Help - my pasta is drying out too much!

by Amie
(Phoenixville, PA)

Hi, love your website, love the recipes, and everything!

My question is: what do I need to do differently so that the pasta I make doesn't become sooo brittle after I have dried it that it breaks into little pieces?

I have made pasta (with regular flour) and run it through the pasta maker - then lay the individual strands out on a drier to dry.

Problem is, when they are ready to remove, they are soo brittle and break into little pieces as I touch them to take them off the rack.

HELP!

Thanks,

Amie.

Answer:

Hi Amie and thanks for your glowing website feedback.

Re: drying pasta, the truth is that I personally don't dry it at all. It's always tasted scrumptious enough to me not to bother.

However last year I spoke to a very nice Italian man from Imperia (the pasta machine makers who also sell drying racks), and he advised that you should dry pasta, for 5 - 10 minutes only.

So I would suggest that's likely your issue... you're maybe drying it a little too long. So try reducing this 'drying time'.

Hope that helps. All the noodly best,

Matt.

Comments for Help - my pasta is drying out too much!

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Less time, or not at all
by: Matt - Pasta Recipes Made Easy

Hi Amie and thanks for your glowing website feedback,

Re: drying pasta, the truth is that I personally don't dry it at all. It's always tasted scrumptious enough to me not to bother.

However last year I spoke to a very nice Italian man from Imperia (the pasta machine makers who also sell drying racks), and he advised that you should dry pasta, for 5 - 10 minutes only.

So I would suggest that's likely your issue... you're maybe drying it a little too long. So try reducing this 'drying time'.

Hope that helps. All the noodly best,

Matt.

Brittle dried pasta and a Kenyan adventure
by: Nancy

I am new to pasta making. I was expecting my homemade pasta to be dry and hard like store-bought pasta.

I am planning on a mission trip to Kenya and one of my plans is to teach pasta making for selling. The pasta is too brittle for packaging and selling.

Why is it more brittle than store-bought? Also, in your return comment to someone you said to only dry it 5-10 minutes. This will not work unless you plan to cook it right away.

I really would like to store it, especially when I am teaching pasta making in Kenya.

Nancy.

Hi Nancy...
by: Matt - Pasta Recipes Made Easy

Hi Nancy...

I think the reason for the difference is that factory produced packet pasta is commercially dried, and whilst I don't know how they do that (yet! seems a factory visit is in order...), it certainly does make a difference to the overall end pasta product, and in turn the length of time the pasta will keep (the packet stuff keeps up to a year).

Re: your Kenyan trip, since I replied above I've learned a little more and I do think it's possible to store fresh homemade pasta - without freezing - for up to 1 or 2 months.

I suggest you check out my response on this page, as another reader asked a similar question recently. I think the info there should help.

Have a wonderful trip, I'm sure it will be quite life-changing!
Matt.

Make your pasta "harder"
by: Anonymous

Commercially made pasta is generally made from Semolina flour and often there are no eggs used in the dough.

Try Semolina flour, use water as the wetting agent, and add 1 Tsp of salt to each 2 cups of flour.


Feedback from a commercial pasta manufacturer
by: Anonymous

I run a pasta factory, and as someone mentioned we use semolina flour, but we also use whole grains as well.

Our drying process is made up of different phases:

- We dry our pasta at 140 degrees with circulating air for over 10 hours prior to packaging.

- It starts in a pre dryer then is transferred to a finish dryer.

- When drying pasta you have to control the heat and humidity because you are trying to extract the moisture from the center of the pasta to the outside. You want to get all moisture out and if you dry it too fast then there is humidity or moisture left in the center because the outside will try first.

- Then later after storing, the moisture will try to escape which will cause your pasta to "check" which will cause the pasta to break to pieces when you cook it.

- If you want to store your pasta as a dry good then you have to ensure that you drop the moisture content to 12% or lower, this will prevent it from spoilage.

Response: Hi there and thanks for your input. Since you submitted anonymously, I'm not sure whether you will receive this but if you do, I'd love to interview you for the site. I'm sure my readers would be super interested to learn how commercial pasta is made! You can reach me through the main Contact Me page of this site (bottom left menu button). Thanks! Matt.

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