Homemade Pasta problem
I have a Waring Pasta Machine, and made homemade spaghetti for the 1st time yesterday. I used the instructions that came with the machine, and made 1/2 a recipe: 1 3/4 c flour, 1T olive oil, 1 tsp salt and 2 eggs. The eggs were medium-small, but they came to the 1/2 recipe marker in the Waring cup.
When I checked the consistency, it looked too dry (according to their description), and I ended up adding 2 T water. I'm not exactly sure what it's supposed to look like. Their description said 'somewhere between coffee grounds and uncooked rice.
When the spaghetti came out of the extrusion disk, it didn't look 'solid' (can't describe it any other way.. the dough didn't look 'smooshed' together). Once they dried, I thought they would be really hard, like store-bought spaghetti, but they broke apart very, very easily.
I haven't cooked them yet, but it seems like they would just fall apart in the water.
What's wrong? Did I need more liquid?
I should mention that my flour was white whole wheat, so it has the bran in it. I'm pretty sure that's why I needed more liquid.
I had a mix and extrude pasta machine eons ago. It specified durum flour and water. It was okay but it was a bugger to work with and the pasta wasn't the yummy stuff my parents Italian friends were making. Finally one day the machine clogged and the housing cracked. I think it did me a favor. Recently I finally broke down and got a real pasta machine and making the pasta with semolina and eggs turns out the pasta I remember my parents' friends making.
No confusion. You're right.
I've never used one of the home extruders, but the whole concept seems wrong-headed. The home pasta machine should be an aid to doing what is best done by hand -- that means pasta sfoglia (i.e., soft wheat and eggs rolled thin and cut). Spaghetti is made with durum wheat and water, period, and is dried under carefully controlled conditions. Freshly made pasta is best used immediately, not home dried.
Your recipe looks ok to me. I've made pasta for many, many years. The machines that "extrude" the noodles don't do a good job of "rolling" the dough.
For the dough to hold up, you need to "knead" the dough by hand. I strongly suggest avoiding the extrusion devices and buy a unit that has rollers to roll the dough flat, and cutters to cut the noodles from the rolled dough.
Also, a "hard" wheat flour is best for spaghetti (and all pasta). Use semolina or durum wheat flour. If you can't find those, buy a "bread" flour.