Monday, October 27, 2008

Fresh Whole Wheat Pasta

As promised I experimented with making a whole wheat pasta tonight. Let me just say from the outset that this is not a 100% whole wheat pasta, so some people might be disappointed. I'm pretty sure that a pasta made from all whole wheat flour would turn out pretty badly. My first attempt was to replace the white flour in this recipe with all purpose whole wheat flour. That was a failure. My flour is pretty coarse and so the dough never came together and kept breaking apart with all the bran and wheat germ. That batch went into the garbage. My next attempt was to add wheat germ and bran to the regular recipe--this worked out much better. The dough was more finicky that the regular version, but still cooked up great and had a good texture and taste.

Makes 1 lb of pasta
- 1 cup semolina flour
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 2 tbsp vital wheat gluten
- 2 tbsp wheat germ
- 2 tbsp wheat bran
- 1/2 tsp salt (optional)
- 1/2 cup tepid water, plus 1-2 tbsp more

1. Whisk together flours, germ, bran and salt (if using) in a bowl. Make a well in the center. Put water in the well and slowly incorporate the wet into the dry, making a rough dough, adding more water if needed.
2. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead into a smooth dough (5 mins). The dough should not break apart or crack, so wet your hands if the dough seems too dry. On the other hand, try not to make it too moist. The dough should be smooth and fairly tough.
3. Roll into a log and wrap in a slightly damp towel. Set aside for 20 mins to let the dough relax. Roll and cut as per usual.