Wednesday, June 27, 2012

All About Udon Noodles!

One of the results of looking for work, is that when I am not sending resumes, I have too much time onn my hands. So what do I do? I bake, and cook, and roast, and what not.

The problem with that is: if money is tight, this is not the best moment to be going out grocery shopping for exotic ingredients. To kill two birds with one stone, I decided to try and make some of the staples we use around the house by hand.

One of these, believe it or not, is Udon noodles.

Since I love making udon soup and since I was out of Udon Noodles, I decided to embark on a quest to make my own. Inspired in part by this video,

I didn't expect to be able to do this, but I thought maybe at least I could make something to go with my spicy beef udon.

I found a pretty basic recipe involving:

3 cups of flour
1 Tbsp salt
1 cup of water

One of the important parts of noodles is making sure to release the gluten. To that effect, a friend of mine who does martial arts did me the honour of beating my dough (with all the associated jokes of course)

We worked it until we got a soft dough, then cut it into roughly the right shape.

The soup was delicious, but the noodles (although good) were somewhat heavy and a bit more tough than what we are used to.

I decided to try a new recipe involving tapioca flour. They advertised as being chewy and I was hoping not as tough.

Much to my disappointment, the dough itself was so tough, I could barely work it. After an hour of stepping on it and having my friend punch and kick it for a while, it was still much too tough. Finally in a desperate effort to make it lighter, I added some melted butter.

It worked to soften the dough and make it easier to work but the noodles when thick were even heavier and tough than the ones before. When sliced much thinner and over cooked slightly, it was better but not really udon.

So the search continues. What does it take to make noodles thick, but still light?

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