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dough hydration...for pasta?

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cranbo's picture
cranbo

dough hydration...for pasta?

I know, a bit unrelated to baking but...I'm doing some research about pasta dough, and was wondering what the hydration of pasta dough should be. The recipe I've used in the past is one from Jamie Oliver, which is 1 egg per 100g of flour is pulsed in a food processor until it comes together in a breadcrumb texture. 

Assuming 1 large egg is ~75% hydration, and 1 large egg weighs about 57g, there should be about 42g of water available from the egg. This makes the pasta dough hydration (according to the formula) around 42%. Does this seem correct?

I wonder if I can reduce the egg and scale up the water. For example, 2 eggs, 84g water, 400g of flour. Why? Reduce the amount of cholesterol...also, I don't have that many eggs available right now :)

Yerffej's picture
Yerffej

This is one of those questions upon which the answer can vary greatly.   42% could be correct ( although it seems a bit low) as pasta dough is generally a low hydration dough.  Are you going to roll out the dough by hand with a rolling pin or send it through the stainless steel rollers of a pasta machine?  If rolling by hand the hydration is not so critical and can be determined by the malleable nature of the dough and adjusted accordingly as you mix.  If it is to go through rollers, it is important that the dough not be too wet as it will then stick to the rollers and make a mess.  This will consume a goodly portion of your time as you attempt to clean the rollers.  Of course your particular flour will also dictate proper hydration.  The answer is really in your hands as you deal with your flour, your eggs, your humidity and so on.

I would calculate the total weight of the egg as liquid because that is what it is.

Jeff

cranbo's picture
cranbo

Thanks Jeff. I will be rolling them out using a pasta machine. 

I just made 2 batches, one with full egg and one with 1/2 the amount of egg. We'll see what the end results are. 

Doc.Dough's picture
Doc.Dough

I use 2.5 oz of liquid (and egg counts as 100% liquid) for 5 oz of semolina then use the pasta machine to knead it. So I guess that is 50%.

Doc

cranbo's picture
cranbo

thanks Doc. that helps me confirm my suspicions.

cranbo's picture
cranbo

So I made two batches: one with all egg, and one with 50% egg and 50% water. 

The color was definitely different, as expected: the full egg version was more golden yellow in color, the 50% egg was much lighter/whiter.

In terms of texture,  an "independent tester" :) said that it tasted a little more firm than the egg version (BTW, I used King Arthur AP flour, not semolina). As far as flavor though, the independent tester didn't have a taste preference, and couldn't really taste any significant difference between the two. 

Otherwise, the 42% pasta dough behaved very nicely, as expected. Wasn't sticky, didn't dry out excessively, was easy to handle. 

Doc.Dough's picture
Doc.Dough

For fresh pasta you just need it to be dry enough to run through the pasta machine and not gum it up, then strong/stiff enough to transfer it to the pot without losing its shape or having it clump together, or having it come apart in the water.  This gives you a lot of leeway in hydration.

However, if you are going to dry it, you need to pay more attention to keeping it as dry and dense as you can, then dry it slowly until it gains enough strength so that it doesn't crack, then dry it completely so that it doesn't mold.

 

Janknitz's picture
Janknitz

goes a long way in a batch of pasta--it should make more than one serving.  Do you really need to worry about the impact of this small amount of egg on cholesterol? 

There's a lot of new evidence that eggs are not so bad and don't have such a significant impact on cholesterol.  White flour, it turns out, might have more negative impact on cholesterol than the egg! 

EvaB's picture
EvaB

her noodles with only egg, no water, rolled by hand and cut by hand. I've made it that way and used my pasta machine and had beautiful noodles. I don't think a big difference other than the noodles might be slightly weaker using the water, since the egg sticks the flour together! LOL