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

Could be--that's why I'm hoping there's someone else on the boards who grinds their own flour for pasta. The taste & healthfulness are so different....

Jan 26, 2012
eseattle in Home Cooking

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

Well, there are 3 settings on the wondermill--"pastry", "bread", and "coarse". So first I did the middle, then the first. I'm not sure how it really compares to fine commercial grinds......

Jan 25, 2012
eseattle in Home Cooking

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

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?

Jan 25, 2012
eseattle in Home Cooking

A little culture?

I broke down & splurged on a Wondermill, and I love it. I go through nearly 5 lbs. of grains a week (hard red wheat, hard white wheat, and rye, mostly, but also soft white wheat and spelt and buckwheat and others) even though I live alone, and it allows me to buy organic, small-farm grains at incredible prices (because I buy in bulk, which having my own grinder allows, since the rancidity clock doesn't really start ticking on most grains--the exceptions are flax, buckwheat, and quinoa--until they're ground), to always have super-fresh tasting flour, and to use a coarse grind (which lowers the glycemic index). It's also great for corn, so I can make great blue-corn pancakes, again without worrying about freshness.

Dec 20, 2010
eseattle in Greater Boston Area

A little culture?

Thanks, all--I was indeed hoping to get live starter; I didn't realize it would be so hard to find. I guess I'll call the restaurant when I'm back in town tomorrow, and go from there.

Dec 19, 2010
eseattle in Greater Boston Area

A little culture?

I live in Seattle and make all my own naturally leavened bread; I even grind my own flour. I came home to Boston yesterday for the holidays, with a carry on loaded with my flour mixes, to make lots of bread for my family. Alas! Despite my note to myself, I managed to forget the starter, without which ( of course) I'm sunk. I've asked my fave restaurant if they'll give me some, but if they're feeling proprietary, I'm SOL. Does anyone here have a good one they can offer up? I'd be happy to send you kefir grains when I get home, if you like....even better if you're in or near Needham, where my mom lives. Thank you!

Dec 16, 2010
eseattle in Greater Boston Area

Must I peel the butternut squash?

update: I'm in for blue hubbard skins too--now that it's nicely roasted, the skin has no strong flavor, and is plenty soft enough even without the pureeing I'll do for the soup.

kiwi skin, too, is edible (that one surprised me, though now that I think about it it probably shouldn't have)--anyone for banana peels? I draw the line...though a friend's sister ate one on a dare when we were kids, and lived to tell the tale.

I guess my bias is that if it's part of a vegetable or fruit that we eat, and if it tastes reasonably good, it's almost certainly good for us. I'd be even more adamant than usual about it being organic, though, if I'm going to eat the skin.

Dec 02, 2010
eseattle in Home Cooking

Must I peel the butternut squash?

I haven't used butternut (only buttercup, acorn, and sweet meat), but I always include most or all of the skin if I'm going to be pureeing anyway; veggie skins are usually the most nutrient-dense part, so as long as it doesn't give a taste or texture you don't like, using them is preferable. Today I'm trying a blue Hubbard--when it's done roasting, I'll take a bite & decide if I should peel it before pureeing it for my soup. According to this page http://whatscookingamerica.net/squash... "every part of the squash plant can be eaten"....though the same page says most winter squash skins are inedible. I think by this they simply mean that it's tough.

Dec 02, 2010
eseattle in Home Cooking