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making pasta - do i really need 00 flour?


i got a hand crank pasta machine for xmas. i really want to make some linguine this weekend....

i found a couple of recipes, but they all call for 00 flour, which i didn't see at my local grocer or even trader joe's.

what happens if i sub with ap flour? dare i even try?

thanks :)

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  1. Go for it. jfood has never purchased 00 flour. Last weekend he made 30 Canellonis with Hazan's recipe with regular old flour. It was fantastic.

    Jfood will say that when he uses the regular flour he does need to add some water (teeny weeny amount) to the dough to get to the right consistency. If this is because of the flour he does not know but it is no big deal adding the drops of water.

    Another idea jfood like is to use 1/3 semolina with 2/3 regular flour. It gives a nice texture to the dough.

    Just experiement and enjoy the machine. Nothing like freshpasta and it is very easy to make.

    8 Replies
    1. re: jfood

      I agree with the semolina addition if it is available locally.

      you can make great pasta with King Arthur AP.

      1. re: Kelli2006

        This Pasta Blend by King Arthur works very well for me......

        here's a link...


        1. re: ChowFun_derek

          Very cool. I didn't know about this blend, but I will add it to my next order. I had been buying semolina from a Italian grocery in Cleveland, http://www.tasteitaly.com/

          1. re: Kelli2006

            me neither. I never knew KA had that many blends.

        2. re: Kelli2006

          I just made pasta with the King Arthur Pasta Flour and their 00 Italian Style Flour. Both were great. I was not successful when I used regular store all purpose flour.

        3. re: jfood

          I've always used regular flour, sometimes adding some semolina too.

          1. re: jfood

            Gosh just saw this/ and I am a HUGE canelloni fan. I am so ashamed, I call myself a good cook and I have not used my pasta machine (Atlas crank style-have it now 20 years) yet. I have made ravioli, large ones simply rolling with a pin, but not with the machine.
            Anyway, back to the canelloni. What kind did you make? Did you find that the cooking time was shorter because of the dough being fresh, and did you cook the pasta sheets first or not? YUM. This sounds delicious.

            1. re: jfood

              Jimmy uses 00 flour for his pizza, but Jimmy doesn't use it for Jimmy's pasta. Jimmy likes regular and semolina mixed for his pasta.

            2. In a word, no. 00 is good but you can make great pasta with readily available flours.

              Anyway, we make most of our pasta with a combination of semolina and durum flour which produces a beautiful yellowish dough and a very tasty pasta with a great mouth feel.

              3 Replies
              1. re: Den

                I have on hand durum flour, 00 flour, and semolina. What would be the right proportions in which to use them to make fresh pasta? I'm thinking maybe one-third each?

                1. re: bella_sarda

                  Does anyone have the answer to what is the difference between durum and semolina? I know that semollna is made from durum wheat., but after that I'm curious.

                  1. re: Stuffed Monkey

                    Basically, semolina is just a coarser milling. In Italian, they also call the durum wheat flour 'semolina' or 'semolina flour', whereas in English, 'semolina' usually refers to the coarser grained stuff only.
                    As for your question on the '00' type- that's just the finest flour you can get in Italy, and therefore the one that's traditionally used for making special foods like fresh pasta. It's basically the same as AP flour (depending a little on the brand)...but for tradition's sake, most recipes will advise using that.

              2. I agree with the above advice. I suppose if you really get into making pasta you may have fun buying 00 flour online and experimenting. I know I had grand visions of fancy pasta-making at home and then I returned to real life after playing with my pasta machine for about a month.

                I typically use jfood's ratio of 1/3 semolina flour and 2/3 AP flour. I've found that all semolina makes for a stiff dough, but adding some to AP gives you a pasta with a little more tooth.

                The difference between even fresh AP pasta and supermarket dried pasta is so huge, I think you'll be happy enough and you'll forget about having to buy 00 flour.

                1. No you do not need 00 flour. This is not something to fetishise over. I've made a lot of good pasta without 00, including a 48 inch circle with which to make a timpano. It is nice to add some semolina if you have it but not really necessary.

                  1. Plain ol' flour is just fine. I even have a nice recipe that uses whole wheat flour.

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: revsharkie


                      Would love that recipe for whole wheat flour. tinkering with that a lot these days

                      1. re: PurpleTeeth

                        Just noticed there aren't any eggs in these. This dough is incredibly easy to work with. You can do it with a pasta maker, but you get a good result even if you don't have one.

                        2 c. whole wheat flour
                        1/2 tsp. salt
                        1 tbsp. oil
                        1/2 c. water

                        Mix flour and salt. Work in oil with fork or fingers.

                        Pour in water and blend with fingers, kneading until dough holds together. If dough begins to crumble, add more water, a tablespoon at a time, and work it in.

                        Roll out about 1/4” thick, fold in thirds, and repeat for a good 10 minutes, until dough is as stiff and smooth as modeling clay. (You can do this step with the pasta machine or with a rolling pin on the counter.) When fully kneaded, cover with a damp cloth and let rest for 30 minutes; this relaxes the gluten so it's possible to roll the dough very thin.

                        Divide dough into about 6 pieces. Keep all but the piece you’re working on covered with the damp cloth. Roll as thin as possible. Dough can be turned over during rolling as many times as necessary. Cut as desired. Place on wire rack to dry for at least two hours before cooking.

                        1. re: revsharkie

                          I find supermarket dried WW pasta dry and crumbly in texture when cooked, not silky like regular pasta. How does this fresh WW pasta compare with dry store bought?

                          1. re: toodie jane

                            Commercial WW pasta used to have a bad reputation, though I don't recall trying it myself. But I've seen some reviews that claim new versions are quite good.

                            One difference might be in the choice of wheat. It used be that the only type commonly available had a lot coarse bran. Now King Arthur and others sell a white whole wheat that is finer and lighter colored, made, I believe from a different wheat strain.

                            I also saw some allusion to WW pasta makers separating out the bran, making the dough with the rest, and then somehow incorporating the bran. If something like that is one of tricks to making a palatable WW pasta, it may be impossible for homemade pasta makers.


                            1. re: paulj

                              I get some "Heartland" brand whole wheat pasta that's awfully good. It doesn't taste quite like regular pasta, but that's okay. The texture isn't the same, either, but it's not bad.

                              Not sure I can speak to how my homemade WW pasta measures up to the commercial stuff, either. If I have time, I make my own; if I don't, I don't.

                    2. cool everyone - thanks for the great help and suggestions!! i'll post back with my results :)

                      1. You might also look at recipes that include some egg. Those are supposed to be less sensitive to the gluten properties of the flour.

                        1. Whatever you make will be better than you can buy, so don't get tied to some idea of "what it's suppozzed to be." Just make it and enjoy. You can use a wide variety of flours and combinations. Don't leave the machine sit on a shelf because you are waiting to find some mythical perfect flour.

                          Look at this. It's dirt cheap and mostly pasta recipes, not sauce recipes.

                          13 Replies
                          1. re: yayadave

                            I just made some fine pasta today using Hodgson Mills Pasta Flour which I got at the local BIG market. Nothing fancy, just super market shopping. Check around. Those BIG stores have gotten the idea that people are wanting better and specialized ingredients.


                            1. re: yayadave

                              How did it turn out, Dave? I have a box of this pasta flour in my pantry waiting for me to break in my new pasta machine. Did u use the recipe on the box or your own?

                              1. re: lynnlato

                                Sorry, I totally missed your post. By now I suppose you've found out how you like it. I liked it and thought it made better tasting pasta than AP. I don't think I used the recipe on the box, but don't know what I did. Probably just 100g/egg.

                                1. re: yayadave

                                  I love this stuff, Dave! I used a recipe out of Jamie Oliver's The Naked Chef cookbook (not sure why I gravitated to this recipe). It was absolutely perfect. Thanks for turning me on to this flour - I just recommended it to someone on another CH thread.

                                  1. re: lynnlato

                                    In his book, "Ratio," Michael Ruhlman calls for 2 parts egg to 3 parts flour, by weight. He also says start with 1 egg per serving. So a 65g egg would take 97.5g of flour. Or 4 eggs @ 65g would be 260g and require 390g of flour. That would be 650g for four diners. Decent sized servings.
                                    What does Jamie do?

                                    1. re: yayadave

                                      Sorry it's taken me forever to respond - I missed your post. Oops!

                                      As you are probably aware, Jamie is not very precise - that's his approach across the board.

                                      Jamie's quick basic recipe calls for:

                                      1 lb. bread flour
                                      5 fresh large eggs
                                      semolina for dusting

                                      (his special recipe calls for 1 cup bread flour, 2 1/2 cups semolina flour, 2 large eggs, and 9-10 large egg yolks).

                                      He specificly says not to use salt or oil. Kneed ingredients into a fine and silky-textured dough, and work it enough to develop and strengthen the structure of the gluten in the dough to make it elastic. He says to use a processor or mixer. Wrap dough in plastic and allow to rest in the refrigerator for 60 minutes. Divide dough into 4 balls. Work through the pasta machine starting on the widest setting and working your way down until it's as thin as you'd like.

                                      You should see the photograph of his beet pasta - gorgeous! He says to use his basic recipe but remove two of the eggs and substitute with roughly the equivalent of pureed beets. You may have to adjust the flour a bit too.

                                      1. re: lynnlato

                                        Just when I think I know something ....
                                        First I bumpt into this ...

                                        Then, if you get tired of little pasta, see this ...

                                        And there are others on youtube that roll out really large, thin circles of pasta.

                                        1. re: yayadave

                                          Gorgeous! Jamie's finished tagliatelle looked delicious - wow. He makes it look way too simple, doesn't he?

                                          I wish I was able to roll out dough like that - sadly, I'm horrible at it. Not enough practice, I suppose. The color of the woman's pasta dough was lovely! Thanks for posting these!

                                          1. re: lynnlato

                                            I think they have really fresh eggs. Did you notice the color of Jamie's eggs? I think he said they were from his chickens.

                            2. re: yayadave

                              "Whatever you make will be better than you can buy"

                              Now this just isn't true.

                              The extremely dense, extruded pasta secca is just as integral and unique a part of Italian pasta culture as pasta fresca, and you couldn't make pasta secca at home if you wanted to. With an oily sauce, for example, almost anything you buy will be better than anything you can make.

                              I make pasta at home all the time, and for some pastas, absolutely, what I make is far better than anything I could buy, and in other cases fresh or dry simply makes for two very different dishes. But both have their place and it depends entirely on the type of pasta you're making. Let's please get over this "fresh pasta is inherently better" snobbery, because it's an American invention that just isn't true.

                                1. re: bella_sarda

                                  amen, and i'll go further and say that if you like semolina in fresh pasta, you should certainly enjoy it. but it is not traditional. fresh pasta should be silky, not chewy and semolina makes a very chewy pasta. it is used mainly in dried pasta, which is a very different -- and just as delicious -- product.

                                  1. re: FED

                                    Absolutely. Though I wouldn't be too sure that it's an "American invention." Plenty of cultures mess up other cultures' traditional cuisines. Enough knee-jerk-anti-Americanisms!

                                    But, again, Dmnkly is absolutely right.

                            3. next time you cook down a couple of chicken carcasses for broth, save 2 qts, and make some wide ribbon noodles. Cook them in the broth and you will be in heaven!
                              (add some picked chicken and fresh veggies to the broth and you've got homemade chicken noodle soup!)

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: toodie jane

                                Oh my, yes! And since you're making your own, you can cut them by hand to whatever size you want. Homemades are a tremendous addition to chicken noodle soup.

                                1. I did a side by side comparison using 00 and King Arthur AP and found very little difference. The 00 was maybe a tad more delicate in texture, but I'm not sure that's always a good thing. Absolutely no difference in flavor. Only one pair of batches and one set of taste buds, but if there was a huge difference I think I would have noticed. For me 00 is more expensive, so I just use AP.

                                  I do like King Arthur AP vs Pillsbury, Gold Medal and such. It has a slightly higher protein content and makes a firmer pasta. And don't even think of using bleached flour.

                                  1. I always thought OO flour was more for pizza making rather than dough. I use semolina and AP flour for pasta myself.

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: coll

                                      Caputo, one of the more popular Itailain flour brand available here, makes both a Pizza 00 and a Pasta 00 flour.

                                      1. re: Stuffed Monkey

                                        That explains that, I only knew about their pizza version.

                                    2. One friend swears by only using farina flour, from what I am reading here it seems AP/Semolina works just fine....

                                      Does anyone know what kind of machine Jamie at Home is using here?


                                      1. Don't think the flour is as crucial as letting the initial dough ball rest for a while (30 minutes). I like semolina, I have had less success with straight ap, Ineed to try a semolina/ap blend.

                                        5 Replies
                                        1. re: ggusta

                                          I do half and half, it's perfect to me. Just be sure to get semolina fina.

                                          1. re: coll

                                            made it last night about 2:1 sem:ap and we loved it, I'll try a little more ap next time (it will be cheaper that way!), I throw an extra yolk in, example, 3 eggs plus 1 yolk. I finally convinced my family to let me make it a little thicker, making it extra thin is a b!!!!!tch to get just right and much more time consuming. 1 setting thicker is much faster, plus I prefer the tooth. They liked it too. I was about to tell them, 'you want it one setting thinner, you make it!'

                                            1. re: ggusta

                                              I am so lucky, I don't get any negative feedback on mine, just oohs and aahs. I don't really know anyone that makes their own anymore, not anyone still alive anyway!

                                              I do mostly semolina nowadays, now that I think about it: the flour is what I'm using to roll it out and I always need a lot! So I'm just guessing half and half.But the more I use, the softer it is.

                                              I do four eggs myself. I have always done my pasta on my "Miracle" Atlas, but am lately inspired to try it completely by hand. I bought a bigger rolling pin, French style, but not sure it is big enough. I hear you should go to Home Depot and get a two or three foot dowel....just waiting for the right occasion to start experimenting.

                                              1. re: coll

                                                What happened was I nailed the thinner one perfectly and with the thicker one is that I undercooked the thicker one pretty severely the very first time I made it. I live with 2 very very picky eaters. Meaning very limited tastebuds and not given to varying their eating habits. So once they taste something that disagrees with them, it takes a LONG time for them to 'dip their toes' in that water a 2nd time. So I finally got them to try it again when I did it right and they loved it.

                                                As for 'miracle atlas' if you mean a motor driven machine, yes, that is what I have and I pity anyone who has to crank theirs, especially as I have pretty severe tendonitis in both arms. Worth it's very heavy weight and price!

                                                I used the the 2:1 to mix and then the ap to roll it out so it may actually end up being 1:1 by the time I am done making it.

                                                1. re: ggusta

                                                  No I don't know why it's a miracle, but it's hand cranked. My MIL gave it to me around when we got married, it was a family tradition that I had to continue. They used to cost around $25 (yes I'm that old). My husband at first helped but eventually I was able to do it on my own, by pretending I was Houdini; he was the one that noticed it was called "Miracle Atlas" on the box and that amused him to no end.

                                                  I also have an attachment for the Kitchenaid but never able to make it work decently, it clogged up something awful. I use my Atlas mainly for lasagna and cannelloni sheets, thought I did use it for tagliatelle and such in the beginning. My husband has tastebud issues too, so I can't go full speed ahead anymore when it comes to experimentation!

                                        2. You do not need 00 flour to make pasta. 00 flour is a fine grind, low gluten flour. It makes pasta more "delicate" (less chewy). Gluten is a protein, so low gluten=low protein.

                                          If you want a sturdy pasta, like macaroni or even spaghetti, then you need to use a "hard" flour, like semolina.

                                          For everyday pasta, I use bread flour. Bread flour is a hard wheat, but not as hard as semolina. It makes great pasta and pizza crusts.

                                          9 Replies
                                          1. re: gizmoprof

                                            Kenji at SeriousEats disputes this.


                                            EDIT: The "00 Section" is about 1/3 down from the top of the page.

                                            1. re: Bryan Pepperseed

                                              I only see him talking about bread and pizza, not pasta. Did I miss it?

                                              I'm in the semolina camp, myself.

                                              1. re: coll

                                                My bad.....sort of.... I should have been clearer in saying that it was the gluten/protein part of gizmoprof's post that I was referring to.
                                                I probably should have just quoted the part where Kenji says:

                                                "You'll read in countless sources that Italian Tipo "00" flour, like the Caputo, is a "soft wheat flour," with a low protein content. This is absolutely untrue........The fact is, the label Tipo "00" has nothing to do with protein content. Rather, it refers to the fineness of the milling. Tipo "00" is the finest grade of flour milled in Italy, and it has a consistency similar to baby powder."

                                                As for the Caputo 00 "Chef's Flour" discussed by Kenji,the Caputo website describes it as, "A very versatile flour for the home chef or anyone looking to make smaller batches, this flour can be used to make pizza, bread, pasta, and cakes"

                                                Source: http://caputoflour.com/portfolio_item...

                                                As an aside, the “00″ Pasta Fresca & Gnocchi flour from Caputo seems to have the same protein content that Kenji says their pizza flours have.


                                                1. re: Bryan Pepperseed

                                                  I've never run across the Caputo 00 pasta flour, only the pizza 00. But I know they are a good company when it comes to Italian food. However, I will stick with my semolina fina for now, much easier to find ;-)

                                                  1. re: coll

                                                    Truth here is that, while not impossible, finding any brand 00 is not exactly easy for me. Therefore it's only used for pizza when I do.
                                                    As for my pasta making, I see that on more than comment/posts you refer to "semolina fina" - is this a different product from the ones I see labeled just "semonlina"? I've seen reference to both semolina flour and semolina meal. Is that the distinction "we're" talking about?

                                                    1. re: Bryan Pepperseed

                                                      I don't know exactly, I go to my local pasta store and they are glad to sell me a lb or two at a ridiculously low price. There is coarse semolina for bread, and semolina fina for pasta, that is as much as they told me. Italian is their first language so that keeps me from full info. Sounds like what you are saying is the same thing. I do like to keep both on hand.

                                                      1. re: coll

                                                        Thanks for the reply. Think I'll stick with my theory that coarse=mael and fine=fina until proven wrong.

                                                      2. re: Bryan Pepperseed

                                                        The semolina that I've bought from a bulk health food store is coarse, similar to farina (cream of wheat) in texture. I've only used it in Roman gnocchi, a polenta-like preparation.

                                                        1. re: paulj

                                                          Thanks Paul. Guess I'll just experiment with different brands and see what I discover.