Homemade Noodles

I’ve always been intimidated about making noodles.  I’m not sure why.  I’ve made them twice with my mom’s help, but I have always been too afraid to make them on my own, thinking surely I’m going to mess them up and they will be inedible.

I have that same intimidation with pie crust.  I never make pie crust.  Ever.  I always make Chef do it.

Finally, I realized I must get past my fear of noodles.  My mom was visiting this week, but I told her I just wanted her to watch me.  I wanted to do it all.  It was important for my self-esteem.

Is it bad that my self-esteem is related to noodles?

All you need is milk, all-purpose flour, and eggs.

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The proportions are this:  1 cup of flour, 1 egg, 2 tablespoons of milk.  I quadrupled the recipe because I was making enough for Thanksgiving.  And I have fifteen nieces and nephews, along with my two sisters and their husbands and my parents who will all be eating noodles.  That’s a lot of noodles.

Crack the eggs and beat them with the milk.  It doesn’t need to be fluffy, just well combined.

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Obviously, that photo was taken before I mixed them.  It should not look like that.  It should be pale yellow all the way through.  Hopefully you had that figured out, though.

Then put in the flour, but reserve about half a cup.  So I put in 3 1/2 cups of flour with the eggs and milk.  Otherwise, the dough is too dry and hard to roll out.  You’ll use the other half cup to dust your surface and rolling pin anyway.

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Mix it with a spoon, and eventually your hands, until you have a nice, workable dough.

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Then cover it up (I just turned the bowl upside down over it) and let it take a half hour nap.  Just let it rest while you do other things… like sweep up all the leaves the dogs have dragged into the house, or fold some laundry, or chat with your mom, or keep plugging through Gone With the Wind.

When the half hour is up, dust your counter top (or whatever surface you’re rolling the dough on) and your rolling pin.  Divide the dough into workable portions.  I divided my dough in fourths, since I multiplied the recipe by four.

Roll it really super thin.

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It’s hard to tell in that picture how thin it is.  But at one point, I asked Mom, “Am I close?”  She felt it and said, simply, “No.”  So basically, keep rolling and rolling and rolling.  Keep flipping it and dusting the surface underneath, and keep dusting your rolling pin.  When my dough was acceptable enough for my  mom, I could almost see through it.  You might like thicker noodles, and that’s okay, too.

When all the portions are rolled super-thin, lay them out to dry a little bit.  You want to put them on tea towels or lots of cloth napkins or a sheet or something.  They won’t dry if you just leave them on your counter or the kitchen table.  I guess the fabric absorbs the moisture.

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Let them dry, flipping them over every half hour or so, until the edges feel just a bit crispy.  I think mine dried for about an hour and a half.

Then grab your pizza cutter (it’s not just for pizzas anymore!) and cutting boards, and start cutting the dough into strips.

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Apparently, my grandmother used to dust the dough with flour, roll up the dough, and cut the rolls.  That sounds like it would be faster, but my mom said hers always stuck together when she tried to do it.  So this time, I did what Mom does.  Next time, I might try Grandma’s method.

When you’re finished, you’ll have a nice pile of noodles.  Spread them out on your cloths again.  (Mine are piled up in the photo below so I could get a good picture.  Don’t pile them up like this or they won’t dry.  Spread them out in a nice thin layer.)

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Let them dry, and every once in a while mix them up with your fingers.  This helps keep them from sticking together.  Be gentle, though, because these noodles break much more easily than store-bought noodles.  Let them dry overnight.  In the morning, put them in containers.  I used clean five-quart ice cream buckets.  This batch of noodles filled two buckets.

Honestly, these noodles are not difficult at all!  Why was I so intimidated?  You do need to set aside a good chunk of time, though, because of all the flipping and drying and such.  But since they are dried, you can store them for a good amount of time, until you are ready to use them, which means you probably won’t have to make them often.  Unless you’re a noodle-fiend and eat them up as soon as you make them.

Now that I am confident in making them, I might allow myself to become a noodle-fiend.

Wanna join me?

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10 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Andrea
    Nov 13, 2009 @ 10:29:56

    I eat them as I’m making them…so I always have to double at least to make up for the raw ones I eat…mmmmmm…noodles!

  2. Jon Hoyt
    Nov 13, 2009 @ 10:53:40

    Already there 🙂 Natalie makes noodles whenever she does a roast with carrots and potatoes. This last time she was quite proud of herself, it was the thinnest (and best) noodles she had ever made.

    The next day though her entire upper body ached from rolling them out 🙂 I guess its time to get a marble roller…

  3. Tracy
    Nov 13, 2009 @ 11:02:55

    Looks a lot easier than I thought! I have to try this; I bet they taste so much better than store-bought!

  4. rita
    Nov 13, 2009 @ 17:49:10

    Beautiful noodles! How did you get them so even?

    BTW, I clicked the ‘refresh’ icon and, finally, got to see your post. I’ve never had to do that before…hmmmm

  5. rita
    Nov 13, 2009 @ 17:49:54

    Please say Hi from me to Mama Dolores!

  6. Dolores Mounts
    Nov 13, 2009 @ 22:54:40

    Rita, as Karen once told me:”You know they are homemade because they are NOT even. Looks can be deceiving

    • Amy
      Nov 13, 2009 @ 23:08:14

      Okay, I guess now I have to try again. Mine are never anywhere close to as thin as yours and mom’s. Maybe the pictures will help!

  7. Kim
    Nov 14, 2009 @ 16:06:41

    I’ve made noodles in the past and really liked them but, like you say, it’s a pretty big time commitment. Now thankfully I don’t have to make them to get fresh pasta — there are a number of places locally I can buy anything from spaghetti to ravioli to lasagna noodles. My favorite place, Santa Margarita, also sells super thin crepes that are great for cannelloni.

    I have tried to make pie crust many, many times but never made an edible one. Unlike my obsession with no bake cookies that spurred me to conquer (!) I eventually gave up my pathetic attempts with pie crusts. Because, hey, Pillsbury does it better! lol

    • Chef
      Nov 18, 2009 @ 16:50:24

      Regarding thinness of noodles—gluten which is the great stuff that keeps flour products strong even though it’s thin, needs to be allowed to relax between stretchings—this is the case with bread dough. roll it, let it rest, roll it some more. It makes sense that noodles after having rested will allow themselves to be rolled thinner more easily.

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