What flour for pasta?

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by ironchefatl, Mar 21, 2003.

  1. ironchefatl

    ironchefatl

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    There are a few questions in this post.

    What is the best pasta flour and why? Which produce which effects. Is a combo the best?

    Is Orchetti (spelling?? the ear shaped one) traditionally made with a certain kind of flour?

    What would be a good book to read about making fresh pasta? Including techniques for rolling etc.?
     
  2. mudbug

    mudbug

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  3. pongi

    pongi

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    Wow...the links you mentioned are very interesting and informative!
    However, when speaking of homemade fresh pasta I cannot agree on the use of durum semolina. As your articles say, this is the best one (and the only one admitted by the Italian law) for industrially produced pasta, but fresh handmade pasta calls for "Doppio 0" soft wheat flour (We recently had another thread about this topic, see "Pasta dough techniques" in Cook's Corner Forum). Considering that the traditional recipe (which comes from Northern Italy...the kingdom of italian fresh pasta ;) ) calls for a very high amount of egg yolks (1 egg yolk each 100-120 grams of wheat), probably using durum semolina you'll get something definitely too firm to be kneaded and rolled up by hand. As for hygiene, I don't think this can be a problem at home, where handmade pasta is usually cooked the same day when it's made.

    Pongi
     
  4. pongi

    pongi

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    Oops...I obviously meant "1 egg yolk each 100-120 grams of wheat FLOUR"!
    Although many of you love making things by scratch, I can't believe that somebody here uses to grind his own grain at home...

    Pongi
     
  5. suzanne

    suzanne

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    I've found that half semolina flour and half all-purpose (by weight, of course) makes a dough that's easy for a beginner to work with and tastes pretty good, too. (Actually, I learned that from my chef-instructor at NY Restaurant School, Frank Lima.)

    As for books: Marcella Hazan's Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking is excellent, as are its predecessors including The Classic Italian Cookbook. And while you might not expect it from a guy named Fred Plotkin ;), The Authentic Pasta Book is one of the most informative you could find. He tells how to make various doughs by hand and by machine, how to make many different shapes, and has some really delicious and unusual recipes.
     
  6. mudbug

    mudbug

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    Good tips Pongi and Suzanne!

    IronChefATL, let us know how it goes...

    ;)
     
  7. ironchefatl

    ironchefatl

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    Yeah I will let you know and thanks guys. Actually I entered a contest here on campus (CIA). Only problem is I have only made fresh pasta once while I was playing around at work one night. I have until April 12 to pratice. It is not for money or anything just for fun, so this is all fair. Look at it as the CIA vs. Cheftalk!

    PS As for you all that helped with my fish soup garish post. We did not win, but the presentation got full marks! Is was just a supporting actor, and will not be working with the guy I was helping again. It was a good/ bad experience. I used two full gaufrette stlye slices of celery root a piece of GBD fish and two small pieces of fried skin. A touch of lemon zest and (for mezzaluna) a chifanode of mint.

    As for the pasta I have only 1 hour to procude my dish, but only 1/2 pound of pasta. We have a list of ingredients to choose from I think I will make a quick sauce (everybody says we wont have time). I will fry diced shallot a bit crispy, and cremini mushrooms, then incorpoate my pasta melt some marscapone thinned with cream, fresh cracked pepper and salt, garnished a fried sage leaf. Thanks again everybody!