What factors allow dough to be stretched into phyllo and "thrown" noodles?
In this video they are called "Dragon's Beard" noodles.
Hand pulled noodles are made with low gluten flour, such cake flour. And a little baking soda also helps to break down the gluten in the dough. You need to knead the dough for a long time by hand, until the dough becomes stretchy. The easier way is to use a KA mixer with the paddle attachment to knead the dough. You will find quite a number of videos on how to pull the noodles on YouTube.
I tried making the pulled noodles and the hard part was knowing when to stop stretching the dough and just making the strands of noodles. I found it to a lot of fun.
Kan sui (lye water) is traditionally added instead of baking soda, but I found that it tightened up the dough so much, it was hard to stretch into one strand, let alone 4096 of them. That didn't make sense.
I spoke to the cook at a noodle shop, who said that everybody in her village knew how to make pulled noodles, it was that easy. And she used kan sui to strengthen the dough so the noodles had more tooth. I watched her make some noodles—but she didn't grab the dough by the ends and pull. She started at one end and inched along, stretching a short length of the dough each time into ONE thick noodle. That's why everybody can pull noodles made with kan sui. The goal was a different type of noodle from the one in the video.
Sunyfun, do you have a recipe with specifics? I want to make the kind you did.
I believe kan sui is used to make chewy ramen noodles.
I found that the best way to learn how to make the hand-pulled noodles was to watch an assortment of demonstrations on YouTube. The various videos also provide recipes for the noodles. The recipe that I used was from the video done by Khampaeng Panyathong on YouTube. If you can overlook his language, you will find both videos provide enough information about making hand-pulled noodles. Watch both videos, the uncut versions provides more explanations about the feel of the dough before pulling.
Recipe of ingredients:
600g Cake Flour
100g AP Flour
6g baking soda
Chef Tomm is very detailed:
This blog uses a bread machine to knead the dough:
I did use the mixer to knead the dough, so it did not take long before the gluten strands were aligned to be pulled. I got carried away with the twirling, but you find that the dough stretches very easily. Forming the noodles takes more practice.