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Nov 30, 2008 02:52 AM

Problems with Homemade Pasta


I bought myself one of those nifty $30 pasta machines at Bed & Bath on black friday, and I figured that I'd give it a shot. I'm stuck making the dough, and I'd love a bit of help.

I'm using the 2C AP flour, 2Eggs well method as has been recommended to me. I make the well, put in the beaten eggs, and stir it up slowly incorporating the sides as I go. I get a dough that's really loose (like threats of old clothes), which I then pull together with my hands and then put out on a board to kneed. The dough goes from loose to stiff as a board in about three kneeds, and at that point i can barely work it. I'm sure I've missed something here--any ideas what it could be?


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  1. Just sounds like you need to add a little more moisture, whether its an egg yolk our a couple tablespoons of water. Recipes for pasta dough are not exact because different bags of even the same AP flour may have absorbed different amounts of moisture from the air.

    But, if your dough is stiff, it always means you need a little more moisture. Also, once you've kneaded it for 15 minutes or so, you want to let it rest for a while before you roll it out and cut it.

    2 Replies
    1. re: dwagner6

      Do not use all 2 cups of flour at once. Omit 1/2 cup to begin and add to the dough as needed as dwagner said your dough sounds like it lacks moisture.

      1. re: KTinNYC

        another thing is that measuring flour by weight is better than volume as it can vary significantly depending on how it's packed. 100g flour to 1 large egg is my rule but you have to go by feel as well.

    2. Here's a short video clip from our own Chow, with Laura Schenone making homemade pasta. She is the author of the wonderful The Lost Ravioli Recipes of Hoboken. In her travels through Italy searching for an authentic ravioli recipe, she gets a tip to add a bit of olive oil to the dough. Anyway, good luck!

      1. I use 11oz flour to 3 eggs You need more egg. Only incorporate as much flour as the eggs need. Eggs vary in size, and the moisture in the air varies so there is no way for exact measurements. After kneading the dough must rest for at least 20 minutes. The rest will make a big difference.

        1. Here is the formula that I like to use:

          Fresh Pasta
          1-1/2 cups semolina flour
          1 cup all-purpose flour
          4 eggs
          2 tablespoons olive oil
          1 teaspoon salt

          I do not use any water. However, should your mixture be too stiff, don't hesitate to add a bit of water.

          I do not use any water, and I let my pasta machine do the kneading. I start out kneading by hand, but about mid-way I start feeding the dough through the machine's widest width rollers to finish. Then you can start narrowing to make the sheets of dough the desired thickness; and then through the cutters.

          If you can get your hands on a copy of Bon Appetit, May, 1982 has a wonderful article on making pasta: PASTA MADE PERFECT - Delicious Hand-shaped Pasta from One Versatile Dough

          1. The recipe you mentioned is what is known as "poor man's" pasta because of few eggs. I find it is best for lasagna or ravioli with the addition of 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 3 tablespoons of water, in the well, along with the eggs. No salt. (But be sure to salt your cooking water.) For pasta that you make into strands or unstuffed pieces, you are better off with a richer dough that has more egg yolks. Try 5 cups of "00" flour (soft wheat, sieved extra fine) with 12 egg yolks.