Friday, April 12, 2013

Nuts for noodles-

My family LOVES homemade noodles! For years, I purchased store bought noodles for our meals because I simply had no idea how easy (and fun) making my own could be. I can't remember if my first attempt making my own noodles was trying to trim the grocery budget or I was possibly mid-recipe when it occurred to me I didn't have store bought noodles on hand (most likely the second). I am not sure of the exact cost comparison per unit, but noodles are not the first place to go to save lots unless you are buying organic or gourmet.  So, it costs less, tastes better and I feel great knowing all the ingredients (including LOVE) going into my family's food.   Once the first batch of noodles were served at our dinner table, they became a common request.

I use Better Homes and Garden's noodle recipe- SUPER easy!

Ok... Here we go!!!

In my mixer, I add the dry ingredients (the flour and salt). Then, in a small, separate bowl, mix the wet ingredients (the eggs, oil (I use Bertoli's EVOO) and water).  I love the dough hook on my mixer for my noodles, the mixer does all the work.  Add your wet ingredients.  If the dough is too dry, add a few drops of water, slowly or if the dough is too wet, add a little bit of flour, slowly until the dough forms a ball in the mixer.  Turn your dough ball out on your floured workspace.  If you are not using a stand mixer with a dough hook, you will need to work your dough for a bit at this point.  Let your dough rest for a few minutes. 

You can see I sprinkled flour over the doughball before I started rolling the dough out for the noodles.  This will keep your dough from sticking to your rolling pin.  I never wash my rolling pin in the dishwater (nope, no automatic dishwasher for this girl, 3 manuals in this house are enough maintenance, lol).  I wipe mine down w/ a damp towel.  The folks over at e.How food use this method.  

I split my dough into a couple dough balls before I start rolling it out to make my noodles more manageable.  Make sure your are getting your dough evenly rolled out and thinner than you think you need them to be.  These little guys swell back up when you are boiling them.  See below how thin? You'll get good at it with practice, I promise!

My husband's genius idea... the pizza cutter to cut my noodles. :)

They don't have to be perfect, just make sure they are relatively the same size or you will have unevenly cooked noodles.  I have never actually "dried" my noodles as the recipe "suggests".  Ok, they may sit on the counter a few minutes while I'm preparing the rest of dinner.  You can, also, make your noodles ahead, dry and freeze them for up to 8 months.  (I always think about it, but never do this.)  I have no idea how well the freezing then cooking goes, but you do need to cook them longer than the fresh, dried noodles. 

So, now we want to throw our noodles in the boiling water for a couple minutes, literally. You will see them rise to the top of your pot when they are cooked.   I use a small colander with a handle to scoop them out of the boiling water, any type of a slotted spoon works but it is a lot of work fishing them out and they like to "jump" off the spoon back into the water.  You will understand after you sneak your first taste just why you would want to make homemade noodles vs. the store bought, I promise!  Enjoy!!!


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