understanding pasta dough

Discussion in 'Professional Chefs' started by isaac, Jun 20, 2001.

  1. isaac

    isaac

    Messages:
    444
    Likes Received:
    10
    hello all.

    james beard once said "god gave us the best equipment ever: our hands". with that said, i tryed making pasta by hand today.

    i know how to make pasta by mixer and food processor but i have no clue how to do it using the well method. i tried it today and my first attempt resulted in my egges sneaking out overtop the well. it was very funny for the chefs that were watching but for me, it sucked.

    so my question is how do u make pasta using the well method? what should the dough look like?
     
  2. svadhisthana

    svadhisthana

    Messages:
    579
    Likes Received:
    10
    My only advice it to practice, practice, practice. Bring the dry ingredients in towards the wet, and don't give up. Then again, perhaps it was your recipe?
     
  3. isaac

    isaac

    Messages:
    444
    Likes Received:
    10
    the first recipe i tried was a one cup of flour to one egg ratio. it didnt work so well. then i tried a 1 pound of flour to 6 eggs. that yield a wet dough.
     
  4. isaac

    isaac

    Messages:
    444
    Likes Received:
    10
    i am going to try 3/4 c flour to one egg
     
  5. elakin

    elakin

    Messages:
    111
    Likes Received:
    10
    hi isaak

    first of all, it's important when making pasta to have the right kind of flour. for soft, fresh pasta like gnocchi or tagliatelle, you can use regular white flour, but for other pastas you'll want a higher gluten flour. bread flour is ok, but finely ground semolina is better.

    use the well method. use an egg in the shell to form your well, then break them into it and mix them with a fork, gradually going over to the sides to knock in and incorporate more flour, until the dough is firm enough to handle. then knead the **** out of it using the heel of your hand until you have a smooth, supple, ball of pasta.

    good luck
     
  6. pooh

    pooh

    Messages:
    379
    Likes Received:
    10
    Hello Isaac,

    I would like to add that you must let your dough rest for about an hour.

    :)
     
  7. kimmie

    kimmie

    Messages:
    2,550
    Likes Received:
    13
    Dear Isaac,

    May I send you back to your previous post!
    click here

    It really works, I do it all the time!


    :rolleyes:

    [ June 20, 2001: Message edited by: Kimmie ]
     
  8. isaac

    isaac

    Messages:
    444
    Likes Received:
    10
    ok, i think i got it now. i went to work today and made pasta using the well method and it worked. the dough was a little soft. then my ex. chef came over and we made pasta dough together but this time it was a little to hard. when my sous chef arrived at work, i asked him to teach me how to make pasta. he refused but interduced me to two old italian ladies that work at the hotel. one of them took me over to my work station and taught me how to make it. it was neat to learn from her. my friend, who is a baker at the hotel, kept asking her how many eggs to how much flour but she couldnt tell us becasue it was all by eye. i knew that making the pasta dough was by eye but since i have never watched anyone make it, i was laking in that area. i was amazed watching her. then i tried making pasta dough under the watchful eye of the old italain lady. i did it pretty good. then she went back to work and i rushed all around, gathering my eggs, flour, oil, salt, and water. then i set up next to both of the italians and i started making the dough. they helped me so much.

    tomarrow, she is going to teach me how to roll it out by hand. it should be awesome.