How To: Homemade Whole Wheat Pasta Dough

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pasta dough, homemade pasta, pasta, whole wheat pasta, wheat pasta, whole wheat pasta dough One of my all time favorite foods in the world is pasta.  It’s comforting and filling and incredibly versatile.  Dario and I probably have pasta once a week (oh yea…this nutritionist fully supports pasta on a weekly basis!).  But in addition to getting a huge enjoyment of eating it, I have a somewhat odd habit of collecting pasta shapes.  I have this thing, that whenever I see a unique pasta shape, or one I just really like, I have to buy it.  One of my kitchen cabinets is completely full with dried pasta shapes.  I have lots…but I do use them up!

pasta dough, homemade pasta, wheat pasta dough

My deep obsession with pasta has led me to consider making the dough by myself.   Fresh pasta has a completely different texture than dried and you can’t really beat the cooking time – only 2 minutes!  The first time I made my own dough I only used 100% whole wheat flour along with the regular additions of eggs and water.  BAD idea.  The dough was dry, crumbly and really tough.  I didn’t even bother shaping it into noodles.  Into the trash can it went.

A few more attempts and I got a pretty good recipe figured out.  You can definitely change this recipe up, but here are a few tips to follow – especially when you’re thinking of making it with whole wheat flour.

  • If you’re going to use whole wheat flour – try using whole wheat pastry flour.  It’s readily available and its ground a lot finer than regular flour.  This helps keep the dough tender.  
  • Start with using only half whole wheat flour and half all-purpose.  Making the entire dough out of whole wheat tends to make the pasta taste a little funky plus the texture can become very grainy and weird.
  • The finished dough shouldn’t be dry.  It needs to be smooth and just the slightest bit wet. But not sticky.  It’s a fine balance and some practice will help you find this specific texture.  Think baby’s bottom.
  • Once you’ve formed the dough and kneaded it, let the dough rest for at least 15 minutes.  This allows the gluten to relax in the dough.  It’ll be much easier to work with after this.
  • Once cooked, fresh pasta is not forgiving.  Have the sauce warmed and ready to go and be prepared to serve it relatively quickly.  And don’t leave it in the pot!  It’ll become a big sticky mess.

homemade pasta, pasta dough, whole wheat pasta, wheat pasta  My recipe for whole wheat pasta dough is a combination of multiple recipes I’ve seen.  But in general, it’s very basic and a good beginner recipe.  I also don’t use a food processor or mixer.  I really like being able to feel the dough in my hands – it helps me tell if the dough has the right texture.  I served this pasta with my fresh cherry tomato sauce – amazing!  Give it try – it’s not hard and everyone will be impressed you made your own pasta!

Whole Wheat Pasta Dough:
Ingredients:

  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 2-3 tbsp of water

Instructions:

  1. On a clean work surface, make a mound of the whole wheat pastry flour, all-purpose flour and salt.  Mix together but end up with a mounded pile.
  2. In the flour mound, make a deep well – make sure to make enough room for all the eggs and water.
  3. Pour the water and eggs in slowly.  If you go to fast, there might be a spill over it can create a massive mess!
  4. Slowly start incorporating some flour from around the edges of the eggs.  Once they are not runny, get your hands into it to form into a dough ball.
  5. Once dough is combined, check for correct texture – it should be very slightly wet, pliable and smooth.  If it’s too dry and crumbly, add a bit more water.  If it’s too wet, knead in some flour – only a tbsp at a time for both!
  6. Knead dough for about 3 minutes and then set aside on the counter to rest for at least 15 minutes.  You can get the pasta water and sauce ready now.
  7. To shape noodles, you can either use a pasta machine or a rolling pin.  Read the directions on your pasta machine to see the exact procedures for making noodles.  If using a rolling pin, divide dough in half and roll out each section as thin as possible.  You should be able to see through it.  Add about a tbsp of flour and rub over top of pasta sheet to help prevent sticking.  Roll up pasta and using a sharp knife slice 1/4″ pieces.
  8. At this point either cook pasta immediately or if you’re thinking about saving any leftovers, they can be frozen for up to 6 months or refrigerated for about 1 week (lay pasta out on a sheet try so it doesn’t stick together).

I’m always looking for more tips about homemade pasta – got any good ideas?  Anybody have a good 100% whole wheat pasta recipe?  Let me know!

16 Comments

  1. Melanie @ Nutritious Eats

    January 30, 2013 at 7:51 pm

    Homemade pasta is on my list of things to try. You make it look so easy! I will have to try this one of these days. I too love the texture of fresh pasta. Yum!

    • mewinebrenner

      January 31, 2013 at 8:51 am

      There’s nothing like fresh pasta! I love it! And this recipe is a cinch to make – let me know how it goes!

  2. Kiersten @ Oh My Veggies

    January 31, 2013 at 5:57 pm

    I just got a pasta maker this year and I love it. I had no idea just how good homemade pasta would be. I love making a whole wheat dough and adding freshly cracked peppercorns to it–it’s so flavorful, you don’t even need a sauce, just a little olive oil!

    • mewinebrenner

      February 1, 2013 at 8:13 am

      Adding peppercorns sounds awesome – I love black pepper!! I’m definitely going to try that the next time around!

  3. carrian

    February 1, 2013 at 12:06 pm

    I love this!!! Totally pinning it!

    • mewinebrenner

      February 1, 2013 at 12:41 pm

      Thanks…I gotta get more active on pintrest!

  4. ChaynaD

    July 6, 2013 at 3:49 pm

    I’ve been making whole wheat pasta for ages- pastry flour is the way to go! I love the idea for the peppercorns too- will definitely have to try it! I’ve used this recipe for a while for 100% whole wheat pasta and it’s never failed me – give it a try. Must give credit where credit is due: http://www.sugarlaws.com/whole-wheat-pasta

    • ChaynaD

      July 6, 2013 at 4:00 pm

      Note: I know they say to just use a rolling pin but I use my machine (hand crank) and get almost 2x the yield from this recipe- I’ve done both hand cutting and using the shapers and either one works.

      • mewinebrenner

        July 7, 2013 at 5:20 pm

        I totally agree – machine produces more noodles. But my machine is way in the back of my cupboard so hard to get out. So if I use my rolling pin it’s just cause i’m a tad bit lazy sometimes!

  5. Martha

    February 5, 2014 at 2:44 pm

    When I originally commented I clicked the “Notify me when new comments are added”
    checkbox and now each time a comment is added I get three emails with the same comment.
    Is there any way you can remove people from that service?
    Bless you!

    • mewinebrenner

      February 5, 2014 at 2:48 pm

      I will try to figure this out!!

    • mewinebrenner

      February 5, 2014 at 2:51 pm

      On the emails with the comments, try hitting the unsubscribe button – should be towards the bottom of the email.

  6. Qwexer

    March 16, 2014 at 5:22 pm

    I have a recipe for spinach pasta, I think about 4 oz of blanched spinach would work perfect for this measure of dough. I wish I remembered before this last batch, haha.

    • mewinebrenner

      March 16, 2014 at 6:38 pm

      Spinach would be a great addition!! 4 oz huh? I’ll have to try that!!

  7. Anon

    March 24, 2014 at 9:57 pm

    I am out of pastry flour and I am wondering if 1 cup of whole wheat flour would still work for this recipe?

    Thank you!

    • mewinebrenner

      March 25, 2014 at 8:31 am

      I think it would. The dough might be a little more difficult to work with and not have as smooth of a texture. But it’d still work well!! You can also just use all purpose flour as well.

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