How to Pull Dough

dough

Some readers ask me how to make good Italian homemade pasta. I’ll give you a recipe in the near future. Meantime, I’d like to share some tips with you:

  • Good pasta begins with the perfect dough. To achieve this, you can use either of these two methods: classic or mechanical. The classic method refers to the age-old kneading then pulling the dough with a rolling pin until you get a thin sheet of half a millimeter. If you lack the patience or the dexterity for doing this, you can use the simpler, easier method wherein you pass the dough through a crank or electric device to pull it.
  • Pulling pasta is an art by itself. There are some regions in Italy where a certain technique is passed from generation to generation in order to obtain the same result over and over, through the years. But here’s a general rule: you pull the dough into thinner sheets if you are going to make filled pasta like ravioli and tortellini. Meanwhile, tagliatelle and fettuccine need thicker sheets.
  • When pulling dough, never put flour on the rolling pin. Instead, sprinkle flour on the pastry board and on top of the dough. This will ensure a rougher, puffier pasta.
  • Each time you roll out the dough with the rolling pin, rotate the dough a quarter turn, always moving clockwise.

I’ll give more pasta-making tips soon, so make sure that you read the next issues of our newsletter.

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