dough/pastry/pasta board?

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Alphaville
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Re: dough/pastry/pasta board?

Post by Alphaville »

7Wannabe5 wrote:
Sat Sep 19, 2020 4:15 pm
. You can melt candy into the middle of your cookies like stained glass windows if you use parchment paper.
oh haha! that sounds tasty.

i do keep parchment at home for some things (these days, mostly cheese-wrapping), but i mostly use silicone mats in my baking half-sheets.

i could roll dough on the mats. cutting is... trickier.

e.g. i used to bake granola on parchment (because washing sticky trays i a mess), and if i ran out i had to wait; now it goes on the mat which washes easy.

i can roll on any hard surface i suppose, but i don’t usually operate the roller. my wife is baking crackers at the moment, but i can’t tell you what she’s doing, cuz she forbade me to look 🙈 :lol:

i will debrief her afterwards though. if she can live without a dough board i’ll just do nothing.

once i get to making pasta again (it’s been years, but now i got a bunch of semolina flour) i will use the roller.

the nice thing about an untreated wood board (check the pasta video, it’s kind of hypnotic) is that it takes up some of the moisture and also helps spread the flour better (flour tends to pile on glossy surfaces instead of spreading evenly).

there’s this dough box too where they make the pizza.
here is where the italians laugh at the youtubers: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=SGsGYcnpV50
and here is one of those chefs using a wooden box: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Cq90lUQUCUo

the neapolitan guy uses marble. maybe a big marble slab isn’t so much money. :lol:

eta: she just cut the crackers with a nylon bench scraper but she sez she’d prefer proper cutters. i’m just asking from far away cuz i can’t set foot there till she’s done. [added commentary: i don’t give a damn about misshapen crackers as long as they’re tasty. cutter budget denied :lol: ]

eta, 2: she reports no problem rolling on the stupid counter (a chemical “stone”), the challenge was cutting without scratching which nylon did fine. i wonder what the tolerance of this stupid counter is to steel cookie cutters... 🤔 (i’d still need wood for pasta but the crackers are working *fine*)

i should add, we haven’t baked since late march or early may.

...

i might try rolling pasta tomorrow on the fake stone counter & see

Alphaville
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Re: dough/pastry/pasta board?

Post by Alphaville »

7Wannabe5 wrote:
Sat Sep 19, 2020 4:15 pm
parchment
queen stella sez parchment beats silicone for the cookie trays

https://www.seriouseats.com/2019/10/pro ... icone.html

not being a cookie baker i didn’t know this, but now i do. thanks again for the suggestion & prompting my curiosity

jacob
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Re: dough/pastry/pasta board?

Post by jacob »

Dough boxes (I've been thinking about making one for a few years but it seems like one of these things that will be fun once and then not used again) were commonly used because housewives used to bake ALL their bread and only bake once a week or even less (IIRC some Italian cities only baked once a year(*) during medieval/early renaissance times). The dough was made in a box and left to rise overnight in the box. The box (which has slanted sides) is both a container for mixing and kneading but also intended to keep insects and mice out (especially a problem if you have thatched roofs).

(*) Firewood shortages.

Today, a dough box seems like massive overkill unless you have the ovens/time to support making baking an all day endeavor.

Most people seem to use dough boxes as a quaint "country-style" decorative piece. I suppose similar to how many use their kitchen aid machines :-P

Alphaville
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Re: dough/pastry/pasta board?

Post by Alphaville »

yeah, my high hydration doughs do last a week (1000g flour), but they live in a plastic bucket in the fridge. looks very much like this:

Image


i just take out whatever piece i want to bake, and the leftovers develop new flavors as they age, approaching sourdough.

i might try sourdough this season, which could alter the workflow.

...

and after some research late last night, today i’m planning to knead pasta dough in the food processor. #heathen :D

eg see: https://www.cuisinart.com/recipes/pasta/pasta-dough/

i’ll still roll on the bare counter, not in a machine, but should be less sticky and not messy by then (especially important when eggs are involved). i’m encouraged by yesterday’s cracker results.

Laura Ingalls
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Re: dough/pastry/pasta board?

Post by Laura Ingalls »

I am loyal to my Epicurean branded items. Dishwasher safe if you use use a dishwasher. My second choice would be maple or other hardwood. They tend to be heavier and thicker.

I think pine is too soft. Granite would be great for pie dough but hell on knives. Silicone is great for storage but I think moves around too much on the counter.

Seppia
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Re: dough/pastry/pasta board?

Post by Seppia »

Why do you need a board to cut pasta?
any plastic knife (or even a hard spatula) will work to produce tagliatelle or similar

Alphaville
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Re: dough/pastry/pasta board?

Post by Alphaville »

Seppia wrote:
Sun Sep 20, 2020 9:49 am
Why do you need a board to cut pasta?
any plastic knife (or even a hard spatula) will work to produce tagliatelle or similar
ah, great to know this! i was looking forward to your appearance.

in the past i’ve used very sharp knives, i’ll try the nylon scraper today for science.

for tagliatelle: you fold and cut? or just do long cuts? won’t a dull blade mash the folds?

i’m thinking of this: https://youtu.be/wR6IxuJE9sQ?t=350

he takes the pasta off the dough board and places on a cutting board. that knife is razor sharp (you can hear it)
Laura Ingalls wrote:
Sun Sep 20, 2020 9:43 am
thanks! so far my fake stone counters are holding up unaided and i’m dodging the purchase bullet.

this epicurean? https://www.epicureancs.com/

Laura Ingalls
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Re: dough/pastry/pasta board?

Post by Laura Ingalls »

Yep

Alphaville
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Re: dough/pastry/pasta board?

Post by Alphaville »

Laura Ingalls wrote:
Sun Sep 20, 2020 10:26 am
Yep
thanks!

i forgot to ask you, what did you mean “silicone for storage”?

Laura Ingalls
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Re: dough/pastry/pasta board?

Post by Laura Ingalls »

Just that the roll up nicely

I also dislike the plastic boards in most commercial kitchens. They scuff to easy and often feel vaguely greasy.

Yes I have opinions on this topic 😉

Alphaville
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Re: dough/pastry/pasta board?

Post by Alphaville »

Laura Ingalls wrote:
Sun Sep 20, 2020 10:44 am
Yes I have opinions on this topic 😉
hahha! i do appreciate those opinions. for me also kitchen equipment means serious production tools, not wasteful consumer items. quality pays dividends.

still i like to analyze all purchases and keep cost tights for best value (rather than sheer low cost.)

anyway if i can knead in the food processor, and if my counter works for rolling, i’ll still need a surface to divide hydrated doughs, because those are a sticky mess on it and hard to clean. maybe silicone is all i’ll need for now, provided i don’t puncture it with the bench scraper or something. or maybe... just parchment paper 🤔

and then i still need a general cutting surface, as i don’t have a "proper" cutting board currently and, officially i found out, i could damage the counter with a knife, and it's not my counter, so don't want to be in hock with damage charges either accidentally or on purpose.

i’m managing in this city apartment with 2 small plastic oxo boards which i can best describe as “not awful” :lol: i have an ok butcher block in my perma-house.

large maple would be ideal for me, but now i'm curious about this brand you mentioned and their material/process

Alphaville
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Re: dough/pastry/pasta board?

Post by Alphaville »

update: pasta went great. the sticky mess occurred in the bowl of the food processor. maybe it was overkill but i was making a big recipe: 3 cups flour + 4 eggs. flour was 2 all-purpose 1 semolina. this was my first with semolina which gave a pebbly texture until it hydrated.

early mix was way too powdery so i went off-script and added olive oil (2tbsp) on a panic reflex. and since i live in a dry climate i then had to add 1/2 cup of water! which seemed like a lot, but i got a smooth dough in the end, and after relaxing 30 min it rolled out beautifully on the counter, with a smooth plastic roller (got it free, kind of a shiny surface).

tried also rolling on silicon mats and it was a big nope. too short for long pasta, and you can feel the scraper poking into it the wrong way. no knives on silicone for me, not even plastic knoves. case closed.

for cutting the tagliatelle-ish we used a board because we used a sharp knife on a roll of dough and didn't want to smash the roll and re-fuse i. it's the crap plastic board me tioned above and it worked fine, it's just a bit small and uncomfortable.

the cut pasta then dried on the counter and cutting board split into 8 portions (well, 6 portions, we ate 2).

i think a wooden board would help it dry faster: of the various experiments, a little nest on the plastic cutting board re-fused at a few ends! (he horror). but looks so far like i don't need a board for kneading the main dough, which is a big plus.

and now i have imperfect but tasty pasta for 3 more dinners. nice!

Alphaville
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Re: dough/pastry/pasta board?

Post by Alphaville »

after a night of staring at bad reviews of pricey maple chopping boards that require constant oiling and massage with "mystery" products, i realized/remembered/doh moment/ that we have 2 half-sheet cooling racks. we can dry the pasta on the cooling racks next time and see how it plays out.

maybe all i'll need in the end is a big plastic winco cutting board like in a restaurant. maybe...

i might start a bucket of wet bread dough this week and experiment with dividing it on parchment 🤞

Seppia
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Re: dough/pastry/pasta board?

Post by Seppia »

Alphaville wrote:
Sun Sep 20, 2020 10:11 am
for tagliatelle: you fold and cut? or just do long cuts? won’t a dull blade mash the folds?

i’m thinking of this: https://youtu.be/wR6IxuJE9sQ?t=350
He has perfect form (he is slooooooooow but I guess it's for clarity purposes), but I personally prefer a thicker* tagliatelle, which can easily be cut with a plastic knife because they're structurally stronger.
You can still cut them thin with a plastic instrument like this one https://www.amazon.it/Tescoma-630023-Ru ... _mk_it_IT= , you can probably find similar ones on aliexpress for like $2

by the way I feel compelled to say that The recipe for fresh egg pasta is 1kg of semolina and 10 eggs.
if google translator can help you, these aptly describe how to make fresh pasta.

https://www.cucchiaio.it/ricetta/ricetta-pasta-alluovo/
https://ricette.giallozafferano.it/Past ... -uovo.html

Both sites are also GREAT sources for italian cooking in general (cucchiaio d'argento is probably the most renown cooking book in italy and cucchiaio.it is their site, while giallozafferano is the longest standing recipe blog/site in the country.)

*all else being equal I just like thicker cuts in general because they stay "al dente" for longer.

Alphaville
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Re: dough/pastry/pasta board?

Post by Alphaville »

Seppia wrote:
Mon Sep 21, 2020 2:43 pm
GREAT sources for italian cooking in general
ah, i understand a little bit of italian, and can read the recipes! grazie mille for the comments and links. please keep them coming, and if something else comes to mind feel free to share.

i have tremendous respect and admiration for italian culinary traditions—not just the cooking, but also the eating, and the production, and the care and intelligence that’s put into it, and everything else. it’s not a “foodie” affectation, but something deeply ingrained in the culture, which is what makes it so great.

and one ~70g egg per 100g of flour (33% semola) is easy to remember (i hope i didn’t get those numbers wrong). long live the metric system! :D

i’ll try again next weekend and see what i learn.

jacob
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Re: dough/pastry/pasta board?

Post by jacob »

Since DW "food-blogged" her pasta making on FB yesterday, I figured I could show the pasta rack I made a few weeks ago.
Image
It started with DW telling me she wanted a pasta rack and if I could make one? This way we could dry some for later and eventually stop buying pasta entirely. Pasta racks come in many forms usually resembling miniature clothes drying racks as seen on google image. One thing I don't like is having things around that take up space while being rarely used, so I redesigned one of them to be collapsible. Come to think of it, unless it's screwed into a wall, most of my designs/builds are take-down/"campaign style".

However, then it ocured to me that I could just drill a bunch of holes in a piece of wood and screw it onto the microwave/dish-towel holder I made last year. The dowels are 3/8+ (so the holes are 25/64) and can be taken out which makes it easier to hang the pasta and clean them. She would like the clearance to be taller, but I for one don't think pasta needs to be longer than 15". In all fairness, I did offer to cut a hole in the counter top to make room but that was declined.

Total cost: ~$2 for the dowels.

My main point is that this process is quite typical in the way it progresses
  1. Can/should we buy an XYZ?
  2. Wait, let's see if we can make it by googling "DIY XYZ"?
  3. Draw up a solution on a postit note using the scrapwood design constraints.
  4. Play around and make some cuts. Then realize that there is a simpler solution.
  5. Build simpler solution instead.
Consumers begin and end at the first step leading to instantly ordering XYZ on amazon. Frugalites use tricks like putting it on a wish list for 30+ days to see if they really need/want it---then ordering it on amazon or taking it off the list again. It took many years but both DW and I have gotten into the habit of immediately going to step 2. Step 1 doesn't even occur to me anymore. However, it was remarkable how long it took to shed that compulsion.

Technical note: Commercial dowels are not consistent in their diameter. Just because it says 3/8 on the package, they can easily be slightly larger or smaller than stated. One fix is to own a drill index. Another is to sand the dowels down.

Alphaville
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Re: dough/pastry/pasta board?

Post by Alphaville »

oh damn, that's a very nice setup. i thought for a second about making one as well, but i lack carpentry tools in this apartment.

then i thought of using clothes hangers... but i think the cooling racks might be "good enough". not as neat as those dowels though: aesthetics and functionality are important, and the resulting shape will facilitate storage.

i think we might make pasta again tonight, so i'll report about the cooling racks.

hey, is that a pasta rolling machine i spy in the foreground? or something else?

jacob
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Re: dough/pastry/pasta board?

Post by jacob »

What's that in your closet? Oh, that's just spaghetti!

That is a pasta machine. Xmas present from a few years ago. The attacks on our remaining space are relentless.

Alphaville
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Re: dough/pastry/pasta board?

Post by Alphaville »

jacob wrote:
Fri Sep 25, 2020 11:01 am
What's that in your closet? Oh, that's just spaghetti!
:lol:

and don’t ask me how i know the clothing term “spaghetti strap”
jacob wrote:
Fri Sep 25, 2020 11:01 am
That is a pasta machine. Xmas present from a few years ago. The attacks on our remaining space are relentless.
looks like you’re making the best out of the invasion. those noodles are a beauty & appear professional.

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jennypenny
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Re: dough/pastry/pasta board?

Post by jennypenny »

@jacob -- I usually agree with you about finding something that works/making something in lieu of purchasing anything. My suggestion about the piece of marble upthread is because if you do a lot of baking, particularly cookies and pastries, it's much easier on a chilled slab. We bake tons of christmas cookies every year and I'd tear my hair out trying to press out traditional dove cookies or anything like them on a wood board. Admittedly, having to use gluten free flour makes the consistency of the dough harder to work with, but still ... some tools are worth it to me.

Also, put tea towels under the pasta so you don't have to fuss with cleaning the dowels. I use an old wooden laundry drying rack that can't be dismantled easily so I have to use the towels. Ditto with when I used to have to dry the pasta on the back of chairs.

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