Comfort Food – Noodles
When we were growing up, our Grandmother would make her homemade noodles. My Brother and I loved them so much, my Mother learned how to make them for us. I always watched, fascinated by the process of turning simple ingredients into savory ribbons of goodness. It’s a good thing I paid attention, as our Grandmother is gone, and Mom hasn’t made noodles in 30 some odd years. When we were visiting he wanted beef and noodles for dinner and relive this taste from our past. He wanted me to jot down the recipe, but it’s more than a list of ingredients. Making tender noodles will probably take a little practice. I’ll let you learn the same way I learned – by watching. Since we’re separated by miles, I made a video for you, Michael.
The ingredients are simple: Flour, Eggs, Salt and Milk. What’s less simple is what is in the hands. I’ve handled a lot of dough and developed a feel for it. The amount of flour needed is different for each batch. Between humidity and size of the eggs, you can’t predict it. That’s why I start with my wet ingredients – I don’t have to work in excess flour and toughen my dough. I use the largest eggs I have, I let my dough rest, and while it may look like I’m rough with the dough, I’m using a light touch. All purpose flour is best, but since I make bread and rolls a lot, I generally use bread flour.
Break two eggs in a large bowl. Add milk, I use an eggshell and generally add 1-1/2 to 2 shells full. I use a heavy dash of salt – without salt the noodles will taste flat 🙁 . I beat this well and then start to add flour. I start with 1 cup of flour, and when it’s nearly incorporated, I start to add more. When it comes together and I know I have to use my hands, then I turn it out onto a floured surface. I add flour and gently knead it in until the dough is no longer sticky. I either lay a bowl over it or wrap it in plastic wrap, and let it rest for 20 – 30 minutes. I cut the dough in half, I work with one half and re-wrap the other. Roll out each half adding flour when needed. Roll out to 1/8 inch thick, and cut into strips as wide as you want your noodles to be long. Stack all your strips and cut them whatever width you like. Flour is your friend. Separate them with your fingers. I let my noodles dry for an hour or two, they can sit overnight covered with a tea-towel too. I drop them a handful at a time into boiling broth, stirring gently to keep them separated. Watch them – the flour will thicken the broth and they will stick easily. Turn it down to a simmer and cook for around 20 minutes – taste them, when they’re tender, they’re done.