Pasta , flour versus semolina/durum

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by iceman82, Feb 4, 2017.

  1. iceman82


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    Professional Chef
    When I first started working at the place I am at now, some four years ago, we wanted to do a pasta special. I started right into it, and did a flour and egg recipe I found and never thought anything of it.

    Now, I know that when you have an extrude machine , you use a semolina/durum mix.

    can you do flour instead with an extrude machine ? or , other than its texture, what is the difference between the two?
  2. eastshores


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    I Just Like Food
    I'm just the first one to reply but.. the way I understand things is.. hydration is the key step in pasta and dough.. and how a flour is ground will affect how that flour hydrates. In addition certain types of flour will create more or less gluten. For pasta gluten is good.. for cake gluten is bad. Bread can fall all over the place.

    Extrude machines heat the dough.. and that requires a variation in the formula. If you take a typical recipe where we could hand slice linguine and push that through an extruder.. the heat is going to cause the dough to become sticky and it won't work. In short.. many variables at play.
  3. french fries

    french fries

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    At home cook
    "Durum" means hard. It's a hard wheat, with a lot of protein (=gluten), and it yields a chewier, stronger pasta than AP, which is made from a softer wheat. 

    Semolina is the byproduct of making wheat flour, and is typically coarser than flour, which is finer. There are various "sizes" of semolina: fine (which is already coarser than flour), medium or coarse. You can make semolina from hard or tender wheat. However in the U.S. I believe "semolina" often means durum semolina. 

    Note that you can also make durum flour. 

    I know that using Durum vs using a tender wheat yields a more structured, chewier, "better" (IMO) pasta. 

    On the other hand, I do not know what difference semolina vs flour makes in your pasta. Sounds like eatshores just touched on the subject with the flour hydration idea. This is something I am not familiar with.