The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Problem with pasta dough that separates

pkeibel's picture

Problem with pasta dough that separates

I normally have no problem making my pasta dough ( I usually make pasta 2-3 times/month) I use the basic pasta recipe from the King Arthur pasta class ( flour / eggs/ olive oil).  One or twice though, when I'm kneading the dough, it starts to "separate" rather than coming together.  I'm letting my dough rest right now, and I'm hoping the gluten will help have it come together before I put it through my pasta machine.  Does anyone know why this separation happens ? And if so - is there anything I can do to correct it when I notice it start to happen ?

Stuart Borken's picture
Stuart Borken

What separates?  Are you saying that the oil does not incorporate?  When I make pasta I just use flour with eggs and some sprinkles of water.  There is enough oil in the egg yolk, I never used any extra oil and my pasta turns out just fine.  

subfuscpersona's picture

Like the previous poster, my guess is that it is the oil that doesn't incorporate into the dough. Try adding less oil. 

Also like the previous poster, I just only fresh eggs and flour - no oil - no salt - for my pasta dough. I also measure by weight (not volume) which makes my pasta dough more consistent and allows me to use different egg sizes (anywhere from medium eggs to extra large eggs) as long as I follow my basic formula.

You could try initially kneading your pasta dough just enough to make a firm dough and then let it rest (covered with plastic wrap) for about 30 minutes. This allows the flour to absorb the wet ingredients. Then knead by hand until the gluten in the dough is sufficiently developed.


asicign's picture

I've made a lot of pasta in my time, with a variety of recipes.  Sometimes I include some olive oil, sometimes some water, sometimes using whole eggs, and sometimes just yolks.  I've never experienced a separation.  I make a well in the flour on my marble, and slowly incorporate the eggs, then add the oil/water if going that route.  It's important to mix/knead completely , and give the dough a 30 minute rest before rolling out.  Maybe you should try a recipe that just uses eggs and flour.

JoeV's picture

I've made lots of pasta dough, and never had anything separate, but I also would be curious to know just what separated. I whisk my eggs and EVOO together in a bowl, then pour the mixture into the well of flour and incorporate the flour from there. Like asicign, a 30 minute rest is necessary before rolling.