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Homemade Egg Noodles
This winter our “girls” were laying fewer eggs with the shorter days. It just wasn’t worth it to take 4 dozen eggs/week to the local Co-op, so we stored up a few dozen and decided to make egg noodles. We invited our new neighbors up for a noodle making adventure. Shylah (age 12), Savannah (age 8) and Shauna (age 4) spent two hours with me blending, kneading, putting noodles into the electric noodle cutting machine and laying them gently onto cookie sheets and dehydrator racks.
There were noodles everywhere we looked in various stages. It was my goal to experiment using different flours so we made four batches of egg noodles.
Since I have so many clients that are allergic to gluten, we experimented with Quinoa, Teff, Amaranth and Millet flours. I was trying to find flours that would feel and act like wheat flour. We all learned quite a bit about the flour textures and manageability, which ones tasted good, and which flours we could actually substitute for lasagna and spaghetti noodles.
I was amazed at the attention span Shauna had for the process. I think this was the first time she cracked an egg on her own. The first one went onto the floor. “Oh, don’t worry about that, we’ll give it to Maggie. Here, try it again” I said and she tapped it the second time with agonizingly great care before she delivered it to the mixing bowl.
The three girls stuck with it for almost two hours, then I finished and cleaned up after they went home. It was a great experience for all. The next day I took them sample bags of all the dried noodles. They cooked them up and did taste tests (recorded below the recipe) for all of my readers.
Egg Noodle Ingredients:
- 2 cups flour
- 1/2 tsp. salt (The noodle machine directions said not to use salt in the recipe if you used the electric noodle cutting machine because the salt will corrode the cutting blades but I put it in anyway.)
- 4 free-range eggs (Araucana eggs have lower cholesterol and I hear duck eggs have a fuller bodied texture but we don’t have ducks yet so I haven’t tried duck eggs with this recipe.)
- Corn starch or more flour for the rolling surface
Preparation of Egg Noodles:
- Combine flour and salt in a large mixing bowl. We used the mixing blade on the Mixmaster.
- Beat the eggs and plop them into the flour mixture with the mixer on low. The dough will be sticky.
- Turn dough out onto a well-floured surface. With well-floured hands, knead dough, incorporating more flour if necessary, until it is smooth and no longer sticky.
- Cover with plastic wrap and let sit on the counter for at least 30 minutes.
- Divide the dough into workable portions and pre-roll it with a rolling pin before putting it into the noodle maker. We used corn starch on the board as it gives the noodles a silky smooth texture. Smash them flat (about ¼ inch thick) and roll them flat enough to feed through the electric rollers two to three times until the noodle dough is thin enough to put through the noodle blades.
- Sprinkle with cornstarch as necessary to keep from sticking.
- Run them through the noodle machine starting with the thickest setting.
- Adjust the settings on the machine to make it as thin as you like then run the dough sheet through the cutting blades.
- Lay noodles on a cooling or drying rack and let sit until ready to cook.
- Repeat rolling and cutting the rest of the batch. (You can store the leftover dough overnight in the fridge but we were just trying to get all those dough balls processed so we could clean up.)
Prep Time: 40 minutes Cook Time: 10 minutes Makes 12-24 ounces of noodles.
To Cook fresh egg noodles:
Boil noodles in well salted water until tender to the bite. Serve with butter, sauces or cheese, with stews, or in soups.
Using an electric Pasta machine:
- Four hands are better than two. In our case 8 hands worked out just fine after I got over being freaked out that someone might put a finger into the machine or get their hair caught in the rollers. We went over safety instructions before turning it on then everyone got to take turns feeding the dough into the machine and doing all the different steps.
- If you’re working with only a portion of the dough at a time, keep the remainder wrapped in plastic to prevent it from drying out.
- Rolling by hand works, too, and can easily be done with just a rolling pin and a large work surface. It’s just hard on my elbows to do that. It’s also harder to get the noodles more uniform.
- You can let these noodles air-dry until completely dry and store in an air-tight container at room temperature for up to a month. (They keep much better this was than in the refrigerator!)
Taste Testing and notes on the different flours:
Thanks to Angie (Mom), Shylah, Savannah, Stephanie, Shauna and John (age 2) for their input.
Quinoa: Texture is kind of rough and grainy. Better with thicker noodles (like lasagna) Comments: “Wow—I feel like I’m eating vitamins.” “Soft texture, quick cooking. Leafy green rich flavor.” Angie though she’d like to experiment with the Quinoa flour using different cereal grains and in bread making. The taste-testing team gave it a 5 star rating though. Denice’s note: Funny aftertaste.
Teff: Love the color and this was the smoothest dough when compared to using wheat flour. Texture is great for thin noodles and spaghetti. “Looks like chocolate. Rich, meaty flavor.” John was disappointed the noodles didn’t taste anything like chocolate so just ate the sauce. Four star rating. Shylah really liked these and I did too. I think I’d make them again. Maybe next winter if it snows and we’re stuck inside for longer periods of time. I need to get a better drying situation though.
Amaranth: Grainy spinach-like flavor. Texture was better than Millet or Amaranth but not as good as Teff.
Millet: Mild and nutty flavor. Flavor is good but it doesn’t make very good noodles. Texture is really grainy and the noodles fall apart before and after cooking so actually they are like bits and pieces of some form of grainy substance. Steph didn’t like the salad taste. Savannah thought these were good with sauce. Denice liked both the texture and flavor of the flour but it didn’t make very good noodles.