Standard Egg Pasta Dough

There are a bunch of recipes out there for egg pasta dough, but the most common recipe is a simple combination of flour and eggs.  There are many schools of thought when it comes to the ratio of yolks to whole eggs, and what type of flour is best.  The ratio I've chosen is the most practical for my purposes, I aimed to waste as little as possible.  To learn more about what different ingredients do for your dough, make sure to check out my all about flour page

If you have a food scale, this is an excellent time to break it out.  If not, no problem.  Depending on humidity, you may need more or less flour than suggested; making pasta is all about feel and the more you make it the more you'll know! 

Makes 2-3 servings

100g flour or about a cup (you may need an additional 1/4 cup) 

1 lg egg + 1 yolk

pinch of salt.

Shape your flour and salt into a mound and make a shallow hole for the eggs and yolk.  For a batch this size I make the hole about the size of my palm.  Beat the eggs with a fork and slowly incorporate the flour into the eggs, trying not to get egg outside the mound.  Dont be afraid to let it get wide, usually I let it get no bigger than a small dinner plate before I begin to bring the flour in from the outside.  I tap it in, and when its no longer a nice egg puddle I use the tines of my fork to mash the flour and egg together.  

  When most of the big wet spots are mixed its time to put the fork down and get your hands dirty.  I like to push the pile together from the sides, then lift and folding the outside edges in and down. I repeat that motion, alternating between pushing it in from the sides, and from the top/bottom (so both horizontally and vertically)   and as the dough gets less crumbly, you can start pressing it into a loose ball, see the pictures below, and when you have most of the crumbs in the ball, its time to knead your dough. 

Work the dough by flattening it with the heel of your hand, picking up half, then folding it over again.  I rotate it 90 degrees each time.  The sequence goes like this: turn the dough, lifting half, fold and press.  Do this until most of the flour has been picked off the table.  If youre having trouble getting it to stick, drip a little water in or use a spray bottle to wet it.  If its sticky, add flour 1/4 cup at a time.  I mix my dough a little on the wetter side, its easier and can always dry out when I'm making my shapes. Set a timer and knead for at least 5 minutes and up to 15.  Wrap in plastic and rest for at least 15 minutes.  

Kneading and resting the dough are really important parts of the process. Kneading the dough activates the gluten in the flour; this is what gives the dough stretch later.  Pasta is much more forgiving than bread, you don't really have to worry about overworking it.  Most recipes recommend a longer knead (15-20 minutes) but I've found that 5 minutes of real deal kneading gets the job done. 

 

The rest time is crucial.  Two big things happen, the flour particles get a chance to become fully hydrated and the gluten network you've just built up by kneading gets a chance to relax.  Your rested dough wont spring back if you poke it, and will be softer and more malleable. If you've ever tried to make pasta only to have it just spring back when its rolled it probably hasn't rested long enough. I really can't stress how crucial this is.  

Egg dough can be refrigerated, but after 24 hours it becomes oxidized and takes on a super unfortunate grey color.  I would recommend mixing it from scratch each time, or using it within 24 hours.  I've had some success freezing dough, it stops it from oxidizing.  When bringing it from the fridge or freezer make sure to bring it back up to room temperature before working with it.  

dough after kneading

dough after 15 minute rest

Here is a video of me kneading semolina dough.  Its a softer dough but the technique is the same.  

Now is when the fun begins!  Time to shape your dough.  

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