We wanted to make the answer to the question ‘can I use bread flour for making pasta?’ as easy as possible.
The simple answer is ‘YES’! Yes you can. Yes …. However, you may want to bare a few things in mind.
- What type of pasta do you want to make?
- Do you want egg or eggless pasta?
These points are really important because you will need to add eggs to your bread flour in order to make a perfect pasta. This is also true for whole wheat flour. Although bread flour has a high gluten percentage, using it to make pasta without egg will result in a slightly doughy and sticky style of pasta. In some regions of Italy, some types of pasta are made this way and varies according to particular tastes. You will often find the same pasta being made in different ways from family to family and region to region.
This being said, you will struggle to make pasta shapes, like farfalle, trofie – any pasta that you would want to keep it’s shape once cooked, using a pasta dough with egg in it. Shapes need lots of gluten. Pasta shapes made with egg are terrible to cook. They will be tough.
Make a bread flour and egg pasta dough to make fettuccine, lasagna sheets – all those lovely ribbon pastas.
Pasta dough using bread flour
We have never made pasta using bread flour but would still like to offer you a recipe we think that will work for you based on using durum flour, which is the finely ground version of semolina. Our ratio of flour to liquid is:
– divide the number of grams of flour by 1.85 –
for example: 300 grams of flour = 162 grams egg
We measure the flour, eggs and any water required to make up the measurement of liquid, in grams. This is the smallest measurement and will help you on your journey to successful pasta. As a rule of thumb, you will need:
100 grams of flour per person
1 medium egg weighs roughly 50 grams. The measurement that we often hear is for every 100 grams, you will need 1 egg. But of course it depends on the size of your eggs, especially free-range eggs since these can vary in size quite a lot.
- 300 g Bread flour
- 162 grams Medium eggs (3) – make up the shortfall with water
- Put the flour in a large bowl, make a cavity in the center and start adding the egg liquid, 1 quarter at a time.
- At first, use a fork to start mixing the ingredients. When adding the first quarter, make sure it touches as much of the flour as possible before adding the next quarter.
- When the dough becomes unmanageable with a fork, use your hands and start forming a dough.
- Once the dough is created, pour it on a very lightly floured surface.
- Work the dough with pushing movements, not pulling. The idea is to create a thick, not airy dough. Push the dough away from you and down towards the work surface, using the back of your palm. Bring it back towards you with your fingers. It is almost a circular motion.
- Knead the dough for 10 minutes and no less.
- The result should be a smooth dough. When you gently push your fingertip into it, it should give out easily and the dough should easily regain its shape.
- IF IT’S TOO DRY: wet your hands in a little water and continue kneading until you are satisfied that the dough is right.
- IF IT’S TOO WET: take a pinch of the flour you are using for the work surface and knead it into the dough. Keep kneading until you are satisfied that the dough is right.
- If you follow the recipe and have patience, you should get the perfect dough.
- Now cover the dough with plastic wrap and let it rest at room temperature for a maximum of 1 hour.
If you won’t use it after the rest period, wrap it up and put it in the fridge. When it’s ready, you’ll need to take it out of the fridge and let it sit at room temperature until it’s manageable.
If you freeze it, make sure you wrap it very well. You’ll need to defrost it in the fridge overnight, then take it out of the fridge to rest at room temperature until it’s manageable.