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Jan 2, 2003 08:42 AM

Homemade Pasta

  • p

Well, I got my KitchenAid Pasta Rollers in my stocking, so I'll be tackling fresh pasta for my first time this weekend. Doesn't look too hard, but I am confused in one area. Flour.

Mario says unbleached all-purpose flour. I've seen recipes with all semolina flour. Still others suggest 100% "hard wheat" flour.

What gives? It must be important. What do you all use? Does each different type of flour give a different texture? Should I use a combination? Or do different pasta shapes require different flours for strength, etc.?

Any hints/tips welcome.

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  1. Flour choice for homemade pasta might be interesting, but it is not important. For your first experiments you can stick with unbleached all-purpose flour. After you get the hang of it, try other flours and see if you can tell the difference.

    1. Semolina flour is really meant for making dried pasta, though it is handy to have on hand to dust the rollers with to help remove remaining bits of flour (normally, one does not wash pasta rollers to do that, but I digress...).

      All-purpose flour is normal to use in this county. King Arthur Flour does sell a variety that is akin to Italian doppo zero (00) flour that is the classic flour used in Italy for rolling fresh pasta; you can order it on their website.

      10 Replies
      1. re: Karl S.

        Seems to me I read somewhere that the 00, which is softer, is preferred for filled fresh pasta while the harder wheat is preferred for ziti, spaghetti, etc.

        1. re: Karl S.

          Karl, please digress.

          Why wouldn't I wash the rollers? Is it in order to attempt to maintain the non-stick nature?

          Until reading your post, I probably would have thought nothing of throwing them into the dishwasher!

          1. re: Pappy

            I'll digress for not put that pasta machine in the dishwasher and do not attempt to wash it with liquid by hand. Just dust it with a brush or towel and wrap it tightly in plastic(maybe you still have the little desica packet it came with to help remove moisture from it, if so put that in the bag too). Moisture+Flour will bring your pasta machine to a very quick ending. Keep it dry and lightly dusted with flour when using and you should get many years of use.

            1. re: Pappy

              The first thing you see when opening your rollers is a sticker telling you NOT to wash the rollers.

              1. re: Jim H.

                Thanks. Obviously haven't opened the box yet.

                1. re: Jim H.

                  Yeah, but does the sticker say "Simon says do NOT wash the rollers."

                  All seriousness aside, I'm sure the rollers work better when dry, but why is dry and clean worse than dry and not quite clean? Living in dry and sunny Colorado, I feel pretty confident that I can find a way to get the rollers dry after washing them.

                  1. re: Bruce H.

                    The innards will rust, where you can't get at them. You can brush the flour off after you are done making the pasta, and any dried bits caught in the apparatus will fall right out when they are dry.

                    1. re: Bruce H.

                      Obviously, you are trying for that old Italian specialty..."pasta rusty-co".

                      1. re: Bruce H.

                        Clean them from WHAT? A few motes of flour dust? If your dough is the proper consistency to roll and properly floured, there's nothing more than that on the rollers when you're done.

                        Why risk a $100. set of pasta rollers for a chimera of cleanliness?

                  2. re: Karl S.

                    Well, I don't know if Kitchaid rollers are meant to be washed, but standard hand-cranked models (eg, Imperia, the Italian standard) include specific instructions never to wash them, since their parts are not all stainless steel and therefore can rust. Instead, you're supposed to use brush out any stuck pieces of dough, the the slightly grittier nature of semolina flour can make this a bit easier.

                  3. I use the unbleached all purpose. The commercial makers use flower made from wheat with a hard kernel, but one of my cookbooks recommends against this for what sounded at the time like a very sound reason. Can't remember what it was though.

                    Sidebar: Canada grows a lot of the hard wheat flower US pasta makers use, which makes ND wheat farmers mad. It's caused a small rift in relations with ND farmers blocking Canadian trucks every once in a while. The US pasta makers say it is an issue of quality. You can tell the difference in taste between a duck that has fattened on wheat fields instead of corn and bean fields (corn and beans better).

                    1. s
                      Seattle Rose

                      I agree, regular all-purpose flour will work just fine. I have made lots of pasta with it with great success. Have fun!


                      1. Just have fun! The first batch should use whatever you have the most of. We tried using 50/50 all-purpose and whole wheat, very hearty pasta. Experiment! Edison didn't get the lightbulb right on his first try.