Help! Fresh pasta dough is not cutting right.

by Sally
(Missouri)

I think I have a pasta dough issue. Here's my problem...

My dough is a ratio of 1 egg to 1 cup flour with enough water to make it all stick together without being sticky. It rolls out just fine. My issue is with the cutting.

It's like the clown car at the circus! For example, my 1 foot sheet goes in but only about 6 inches of noodles come out. Plus, they stick together and I have a heck of a time separating them.

By the time they are separated they have gotten longer due to my stretching them to separate them.

So not only does the sheet get shorter but it's almost like it wasn't cut through all the way as it's very hard to pull apart and in some places I can no longer find the cuts!

I really like the pasta when it works so what am I doing wrong? Is my dough not dry enough? I wait 10 minutes between rolling it and cutting it.

Sally.

Response: Hi Sally and thanks for your question.

My suspicion here is that your dough is simply too moist.

I take it you are running it through a pasta roller machine? Whenever I try this with dough that is even slightly too moist, I get similar problems.

And why could your dough be too moist? I don't think it's a flour issue, I think it's due to the water you're adding. In my opinion, this simply isn't necessary.

When making fresh pasta for two, I use around 250g and 2 eggs, which is about the same as your two full cups of flour. So our proportions there are similar. But... I don't add any water at all... (just a pinch of salt per egg yolk to bring out some taste).

Also, I'm not sure how you are mixing all this either...? Are you using a food mixer or going the traditional 'bowl of flour on a worktop/pastry mat' route? (See this how to make pasta video guide as an example).

I prefer the old-fashioned bowl route, because it really lets you add just the right amount of flour as you make the dough. Just be sure to thin out the bowl's walls completely (i.e. move excess flour to one side until they're just a half-inch thick), before knocking them into the center and mixing the eggs and flour with your fingers.

This way you can extra bits of flour as you go and ensure your dough becomes neither too moist nor too dry (which is just as bad in its own way).

So to try and summarize succinctly... (for once) ;-) dump the water, go the flour bowl route, and I think you should see matters improve!

Matt.

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