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Jan 2, 2008 12:06 PM

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,

          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.