Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Homemade Noodles

After a warm Winter, long Spring, Summer from hell, Fall dropped on us rather abruptly. It got cold. Fast. As a result, it was the perfect weather for our Chili / Soup Cookoff, an annual affair here at Boulder Marina, and I opted for the soup entry of chicken noodle with homemade noodles. Everyone always goes crazy over homemade noodles saying how much it makes them think of their grandma. They look on them with awe and a bit of trepidation when, in reality, they're pretty easy to make. Give it a try sometime when you have an hour or two that you want to spend thinking of your grandma and her wonderful smelling kitchen.

Ingredients:

1 cup flour
2 eggs
dash of salt (or more if you're my husband)

Directions:

Each cup of flour and 2 eggs makes enough noodles for a very healthy serving for two people. The pasta is the same whether you're making thick dumpling style noodles or thin spaghetti style ones. You just roll it to the appropriate thickness for whatever you're making.

Put the flour in a big bowl. Mix in the salt if you're using it and make a well in the  middle of the mixture. Break your eggs into the well.








Stir with a wooden spoon until the flour is incorporated and it forms a ball. At this point, use your hands to finish working in any stray flour. It should be a firm dough but not dry or too sticky either. You may have to add a little flour if it's extremely humid, but be careful not to add too much.




Cover the dough ball with plastic wrap and a towel and let it rest for at least 15 minutes. Do not skip this step!








If you skip this step, the dough will spring back when you try to roll it out and it will be a very frustrating experience. Maybe this is why so many people are afraid of making them?







If you made  more than one recipe (I made a triple batch), divide the dough into smaller balls that you can roll out. Here I had a triple recipe divided into 4 balls and it made about an 11 x 13 rectangle. I rolled it pretty thick for dumpling style noodles, but for most pasta it will be paper thin.





Once you get it rolled out you can cut the edges square if you want.









If you have one on board, a pizza cutter is the way to cut noodles. If not, use a very sharp knife and cut them. Remember that noodles double in size when you cook them so make them pretty thin for regular noodles. Mine are super thick for my dumpling style noodles.





You can lay them over a cooling rack suspended on some glasses, or we have this handy bulkhead by the nav station. You can even lay them on regular towels but it takes a little longer to dry than if you hang them in the air. You can dry them in the sun on a towel or cardboard as well. Be creative - even a clothesline will work great. If you're cooking them right away then you can put them straight into any boiling water or broth. Otherwise they need to dry completely to store. If you're cooking them right away, they only take a couple minutes to cook. For thin spaghetti pasta it's seriously only about 2 minutes. For these thick noodles I'll cook them in my chicken noodle soup for 10-15 minutes because they were dried. If you dry them well, they will keep for a few weeks at room temperature but they do pick up moisture so they need to be sealed in a ziploc and checked periodically. I find it's best only to make what you need at a time.

Sorry I don't have a picture of the finished soup - it was a busy day and I totally forgot!

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