Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Rolling out Pasta Dough (video)

You see Jamie Oliver and Mario Batali rolling out pasta dough on food TV and it looks like an 8 year old could do it.  Then you try it yourself and things go wrong.  The dough sticks, pasta machine wiggles, or you get shreds instead of sheets coming out of your rollers.  The good news is that an 8 year old can indeed make great pasta.  I've seen a number of them in my classes do that given the necessary information.

The dough
When you make pasta for hand shapes like cavatelli, orecchiette, trofie, and pici, you don't use eggs (or use very little).  When you make pasta for rolling into thin sheets, you use plenty of eggs and/or egg yolks.  This gives dough structure and richness even though it's so thin.  The procedure is the same as I demonstrate in the pasta dough video, but ingredients are different.  Here are the proportions for 2 types of dough you can use for rollers: basic and very rich.

Basic pasta dough
9 oz all-purpose flour (I use King Arthur)
2 tsp Diamond Crystal Kosher salt (or 1 tsp table salt)
5.3 oz liquid ingredients*
2 tsp olive oil

* To make "liquid ingredients" weigh 2 large eggs and add enough water to equal 5.3 oz total. When the air is very dry (like it is in Boston in winter), increase liquid ingredients to 5.5 oz.

Very rich pasta dough (adopted from the Frech Laundry Cookbook by Thomas Keller)
8 oz all-purpose flour (I use King Arthur)
2 tsp Diamond Crystal Kosher salt (or 1 tsp table salt)
6.3 oz liquid ingredients*
1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil

* To make "liquid ingredients" weigh 1 large egg, 1 Tbsp milk, and enough egg yolks to give you 6.3 oz total (roughly 6 yolks).  When the air is very dry (like it is in Boston in winter), increase liquid ingredients to 6.5 oz.

Rolling and Cutting into Ribbons
Now that you got your dough, here is how to roll it out and cut into ribbons.



YouTube Link: Rolling and Cutting Pasta Dough
More Videos: Helen's Kitchen Channel

FAQ about Rolling and Cutting

How do you clean out the pasta machine?
Whichever machine you use, don't wash it or wipe it with anything wet.  Just brush it out with a pastry brush.

My pasta dough is coming out stained.  Why?
When you first get your machine, you'll need to "clean it out."  This means feeding dough through the machine to remove excess oil (this oil helps the rollers roll smoothly).  This pasta will need to be thrown away.  Sorry about that.  I know it hurts to throw away pasta dough you worked so hard on.  But it's only the first time.

Can you store pasta after cutting into ribbons?
Yes, it can stay in the fridge in a closed container for 24 hours before using.

How thin should my pasta be?
Keep in mind that pasta expands when it cooks and you need to take that into account.  For ribbon pasta and regular ravioli, I roll to setting 6.  For very delicate tortellini or ravioli, I roll to 7.

2 comments:

Jamie said...

love making pasta. I remember the first time I made pasta with my wife - we had it draped over everything in the kitchen and our indoor laundry drying rack ! Delicious, simple, elegant. If you want to do something beautiful - try sandwiching Italian Parsley in between two sheets of pasta and rolling it thin...and then cut into squares. I cook in in broth and serve as a starter...elegant and gorgeous !

Helen Rennie said...

Hi Jamie,

I love your parsley idea!

Cheers,
-Helen