Follow along with the Crafts From the Past episode above where we demonstrate how to create basic homemade noodles. This simple, four-ingredient recipe can be used for all sorts of pasta creations. Additional noodle information is from PBS Food.
Noodles are a type of food made from unleavened dough that is rolled, cut into strips and then boiled or fried.
Although multiple countries claim to be the point of origin of noodles, the earliest written record of noodles dates back to the Eastern Han period of China, 25-220 C.E. Multiple countries had very early versions of noodles, however, including Japanese udon noodles that date back to the 9th century and Italian pasta that dates back to the 13th century.
Because noodles kept well for long periods of time and had a low cost of production, it became a popular meal on sea voyages. In the 14th century, the food made its way around the world as Italian and Spanish explorers sailed to discover new lands.
Out of convenience, the art of creating homemade pasta has dwindled in favor of store bought boxed noodles, but there have been periods of revival for making the homemade version, like during the Covid related lockdowns starting in 2020.
Tools and Supplies
- One cup of all-purpose flour, or gluten free flour and xanthan gum
- Two eggs
- Rolling pin
- Measuring cup
- Dump flour on your work surface.
- Using a fork, form a large well in the center of the flour.
- Add eggs and a pinch of salt to the center of the well.
- Using a fork, gently whisk the eggs and flour together. When the mixture is thickened, begin to work the ingredients together with your hands. If the mixture is wet and sticky, add a small amount of flour. If the mixture is dry, add a small amount of water.
- Knead the dough for at least ten minutes, working the outside into the center. When the dough is ready, it should be smooth and bounce back when touched.
- Wrap the dough and let it rest at room temperature for at least 30 minutes.
- After allowing the dough to rest, unwrap and split the dough with a knife on a floured work surface.
- For simple, flat noodles, roll the dough into a large rectangle. Turn the rectangle lengthwise towards you and fold into thirds. Roll out the dough again, until it is thin enough to see through.
- Fold the dough into thirds again, and cut strips to the width that you would like your noodles to be.
- Unfold the strands and dust with flour to prevent sticking.
- You can now boil your noodles to enjoy now, or freeze them to save for later.
Tips and Tricks
- Use gluten-free flour and xanthan gum in place of the all-purpose flour for a gluten-free option.
- Swap eggs with water and oil for a vegan option.
- For every ½ cup of flour, use one egg.
- Olive oil can help soften the dough.
- Swap out all-purpose flour with semolina or 00 for a different texture.
- Knead the dough for at least 10 minutes.
- If dough keeps shrinking while you’re rolling it out, set it aside and let it rest for a few more minutes.
- Roll out dough thinner than you want it to be. It will swell when boiled.
- Making shorter cuts makes it easier to cut straight noodles.
- Fresh pasta will be fully cooked in 2 to 3 minutes in salted boiling water.