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The egg noodle I wanted to write about today is the kind that you find peeking out from under a stroganoff or beef tips in gravy. The kind that forms the foundation for Kugel and is the noodle part of the buttered noodles upon which almost every kid in America under the age of 5 subsists on during that phase. The kind that you find on the bottom shelf of the pasta aisle in a big plastic bag that says “NoYolks” or “Light n’ Fluffy” or “Manischewitz” on it.
They’re distinct from basically every type of egg pasta out there, both in terms of flavor and texture, and in terms of context. They should be able to stand up to heavy gravies and sauces and hold their shape after being cooked for hours in a casserole, yet their texture is actually fairly fine.
Also, they’re impossible to find a from-scratch recipe for.
This might be because of their inglorious role in the culinary world. I mean why would you want to spend all your time and effort making a gravy freight train when you can just buy a package of them for super duper cheap?
It could be because it’s infuriatingly impossible to get the loose-fusilli shape without a pasta extruder even though it 100% looks like you should be able to roll it / twist it by hand.
It could be because the internet decided that a search for “Egg Noodles” means you’re looking for asian style noodles or Italian style pasta.
Regardless of the reason, I could not find a from-scratch recipe to reference, so I started to experiment to see how close I could come to the NoYolks recipe. What I have for you below is the result, and I think it’s like, about 85% of the way there. If i’m honest, that remaining 15% is an improvement.
Egg Noodle Recipe Origin
These noodles that are sort of like the bastard child of the German Schnittnudel the Polish Lazanki, and are more or less based on a recipe I found in Wobble’s grandmother’s cookbook from the 1950s (can’t get anymore Americana than that.) The 1-egg-to-100-gram-of-flour recipe is super common, so I can barely take credit for it, but I TOTALLY take credit for figuring out that this is the closest recipe to your standard “American’ egg noodles after looking at many, many recipes. You’re welcome.
Egg Noodles From Scratch | No Yolk Noodles RecipeCourse: Side Dish/ Main DishCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Easy
300 g 00 flour
1/4 tsp salt
- Making the Egg Noodle Dough
- Pour your flour out onto a pasta board or whatever clean flat surface you have at your disposal. Make a well in the center with your fingers.
- Loosely beat the eggs together until the yolks and whites are homogeneous, but try not beat excess air into that. Use a fork or a whisk and do it by hand.
- Pour the eggs into the well and start using a fork to stir in the flour, little by little. Avoid clumps, but if they happen, don’t worry about it, you’ll be kneading this all together later.
- Once you have a thick pancake-batter consistency that won’t run all over hell’s half acre when you break down those well walls, get in there with your fingers and hands and knead the hell out of this dough, scraping stuff up with a bench scraper.*
- Knead the dough for at least 5 minutes. American Sfoglino guy says that when it starts looking like the cellulite you sure don’t have on your ass, your dough has developed the beginnings of gluten and you can rest it.
- Put that dough ball in a bowl and cover it with a piece of plastic wrap. After about 30 minutes, give it another knead to further develop the gluten and be amazed at the change in texture. It should now be nice and smooth and a little elastic.**
- Let it rest for at least another half hour and up to another 3 or 4 hours. I haven’t noticed a resting time affecting the dough end result.***
- Rolling and Shaping the Egg Noodles
- Roll the dough out into a flat sheet no thicker than the thickness of 6 post-it notes stuck together and no thinner than 4. It’s often easiest to roll into a round shape, turning the dough 45 degrees every two or three rolls. ****
- Cut the dough into squares. I use my handy dandy roller thing from Italy that’s a super huge pain in the ass to put together but makes me feel really smug and legit. You can use whatever you want. A knife is good. So’s a pizza roller. These squares don’t have to be anywhere near perfect, just more or less the same size(ish).
- Sprinkle lots of flour over the squares and let them dry out for about 10 minutes.
- Squeeze the squares. Just pick up handfuls and squeeze them in your hands to get them all wrinkled and stuff. These wrinkles will hold the sauce or cheese or whatever you’re putting over them/putting them in. This is the fun part. Go to town. Make sure every square is squeezed. If they fold over themselves, cool.
- Sprinkle more flour on them and let them dry (you can completely dry them for storage or just dry them out for another 10 minutes or so if you’re going to cook and use them right away…that SHOULD give the dough enough time to hold it’s shape when cooked. I find using the completely dried noodles helps them hold their shape while being cooked or in whatever casserole I put them in.
- *Can you use a stand mixer for this? Sure. Lots of folks do. But this is a fairly low hydration dough (30% liquid) so that stand mixer will have a hell of a time. I’ve literally broken a stand mixer on low hydration dough. It’s a thing.
- **If the dough is sticky or unmanageable, your eggs were bigger than average or you screwed up somewhere. Just sprinkle flour down and knead it in until it is no longer sticky. You can’t over-knead this dough.
- ***If you’re making it a day ahead, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and chuck it into the fridge and get ready for it to discolor slightly as it oxidizes. Don’t forget to bring it up to room temp before rolling it out.
- ****The noodle disk that you cut your noodles from will be about 24-26 inches in diameter, which can be super annoying if you don’t have a ton of space, or are using a small rolling pin. You can just cut the dough ball in half or quarters and roll them out separately for a smaller, more manageable footprint.
In conclusion: These egg noodles are way, way better than store-bought, and you can extend the recipe SUPER EASILY to make kilos of them all at once. They dry really well and will stay good for a long time in a sealed bag or airtight container. However, because of the egg content, they won’t stay good forever, unless you put them in the freezer. I bet you eat them way before they go bad though. They’re freaking addicting.