Home Cooking 6

Home-ground Semolina & pasta-making....

eseattle | Jan 25, 201206:02 PM

I opened up my new pasta maker (atlas wellness 150) today, and ground some durum wheat for pasta. I used Ruhlman's 3-2 ratio, so my first batch--ground at the normal "bread" setting--was 3 eggs at 140 g, and 210 g of flour. It kneaded beautifully, was pliable and tender-feeling, and went into the "1" setting of the pasta maker just fine. I did it 4 times on that setting--still fine. "2" was alright. "3" started to tear and get shaggy. I looked this up online, backed up to "2", and still had trouble. Flouring it a little seemed to help. Finally, I added a tiny bit of olive oil, which made it hard to push through the pasta maker, but it stayed less shaggy; I didn't dare go beyond "3".

Half my dough had clearly been overworked, though, so I tossed it to the chickens and started a new batch. This time, I did it on "pastry" setting, so notably finer; I figured the coarseness of the grind might have been part of the problem (combined with it being a whole grain, which I'm not willing to change). This time, no oil, but I did add a tiny bit of water.

Same problem, though: beautiful dough, that then tore at "3"--and so shaggy, this time, that I ended up cutting it by hand, as putting it through the fettucine cutter clearly wasn't going to work.

Anyone have experience using home-ground flours for pasta? I make all my own bread, and am very at ease with doughs and gluten development and about how they should feel...but I'm discouraged by today's pasta experiment. I haven't cooked the pasta yet (I'm waiting for my friend to arrive), but the strands with the olive oil in them definitely look the best, (less shaggy, and much longer because they didn't break) even though that was from the coarser first batch, so I'm guessing that using a whole grain necessitates a little extra fat to get the dough smooth enough to roll somewhat thinner. Thoughts?

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