Excuse the light quality. The kitchen bulb is dim.
Jack! You can make pasta? That’s what you’re thinking right, Dear reader? Jack can make anything! Without gums or added starches even. Okay, not anything, but I’m actually a pretty dab hand at all this free-from baking and cooking, I just don’t overvalue myself and brag. I seem to be most searched for my Pastry recipe which is where the skills and knowledge that created this came from, this is just an extension of my soba and bakewell tart recipes. You learn a lot by trying, dear reader, also by not assuming because you can’t do it that it can’t be done. I might not often say it, but I am good at this all, I started from nothing, rarely had recipes I could use and, now, here I am, sharing what I know to help others. A drop in the ocean of food-bloggers, not very noted, or all that know really, but I know what I know is worth sharing. I’m the quiet one who just doesn’t drag out these skills to impress, I’m too tired and jaded for that kind of braggadocios behaviour., dear reader, I’ll leave that to younger, more ambitious perhaps, bloggers than myself. I just make what few have, with what few ingredients I have. Now, onto the pasta!
The crumb stage. A vital part of all dough recipes.
The unkneaded dough. If it’s sticky, you’ve added too much water.
So, if you’re new to pastry, new to free-from baking, or just new to this recipe then let’s tackle it stage by stage. Even if you think you know these kinds of recipes, buckwheat has a lot of quirks, some are circumvented by the eggs used, but there are still a few remaining, and it will trip you up. Add too much water and just add flour? Hah! You’ll get a cracked mess, no gluten means no room for error. Once you’re at the breadcrumb stage just add a dribble, don’t splash it in, really!, of water and keep adding, mixing and checking until large lumps form. At this stage if you’ve added enough moisture then you should be able to form an unbroken mound of dough, like above. There shouldn’t be any parts crumbling off, nor should it stick to anything if you’ve done it all right. Take your time and you shouldn’t have any worries.
Kneaded it stretches and will snap back slightly.
It should be firm enough to do whatever this is doing.
So, if you’re using just buckwheat it’ll crack, takes an age to come together and will tear, stick and cause any amount of heartbreak. What happens here is that the chia gives it that stretch, probably like gum, I’ve never used gum, don’t want to or need to, and the hen’s egg, you can tell this is the extreme side of free-from baking when I have to name the fowl, gives it additional moisture. In the soba you can just use one or the other, but both make it vastly easier to make it, it also makes it more like pasta than soba, hence the divided recipe. Chia egg, hen’s egg and buckwheat flour, raw, is almost like a cheat. It’s honestly so absurdly good I’m always amazed at how it comes together. I’m an old hand at pastry, but with practice you’ll have no trouble mastering this as with the problems avoided it’s almost as easy as wheat pastry.
Rolling out is simple as it hardly sticks.
I often say I should get a pasta cutter, then I forget.
I’m not skill at fine cutting, or rolling. If you want perfect long, even noodles you’ll ned to fold the pasta in at he curved ends and roll again. I don’t need to go to that hassle as it’s just for me. You could make any length you like as it holds well, though the longer it’s exposed to air the more brittle it gets, the hen’s egg helps mitigate this a bit, but either freeze it fast of have the water boiling. This is fresh pasta and time is of the essence. If you’re awkward like me you can take a sharp knife, don’t drag it as the dough will stretch and deform, just gentle press it along the dough, then when all the strips are cut just scoop it up and toss it onto the tray. It won’t tear that easily, but do be gentle.
Don’t drop either the camera or the noodles!
Sway the noodles gently.
They don’t need excess flour to prevent sticking thanks to both eggs.
Now. The caveat: I have frozen them, I just haven’t tried them from frozen, they should be fine, naturally they’re best fresh, but you can’t always use them all at once. I’ll add a section on freezing later in the week when I get around to trying them. I don’t like doing this this way, I’d rather have it all in one, but if I delay I’ll forget important details. I did boil up a portion, tossed with a little live oil, with chicken and Sautéed Garlic. They’re slippery, a little al dente, yet yielding and you really taste the buckwheat since it isn’t cooked very much. Pasta is daunting and you might have to make a lot of mistakes along the way to the perfect pasta. You’l get here, hey! I’m here making the recipe and who am I? Just Jack, dear reader, who knows that you’ll take this recipe and make it your own. Vary the shape of the noodles, make pasta balls, add herbs, serve them in ways my restricted diet won’t let me. You can do this, trust me.
I do try to cut them thin, I’m just not that skilled with a knife.
Fresh is vastly different from dried. Also surprisingly light for a dense flour.
Okay! I’ve tested the frozen noodles and they’re almost the same as fresh. There is a slight loss of that fresh buckwheat flavour and where the noodles have bent when frozen does tend to break so your long strands might end up shorter. If you wanted to keep it aesthetically pleasing it might be best as a shaped pasta rather than noodles. Perhaps if they’d been cut thinner and curled into nests they might have survived more intact. Still, as it stands they’re great from frozen, just cook from frozen and add a few minutes for them to defrost in the water. I’ll come back here again someday, dear reader. I’ll try for a neater noodle, until then this will more than suffice.
225g Buckwheat Flour
1 Chia Egg (1 Tbsp Ground Chia and 3 Tbsp Water)
1 Medium (45-55g) Egg
Extra Flour for dusting
Makes Four 90g serving.
1. Mix the Ground Chia and Water and leave in the fridge for 10 minutes or until thick.
2. Add Flour to a bowl and then stir in the Chia Egg and Hen Egg with a fork until everything has formed a rough crumb. Add a little Water, mix with the fork again, adding enough water to help it come together, but not letting it get sticky, until large lumps form. Knead the mixture until a dry, firm dough has been formed. Form Dough into a ball and let rest for a few minutes. Dough will be elastic and shouldn’t crack.
3. Dust a work surface with flour and roll out the dough as thin as possible, about 1-8 Inch to 1/16 Inch thickness. Flip the dough and dust a few times while rolling out to prevent it sticking to the work surface.
4. Cut into thin strips with a sharp knife. Shake the Pasta loose using your hands, if they still stick together add another dusting of Flour, but it shouldn’t be necessary. If freezing spread onto a greaseproof lined tray and leave in the freezer for 15 minutes, then remove and divide into bags and return Pasta to the freezer. Cook from Frozen.
5. Bring a large pot of Water to the boil and add Pasta. Cook for 3-5 minutes keeping stirred constantly. The Pasta should be soft and slippery, but not mushy. Drain in a colander when cooked and pour over cold water. Either add to a sauce and cook for a minute or serve cold.