22 April 2012

The Egg Noodle Experiment

The flu has settled in at our house.

It started yesterday.  The hubby woke up and thought he was dying, then he realized he wasn't going to die and so went to bed and started praying for death to take him.  He had a fever of over 102, headache, chills, aches, and all sorts of other unpleasantness.  Syd hasn't come down with the full flu yet, but she's warm and flushed, and has a bad cough going on.

By some happy coincidence, my plan for yesterday's dinner was chicken noodle soup.  Given that I was chained to the house and my two sickies, I decided it would be the perfect time to try making homemade egg noodles for my soup.

First, I found a simple recipe.  Here's my condensed version:

4 eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1/8 cup water

Break eggs into mixing bowl and beat with fork.  Add water and salt and beat more.  Add one cup flour and mix in until blended, then mix in remaining cup until dough begins to form a ball.

Work the dough with your hands on a well floured surface, adding flour as needed, until dough is smooth and elastic and no longer sticks to your hands.  Pinch off egg-sized piece, dip in flour, and roll out with well-floured rolling pin until dough is as thin as you can make it.  Lay out rolled out ovals of dough on paper to dry a bit.  Flip after half an hour and allow to continue drying until dough is dry to the touch, but still flexible.

Roll each oval up like a jelly roll and then slice off narrow strips with a sharp serrated knife.  These are your noodles.  When you have sliced all your dough into strips, pile them back up on the paper to continue drying for several hours or overnight.  When they have finished drying, you can either cook them or freeze them and use within a few months.

Sounds pretty simple!  I didn't have too many problems with the execution of the egg noodles.

Sydney was very excited to help me make noodles.  She's usually pretty excited to help me make just about anything, really.

The first few steps were incredibly easy.  Beat eggs, mix in other stuff, dump ball of dough onto table.  Check, check, and check.

Rolling out the dough was pretty easy too, though if I was going to make these again, the only thing I'd do different is to roll the dough out even thinner.  Paper thin.  Also, I think using bread flour may have made the a touch chewier than normal, so I'd be sure to use AP flour.

Syd just had to use the rolling pin for her itty bitty piece of practice dough.

At last, the dough was rolled out and laid out to dry.  The other side of my counter was full of egg noodle dough, too.  When you roll it out this thin, you're going to need a lot of square footage for the drying.

Then it was time to roll them up and slice them into noodles.  This part wasn't too hard, but you do need to make sure that your serrated knife is very, very sharp.

Sydney used her little butter knife to slice her dough into noodles, too.

Aaaaaand.... we have noodles!

And soup.  As you can see, they don't have as neat a look as store-bought noodles, but they're definitely much more filling and healthy.  When you make your chicken noodle soup with homemade chicken stock, organic roasted chicken, and homemade egg noodles, you can be sure you're not going to be hungry again in half an hour.

Have I mentioned that I make the best chicken noodle soup ever?  I'll post the recipe soon, given that it's the season for sickies.  I will say now that the key to good chicken noodle soup is to add a bit of fresh dill. 

Hopefully you won't need to make this for your own family for the same reason I did, but if you do, it's sure a great way to get them healthy again!
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