Sunday, June 16, 2013

Pasta Dough No. 2

When using my torchio pasta press, I work with different dough recipes depending upon the type of pasta shape I am making. Because I am on a bit of a gramigna kick (here), my current dough-of-choice consists of 250 grams of type 00 and extra fancy durum flour mixed with 125 grams of eggs. This 2:1 flour-to-egg ratio produces a dry, hard dough suited to making gramigna in a torchio.

Just for fun, I used this same dough to make flat egg noodles in a conventional pasta machine with rollers. Although a 2:1 flour-to-egg ratio works exceptionally well in a torchio, this mixture felt a tad too hard for a home pasta machine. So, over the course of a week, I made multiple batches of dough, adding varying amounts of additional water to create a dough that was dry and hard—which results in a pasta with a firm texture—but not so hard that it would unduly stress my pasta machine.

With each batch I started with a mixture of type 00 flour from Central Milling (150 grams) and extra fancy durum flour from Giustos (100 grams). I sifted the flour into the bowl of a standing mixer and added a large pinch of salt. Next, I placed a glass on a scale, tared the scale and added 2 whole medium eggs and 1 medium egg yolk. On average this egg mixture weighed approximately 125 grams.

Over the course of five runs, I added as few as 5 grams and as many as 20 grams of additional water to the 125 gram egg mixture. I set the mixer, equipped with a paddle attachment, to low and drizzled in the egg mixture. Next, I mixed the dough until it came together (about 2 minutes depending upon the amount of liquid). Then, I removed the dough from the mixer, kneaded the dough by hand for a minute or two, and wrapped the dough in plastic and let it hydrate at room temperature for 30 minutes. Finally, I rolled the dough to setting 3 on my Imperia R220 Manual pasta machine.

By adding a relatively small amount of water to the eggs—as few as 5 grams—the dough became noticeably easier to roll in the R220. Of the dough variations, I preferred the driest batch (i.e., the dough with 5 grams of additional water), which produced a pasta with a great bite.