The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

De-branning Durum for Pasta

wlaut's picture

De-branning Durum for Pasta

In addition to baking bread, something else I'd like to experiment with is milling durum to make semolina for pasta.  What's the best way to remove as much bran as possible, given the purpose?

I'm starting with the standard formula of 100g of semolina per one large egg. This may be nonsensical to ask, but would there be any point in attempting to autolyse the sifted flour?  And would I add the eggs  after the autolyse is complete?



albacore's picture

Please note that traditionally egg pasta is made with tipo 00 soft wheat flour, usually 9.5-10.0% protein.

Eggless pasta is made with durum flour. Check out this video at 1:20

Of course you can break the rules, but your pasta may not be optimum.



wlaut's picture

I'll check out the video and tipo flour. Thanks!

trailrunner's picture

I mill my durum as finely as possible . I never sift any flour including durum for pasta. I mix 1/2 1/2 durum and KA unbleached AP flour. It makes amazing yellow silky pasta. Always use eggs! Can’t imagine a better pasta. It will be dark yellow when you make the dough with speckles in it. You absolutely let it rest in the fridge after kneading. all pasta dough recipes tell you to form a ball and wrap and chill it or at least leave on counter to rest. It’s not called autolyse with pasta but I guess you could look at it that way. 

your best bet is to start making pasta with a simple recipe found on any Italian food blog. You should begin as a beginner and then advance to other flours . A basic 3 egg pasta will get you used to the feel . Do t start at the top with home milled ... baby steps. Good luck it’s so easy and so delicious 

wlaut's picture

Milling as finely as possible, and then adjusting hydration to compensate for the bran.  I have a bag of Bob's Red Mill semolina that I was using to match the coarseness, but I haven't yet gotten "whole wheat" semolina to work to the degree I want.  I thought perhaps I could filter out the bran, but I'm now thinking your approach may be better.

I used to use 50% semolina, 25% bread, 25% AP, but since I now have my Mill I'm now in a place that's a mix of novelty and devotion to off-grid / prepped / self-sufficiency that thoroughly enjoyes using as much "home-made and -grown" as possible.  So, I think my path will be one to experimentally work out any required extra hydration by weight. Sort of an elboration on a baker's percentage.

Thanks again!

rgreenberg2000's picture

I don't do anything other than mill my durum as finely as I can (Komo Fidibus), and then mix away.  Here's the formula I use which is a blend of AP and Durum. This amount of pasta works for one person in my household, and I just multiply by the number of people I have......and, yes, we do like some leftovers! :)


83g flour (2/3 AP, 1/3 Semolina)

~1 egg + enough oil to make 45g (54%)


Multiply ingredients by number of people.  Should provide for some leftovers.

wlaut's picture

Thank you for the reply.  Your pasta looks AWESOME!  And your recipe is intriguing, especially adding oil to bring it to a certain weight, and as balanced to the weight of the flour.  As the "son of an engineer," this approach strikes my imagination and which I will explore.

I'm a devotee of off-grid / prepping / self-sufficiency. Accordingly, if I adjust the percentage of hydration, could this work with 100% semolina?  I suppose the novelty of owning a Mill hasn't worn off, and so I get a kick at the thought of making a pasta dinner that's 100% home made with minimal commercial ingredients.

Thanks again for your reply!  I'll experiment with everyone's suggestions.



Doc.Dough's picture

It seems that pasta making instructions say mix, knead, then rest the dough.  But I find that the dough handles better if I mix, rest, then knead.  Of course you have to know what your hydration wants to be, but giving the flour time to hydrate after it comes in contact with the liquid is no different than it is for making bread. And that is exactly what autolyse does (and actually nothing else).

So how long and at what temperature?  It is a physical process, so it will work faster at warm temperatures than at cool temperatures, but it will work either way.  65°C is good for water temperature (you can go higher but above some point you begin cooking the starch instead of hydrating it. But you can do it in the refrigerator overnight too if that works better into your schedule (keep that as an option).

Timing is somewhat arbitrary beyond 20 minutes minimum for a 00 flour.  The texture will change noticeably between 0, :20, :40: and 1:00 but beyond that you won't see much difference.  Semolina is quite coarse, and durum is very hard wheat, thus for semolina pasta it takes longer to absorb water than for very fine (i.e., 00 softt wheat) flour. So with semolina (coarse durum) it will take a bit longer than the minimum 20 min, but one hour should be adequate (if you are home grinding durum you are on your own).  Of course if you are in a hurry you can just knead as soon as you have combined liquid with flour, but it won't be as smooth when you get done, and you probably need to let it rest before you can roll it or it will be too sticky to handle.

DanAyo's picture

I have been seriously into pasta lately.

Everyone, and I do mean everyone, teaches us to fully knead the pasta dough and then let it rest. The best reason I’ve found for resting the pasta dough after kneading is to allow the gluten to relax so that it can be stretched more easily and to avoid tearing the gluten as we stretch it out in order to form the pasta.

BUT, your idea to rest the dough after the ingredients are mixed and incorporated, and then knead afterwards makes complete sense to me. I plan to do exactly that and also, after the kneading is complete to let it rest once again.

This forum, and those that contribute to it is excellent! I know of no better source for learning about things of this matter...

Thanks, everyone.

joe_n's picture


I found a great tip on  YT:

Sift the bran out (roughly 10% of total grain)- then put the bran into a spice blender (coffee blender) for 15-20 sec. It will become very fine. For whole wheat sourdough bread, I mix this bran right back into the flour and proceed with the recipe.  The YT (JoyRideCoffee) pours hot water on the bran and then soaks the bran overnight, but I have not found this necessary.

Try it with your pasta dough!

Doc.Dough's picture

Eating wheat bran has many positive effects on human health including reduced risk of cardio vascular diseases and type 2 diabetes. Still, many food products on the market are made from refined wheat flour because consumers tend to prefer the quality and texture in these products. Knowledge on factors influencing quality and texture in products containing whole grain wheat or added wheat bran making them less attractive is therefore of value. This study aimed to examine the influence of bran particle size and different bran fractions on the quality of pasta. Pasta incorporated with high levels of different bran fractions (coarse bran, fine bran and pollard flour) and different bran particles sizes (85-150 μm, 150-250 μm and 250-400 μm) were developed. Relative water absorption was measured and a descriptive sensory analysis was used to evaluate the quality in cooked pasta. Stained and unstained cross sections of 5 μm thick pasta was also studied using light microscopy. The result indicated that bran particle size but not bran fraction influenced the relative water absorption. Small bran particles had a significant lower water absorption compared to pasta with medium and large bran particles. The sensory evaluation of the pasta indicated that bran particle size had an impact on the quality attributes stickiness, surface roughness and likeability. Surface roughness in pasta became more evident with larger bran particles. Stickiness decreased with decreasing bran particle sizes and the pasta containing the smallest particles were significantly less preferred compared to the pasta with larger bran particles. The particle size of bran did not have any significant effect on the quality attributes whole grain flavor, elasticity and firmness. The microscopy evaluation indicated a small difference in the degree of gelatinization of starch granules across a section of the pasta. This difference indicated a higher degree of gelatinization of starch granules in the outer and intermediate parts of the pasta containing medium and large bran particles compared to the pasta containing the smallest bran particles.