Don’t Be Afraid
This dough should be very forgiving if I’ve done my job. Therefore, don’t give up if you can’t get the pulling motions exactly right at first. Roll the dough back up and try again if it tears (it shouldn’t). Don’t stress. If the noodles are uneven, try again. Don’t panic if one or two strands break while you’re pulling. Remember: It’s just dough.
My mom learned how to make Chinese Hand-pulled noodles from a close chef friend who owned a famous Chinese Restaurant in Shangha
Every time she invites us over for dinner, I get SO EXCITED because she ALWAYS has freshly made noodles, dumplings, and buns ready for us.
I can’t wait to learn more recipes to share with you when we visit her soon.
Trial 4: The Wide World of Dough Reducers
Adding an alkali wasn’t the answer. I had to dig deeper. According to one translated source, penghui contains sodium, potassium, and sulfur. Additionally, I was willing to rule out the first two components based on my earlier experiments with potassium carbonate and sodium bicarbonate (both alkalis).
But sulfur? A quick search for sulfur additives in dough led me to a comprehensive post describing the role of dough reducers in industrial breadmaking. Dough reducers (or reducing agents) are a class of dough conditioners used to decrease mixing time and to improve extensibility. Chief among them are the protein-based reagents cysteine and glutathione; and, coincidentally, sulfites.
I reached out to the author, Dr. Food biotechnologist Jacinthe Côté, Director of Product Management at Lallemand Inc. , a significant yeast and bacteria research, development, and manufacturing company with a focus on industrial dough processing and yeasts and bacteria for natural fermentation processes. She claims that reducing agents function similarly to mixing to irreversibly disrupt the gluten network, increasing extensibility. You must be conscious of the possibility of those [disulfide] links breaking. The bridge can be destroyed if the dough is handled roughly or is stretched too thinly. It can be carried out mechanically or chemically. ”.
For Dr. According to Côté, it’s best to think of the development of gluten during mixing as an oxidation-reduction reaction, thus the term “dough reducers.” “A disulfide bridge is formed through an oxidation reaction. involving sulfhydryl (or thiol, denoted by -SH) groups in gluten [proteins] The oxidation procedure connects the sulfhydryl groups on various proteins. Disulfide interchange is a reduction method that breaks those disulfide bonds chemically. Do you really need to understand all that complicated science? What matters is that each reducing agent engages in a specific disulfide interchange to loosen a dough. But they aren’t all created equal.
In order to relax doughs for shaping, sulfites are a common reducing agent used in the production of cookies, crackers, and biscuits. These substances cover the reactive sulfhydryl groups on gluten proteins like caps. Due to this capping, disulfide bonds are difficult to reform, which prevents the dough from forming a robust gluten network in exchange for extensibility.
The most widely used form is a salt, such as sodium metabisulfite, which is sold in most homebrew shops as a wine preservative. Unfortunately, sulfite salts are heavily regulated by the FDA, have a distinct rotten egg odor, and can trigger sensitivity reactions in some people (rashes, hives, and indigestion, as some sulfite-sensitive wine drinkers may know). Even if you used 1/64 of a teaspoon of a sulfite salt, you would need to add it to several pounds of dough for it to be effective because they are effective at levels between 20 and 100 parts per million. Sulfite salts are ultimately inappropriate for use in home cooking (unless you’re making a sizable batch of dough).
I had read that penghui smelled strongly of rotten eggs. I believe penghui contains some sort of sulfite salt, which would account for its dough-relaxing properties, based on its purported composition and smell. Ultimately, I didn’t believe sulfites were a practical or healthy choice for the average home cook.
An amino acid called cysteine is the preferred reducing agent when making commercial bread. It is inexpensive to produce, can be added directly to a dough, and works quickly by disulfide interchange to lessen the number of disulfide cross-links between glutenin chains. For home cooks looking to make a single loaf of bread or a small batch of noodles, cysteine is not the most practical option because it must be used in small amounts (10-90 parts per million), just like sulfite salts. Although it’s probably not in the grocery store’s baking section, you can purchase cysteine over-the-counter as a dietary supplement. However, it does have a poor reputation among health-conscious consumers: The majority of cysteine is extracted from pig and bird hair. “There’s a big chemical extraction process,” explains Dr. Côté, and the end product bears no resemblance to feathers or hair at all.
Despite its poor reputation, I chose to try cysteine. I split open a pill of L-cysteine and sprinkled 0. Adding 1 gram of the powder to bread flour, salt, and water in a working recipe My nostrils pricked up at the metallic, faintly rotten egg smell. The dough in my hands turned into a puddle after only a few minutes of kneading. I could stretch the dough seemingly infinitely. But there was no structure in the dough, so it was impossible to pull noodles that would hold their shape. I had added too much cysteine. It was obvious that using cysteine to relax my dough would be effective, but it was also cumbersome and difficult to use properly. I couldn’t ask home cooks to purchase an entire bottle of cysteine just to use a few milligrams of the substance.
How do you pull apart noodles?
- Holding each end of the dough strip gently, pick up one strip.
- Pull towards opposite directions. The movement should be smooth and consistent.
- Bounce the noodle against the worksurface as you spread your arms to help it stretch even more. Fold the noodle and repeat the movement.
Can you hand pull ramen noodles?
For ramen, you don’t hand-pull the dough. You flatten the dough and cut it into long, thin strands that resemble noodles.
How do you knead hand pulled noodles?
Pull the Noodles: To make wide noodles, cut into 1. 5 to 2-inch thick strips. To make thin noodles, cut into ½-inch thick strips. Slowly pull the noodles in opposite directions while holding the ends of each strip in each hand. Make sure to pull it slowly to avoid snapping.