I have been cooking for years and hosted a cooking podcast called "Kinds of Cooking." I love baking bread and cooking just about anything.
Working With Noodles
I always like to show a quick overview of what I am working with. I have noticed that with noodles, many people have the same fears as they have when considering baking bread. It seems like too much trouble, and you are trying to overcome huge odds to make it work. That's just not so. See the picture below, and you'll see everything we'll be working with.
Bread flour, sodium bicarbonate (explanation later), and water. You've got a bowl, cutting board, knife, and wooden spoon. I will use a pasta cutter, but it is not required.
And that's it. Once you make your own noodles, you will never want store-bought again. Is that to say I never buy noodles at the store? No. I am human, and sometimes I just don't have the desire to make my own noodles. But there is always a longing and a wish that I had taken the time to do it right.
- 2 cups bread flour
- 1 tsp sodium bicarbonate, heaping
- 1/2 cup warm water
- Add all ingredients to a bowl and mix as well as you can. If mixing by hand, you may need to use your hands to get it completely together. Use a mixer if you have one.
- Combine the dough into a ball and divide it into four equal-sized portions.
- Using a pasta roller or a rolling pin, roll out the ramen until smooth. Use a pasta cutting attachment of your desired width to cut the pasta, or cut with a knife.
- Cook immediately by dropping it into boiling water and cooking until it floats. Remove and add soup and toppings.
- To store, put in a Tupperware container or ziplock bag and keep in the fridge for up to a week or freeze for a couple of months.
So with a list of the ingredients, I would like to go over two of them and provide at least a slight explanation and tips.
First is the bread flour. Why? Why not just use all-purpose flour? Well, you can. However, I always have an abundant supply of bread flour for making sourdough, and it works great here because you want a higher-gluten flour to mix with. I have seen a lot of recipes say to use all-purpose flour and add wheat gluten to get the right mix, but that seems like too many steps to me, especially considering the above-mentioned supply of bread flour. Can you do it the other way? Of course! But I never have, so you will have to find another recipe for that.
Second, the sodium bicarbonate. To start, why? Well, it gives the noodles a more elastic texture, a much better "bite" for a noodle in your ramen. I have made noodles before without this, and it just isn't the same. It also gives your noodles the traditional yellowish coloring that you expect to see in your ramen. The next step, I guess, would be where. Honestly, you won't find this in your regular supermarket. You will need to visit an Asian market. Come prepared with a picture too, because when I asked where it would be, the cashier couldn't help me, but when I showed the picture, they knew exactly where it was.
You don't need to use sodium bicarbonate, but if you are going for authentic ramen noodles, you are going to want to pick this up. You don't use much, so a little will take you a long way!
With that out of the way, let's combine everything!
Add to your bowl 2 cups bread flour, 1/2 cup warm water, and 1 heaping tsp of sodium bicarbonate (to me, this means I let it spill over just a bit). Start stirring!
Tip: I used a bowl and spoon for this blog, but use a mixer with a bread hook. This dough is quite stiff, and you'll save your arms the trouble.
Below you can see a short video of me rolling out my noodles. I did a few more passes in my pasta roller that aren't shown in order to get it smooth and fully combined but gives you the basic idea. I like thin noodles, so I use the angel hair attachment when I cut them, or the spaghetti, but usually the angel hair.
Using a pasta roller is by far the easiest way to go, but you don't have to do it that way. You can also roll the dough out with a rolling pin to the desired thickness and then thinly cut it with a knife. I did this 5 or 6 times before deciding a pasta roller was worth it. But the point is, don't feel like you need to immediately invest in one. This can easily be done without buying new kitchen contraptions.
Just as using a mixer will make your life easier in this recipe, the pasta roller is the same. Don't worry about not having it. None of this will prevent you from delicious noodles.
Once you have rolled and cut your pasta you should have four little bundles of noodles. You can cook them immediately (just bring water to a boil, drop in your noodles, and wait for them to float - about 2-3 minutes). Or you can store them. They will stay good in the fridge for a few days or you can freeze them for up to a couple of months.
Spend a day making noodles and you'll never be without them!
You are probably thinking that this is too easy, there must be more steps, but this is it! This recipe is so easy that even a novice could complete it. Noodles only seem daunting but when you actually make them you find out how easy it really is.
Give this recipe a try and let me know what you think!
© 2018 Justin Richards