What flour to use for a pasta recipe?
I found a pasta recipe I want to try, however it calls for cake flour and all-purpose flour. Since I only have all purpose is it ok to use this for both measurements or do I need to have the cake flour?
You'll be fine with just regular flour though you may have to adjust the moisture balance a little.
I've experimented a lot with which flours work best, and I find that half durum and half semolina works great if you're making a wide noodle (linguini, fettucine, etc) or ravioli. For thinner noodles (capellini), I use 2/3 durum and 1/3 semolina.
Cake flour will be finer, similar to durum, and will give a smoother, less gritty noodle than using only all-purpose flour.
So far I tried generic store brand unbleached all-pupose flour and the pasta was not only too tough in consistency, but also had a cardboard flavor.
I've never worked with durum flour before, but took a chance and bought extra fancy (extra fine) durum flour in bulk (ConAgra brand from Dawn Foods). The result was a smooth texture, good flavor and nice yellow tint.
I wasn't sure if it would be worth the trouble to do a blend with semolina, but your post makes it sound worthwhile. How do you make your capellini? Do you use a manual crank pasta maker or electric pasta press?
When I tried to make capellini using the manual crank, it was not very efficient and the 100% extra fancy/fine durum flour dough seemed too soft to make thin noodles. I wonder if adding semolina will make forming capellini easier?
I use fifty fifty AP and semolina for wider pastas. I also roll them one setting short of the thinnest on my Atlas. The proportions I use for pappardelle are a cup of each and four eggs. The pasta is so good it vies with a great Bolognese as the feature of the dish.
I personally use all-purpose flour, although I've used a combination of all-purpose and semolina before. The big thing with experimenting with different flours is to make sure to get the ratios right. A cup of all-purpose is not equivalent to a cup of cake flour. Be sure and weigh out your flours and for the most part you won't go wrong. A good recipe I use is from Making Artisan Pasta by Aliza Green, and calls for 350g of flour for 3 eggs and one yolk.