How To Make Perfect Homemade Pasta Dough2014 Feb 10 | Written by: Sharee Narciso | Tags: Appliances, Dinner
Store-bought pasta is okay, but your dining experience will well be escalated to the next level if you choose fresh, homemade pasta. You only need four basic steps to create your own pasta dough, and later, your own pasta sheets to fire up home-cooked Italian classics. Try whipping up your own pasta dough using the following simple ingredients and equipment in no time:
- Plain Flour
- Pasta Machine
- Tea Towels
- Rolling Pin
- Plastic Wrap
- Ravioli Wheel (if making ravioli)
How to Make Your Own Pasta Dough:
On a clean, flat work surface, place a mound of 400 g of plain flour. Create a well in the centre of the mound, where you would crack four eggs. Using a fork, gently whisk the eggs. To protect the shape of the flour wall, you can use your hand as guard. Keep whisking, slowly drawing in all of the flour until you form a thick dough.
- STEP 2
Using both hands, bring and knead the dough for 5 minutes or so. Make sure it becomes elastic and smooth. You’ll know it’s ready once your finger springs back after pressing it against the dough. Coat the surface and your hands with flour at all times to make shaping and kneading easier. Shape the dough into a disc, then wrap it in plastic wrap. Let it rest for half an hour.
- STEP 3
Take the dough and divide it into four equal portions. Flatten the dough using your palms. Get the pasta machine and set it on the widest setting possible. Coat the rollers with flour. Take one portion and feed it into the machine. Repeat the feeding six times. Fold the pasta into thirds, then turn it 90 degrees to the machine before feeding the dough again each time.
- STEP 4
Once the width of the dough is similar to that of the machine, stop folding – but keep feeding the dough through the machine while narrowing the machine settings gradually (a notch at a time). Keep doing this until you get to the second last setting available. Repeat with the remaining three portions of dough.
On a lightly floured surface, place one pasta sheet. At 5 cm intervals, place teaspoonfuls of your filling of choice on the sheet. Leave 2 cm borders around the edges. With a pastry brush, brush the sheet around the filling with water. To seal the ravioli, top with a second sheet of pasta and press the edges together. Cut between the fillings to make squares (as shown in the image to the left) using a ravioli wheel or a knife.
With a ravioli wheel, cut a pasta sheet crossways to create 4 cm-wide strips. Cut the strips further crossways at 4 cm intervals with a knife to create 4 cm squares. Brush the centre of the squares with water. Using your fingers, pinch the squares’ straight edges together to form bows. To dry, place the squares on a floured (to prevent sticking) tea towel for around two hours.
Cut a pasta sheet crossways, then set the machine to fettuccine setting and feed the sheet through. Make sure to coat the sheet with flour to avoid sticking. (Alternative: Cut the fettuccine by hand by rolling up the sheet lengthways to create a log. Cut the roll into 1 cm portions with a knife. Unroll, and coat with flour.)
Cut the sheets into 8 x 14 cm blocks (or according to your preference) with a knife. Flour both sides of each sheet. Place on a tea towel, and cover with another tea towel on top to properly dry for 1 hour. Drying is important to allow easy handling of the fresh pasta when cooking and prevents breaking or stretching.
- Angel Hair
Reduce the machine’s setting to position 3. Feed the strip of dough through the rollers. Repeat rolling on positions 5 and 6 without folding the strip into thirds. Let the dough rest for 10 minutes or until slightly dry. Then, attach the handle to the angel hair pasta roller. Feed the dough through. With your free hand, catch the angel hair pasta as it emerges out of the machine. Knead and roll repeatedly with reserved dough pieces. Hang over pasta rack to dry (at least 3 hours).
Enjoy your homemade pasta and pasta dishes! Happy cooking!