Not quite bread, but a pasta flour question......

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Not quite bread, but a pasta flour question......

Postby countrybumpkin » Tue Apr 06, 2010 10:04 am

Slightly confused here....

Made pasta yesterday, I used 50% fine semolina and 50% pasta flour which came from a well known supermarket where every little helps. The pasta flour was classed as 100% durum wheat, but was more finely ground than the semolina.

The pasta turned out fine.

On holiday in Italy I had a pasta making lesson from the chef in the hotel (how's that for service :D ) He used 50% semolina and 50% white flour, which he said was "hard" but we were also talking about the semolina at the time and his English was very good, but you know how easy it is to get confused (well I do) I was unable to find a label on the sack of white flour to ascertain it's gluten content. Having read a few things, 00 flour is recommended as the other 50%, but according to this website it's not what I thought it was:-
http://www.waitrose.com/food/cookingand ... e=0&id=146

I think this entry is wrong and 00 flour is more a soft flour. Other flour websites agree, but they are not consistent.

Basically if I use 50% semolina, can I use 50% white flour and does it need to be soft or hard, or doesn't it matter that much? I know about the liquid absorption difference between soft and hard flours.

Putting white flour in it makes the mixture quite a piece cheaper, as 500g packs of both semolina and the pasta flour are over £1 each, which is at least 3 times the price of a standard bag of white flour. Or should I just not be so stingy......... :lol:

Many thanks in advance......... :lol:

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Postby wheels » Tue Apr 06, 2010 10:38 am

This may help:

http://www.practicallyedible.com/edible ... lianflours

As you live in Leics it may be worth having a word with Sally at Claybrooke Mill:

http://s238804313.e-shop.info/shop/page ... hop_param=

She produces an 00 flour so should be able to put you right about it.

Phil

Edit 11.39 6 April:

or see table IV here:

http://www.theartisan.net/flour_classification_of.htm

Phil
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Postby countrybumpkin » Wed Apr 07, 2010 5:28 pm

Thanks for that Wheels/Phil :D
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Re: Not quite bread, but a pasta flour question......

Postby Ianinfrance » Wed Apr 07, 2010 10:39 pm

Hi,
countrybumpkin wrote:Slightly confused here....

but according to this website it's not what I thought it was:-
http://www.waitrose.com/food/cookingand ... e=0&id=146

I think this entry is wrong and 00 flour is more a soft flour. Other flour websites agree, but they are not consistent.


Waitrose is entirely wrong here. I've written to them to tell them too!

The flour types in Italian flour describe the fineness of the grind.

Tipo 00 is ground very finely. That's all it is. It might be hard or soft.

Tipo 0 is slightly less finely ground and so on.


countrybumpkin wrote:Basically if I use 50% semolina, can I use 50% white flour and does it need to be soft or hard, or doesn't it matter that much? I know about the liquid absorption difference between soft and hard flours.


You can use what you like, we've found the pasta is very good with anything from 100% extra fine durum wheat semolina to moderately hard bread making french flour. We only use water to tweak the texture, using mainly egg. Here... have a link to my Lasagne recipe,. It's long and you can ignore most of it, but it does show what we do for the pasta.

http://pagesperso-orange.fr/souvigne/re ... ain590.htm
All the best - Ian
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Re: Not quite bread, but a pasta flour question......

Postby grisell » Wed Apr 07, 2010 11:13 pm



Mmmmmm...

I see that your ragù recipe is identical to mine except that I prefer red wine. That can only mean one thing: this is the best! 8) What an epiphany to put spinach into the besciamella! I really must try that next time. I didn't really understand if you pre-cook the fresh pasta? In gratins I don't pre-cook as I've found that the pasta will be thoroughly cooked in the oven. I just add a little more liquid.

That recipe is a keeper. Thanks! :D
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Re: Not quite bread, but a pasta flour question......

Postby countrybumpkin » Mon Apr 12, 2010 9:28 pm

Ianinfrance wrote:Hi,

Waitrose is entirely wrong here. I've written to them to tell them too!

The flour types in Italian flour describe the fineness of the grind.

Tipo 00 is ground very finely. That's all it is. It might be hard or soft.

Tipo 0 is slightly less finely ground and so on.


You can use what you like, we've found the pasta is very good with anything from 100% extra fine durum wheat semolina to moderately hard bread making french flour. We only use water to tweak the texture, using mainly egg. Here... have a link to my Lasagne recipe,. It's long and you can ignore most of it, but it does show what we do for the pasta.


Hi Ianinfrance

That makes complete sense. Thank you. I've only just come back to my thread to see if there were any other replies but earlier today I made pasta again, this time using 60% semolina and 40% bread flour. An occasional splash of water to help with any dryness and I'm getting the hang of it now.
The first lot I made I turned some into Canneloni.....well flat sheets rolled, I pre cooked that, so I'm pleased to see you recommend that.

btw the chef in Italy used tumeric to colour the pasta. 1 teaspoon to 1kg of flour.

Thanks again.

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Postby Ianinfrance » Mon Apr 12, 2010 10:30 pm

Hi Grisell,

grisell wrote:I see that your ragù recipe is identical to mine except that I prefer red wine.
What, even down to the use of dred cepes and a triple reduction of the wine. Now that is amazing.

As for red vs white. I had read a number of recipes using red wine, so without telling Jacquie I swapped. Her first comment was "Whatever have you done to the ragú, it's quite different?" So I asked her whether she preferred it or not. I'm afraid that we both far prefer using white. In fact, there was an American publication where from time to time there were articles on "The Ultimate..." and in it the writer finally came down to the use of a sweetish wine. I will be trying it, one day, because one or two of her other tips have worked out pretty well. Fortunately "De Gustibus non disputandum est".

Yes I do precook the fresh pasta. What I can suggest is that you do two otherwise identical recipes, and use precooked pasta in one and uncooked fresh pasta in the other. I personally think there's no comparison. I've tried the "put it in uncooked route, using extra liquid, and I'm afraid I don't think the texture of the pasta is as good. Given that the essential component 9even the name) is the pasta, I personally think it's important to go the extra step to have it perfect. But again - I'd never tell someone else what to o, my recipes are meant to be a description of what we do here, posted in the hope that people will try them and like the results.


countrybumpkin wrote:btw the chef in Italy used turmeric to colour the pasta. 1 teaspoon to 1kg of flour.
Interesting, we find that with the eggs we get here, and using a fine ground semolina (except that we call it "semoule extra-fine" here) we get a pasta with a pretty good yellow. I have made green, spinach coloured pasta, and found it perfectly edible, but not better enough to justify the extra stages.
All the best - Ian
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Postby grisell » Mon Apr 12, 2010 11:28 pm

I use dried cêpes only if I have any at home. Last season was catastrophical here when it comes to cêpes, so I'm out of it.
As for the wine, I used white but switched to red quite recently. I also pour in a dash of Port if I have it at home. That may sound strange, but it's a good trick to cheat and make a light cheap red wine behave like a Chambertin in cooking (well, almost).
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Postby wheels » Tue Apr 13, 2010 1:22 pm

It's interesting to note that the traditional recipe, registered in 1982 by the Bolognese delegation of Accademia Italiana della Cucina, confines the ingredients to beef, pancetta, onions, carrots, celery, tomato paste, meat broth, white wine, and milk or cream.

I don't read Italian but a translation of their recipe (allegedly) is here:

http://www.thegutsygourmet.net/sce_bologn.html

I was surprised when I saw the use of white wine but like it this way. I've used milk to simmer the meat before but never left it in the sauce or used cream.

It annoys me when you get a tomato sauce with meat served as Bolognese, it should be meat with a little tomato.

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Postby NCPaul » Tue Apr 13, 2010 4:02 pm

Yes I do precook the fresh pasta.


I agree with Ian on this (and I have tried it both ways). I think precooking the pasta in salted and boiling water is the difference. I use white wine but have never tried red.
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Postby grisell » Tue Apr 13, 2010 5:40 pm

Actually, I don't agree. I think that by not pre-cooking the pasta, it absorbs the flavors of the sauce better, and it also remains al dente. I have tried both.

When it comes to the color of the wine I could use either, but I prefer red actually.
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