also i had not seen the prior threads and appreciate very much being directed to them. Im researching all about cataylst of gluten due to the dairy so thats a good thing to have in my arsenal, andddddddd im getting a **** pasta machine! now for the fun part!!
post #6 of 6

hand made pasta is my game.

I take handmade pasta very seriously, I use lots of different ratios of flours/whites/yolks to produce the desired "mouth feel" of the pasta.
For example, if you made ravioli out of a dough intended for tagliatelle the result would be that the edges of the pasta, where two layers are laminated together, would be too tough -on the reverse, tagliatelle made from ravioli dough wouldn't have the strength to pull and twist on your fork.

I agree with BDL that pasta is all about technique, otherwise it's just flour and eggs. follow the technique he provided an you should get good results.

for tagliatelle I use 500g AP flour and 500g semolina and 10 eggs. I dont recommend using all yolks for tag, your adding a lot of fat to your dough -an all yolk dough is something I would use for a cavatelli or ravioli, or any pasta that will have a thicker section of dough, it will tends to stay more tender.

A pasta machine is a must for ribbon dough that will rise above the rest, typically, I kneed the dough until it is smooth and springs back when you poke it. Let it rest a couple of hours. then start rolling with the machine.
I roll it through the machine, dial it down a couple of clicks, roll it through again, then fold it in thirds and start back at the widest setting and repeat.

I do this anywhere from 4 to 6 times before dialing it down to the thickness I want for tagliatelli- each time you do it, you are building gluten bonds -and you will be needing those.

I have to disagree with BDL on one account (and I hate to do that, so I'll back it up with some text)
Don't add salt to your dough, add salt to your water. For the same reason that bread bakers add their salt near the end of mixing bread dough
-salt makes glutens "seize up" is the best way I can put it. Salted pasta dough gets brittle before you can achieve the silky-smooth stage, which is where you want to get it to.

Salt makes gluten stronger too quickly, you want elasticy gluten for your dough.

Check out Bugalli's books on pasta -they are great.
nel maiale, tutto e buono!
nel maiale, tutto e buono!
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