Friday, January 30, 2009

Stand Mixers

UPDATE February 8, 2009 - I've put together a Hand Pulled Noodle webpage with all this info in one place.

I finally did it.  I bought a Kitchen Aid Pro 600 stand mixer.  I got it for a sweet $320 from Bed Bath and Beyond (I finally found a use for the 20% off coupon they keep sending me).  

I recently gave a noodle pulling demo at a nearby culinary school, The Professional Culinary Institute in Campbell, CA.  The folks there had used my dough recipe to get something pullable, but they wanted to see the pulling live.  So I headed over on wednesday.

Now up to this point, I had been mixing my noodle dough by hand.  I'm an old-fashioned guy, and doing it by hand has always suited me.  But as anyone who has actually made the dough knows, it takes a lot of work to get it pullable.

So I showed up at the school, and they had already mixed the dough up using their mixer.  I expected dough on the order of what I have at home.  Instead I was surprised with the most stretchy noodle dough I've ever played with.  Totally amazing.  With this kind of thing, I can actually see myself pulling a giant wad of noodles instead of the current single/double serving of noodles you can make with my 300g recipe.

So I bought a mixer yesterday, made some dough, and here's what you need to know:

1.  I quadrupled my noodle dough recipe.  This made a lot of dough, but I'm not sure what you'd end up with running the 300g recipe in a 6 quart bowl.  It just seem like too little.

2.  I put all the dry ingredients in the bowl, turned the mixer on low, and slowly added the liquid ingredients.

3.  While it was running, I added a little extra water.

4.  I ran the mixer on about speed 4 for 10 minutes.  Felt the dough, and then ran it for another 3 or 4 minutes.  After that it was pullable.

5.  I had to use some extra flour at the end to get the dough to a consistency that didn't stick to my fingers.

The resultant dough was so nice that I was able to show my girlfriend how to make noodles, and she actually made some even ones.  To be fair, she sees me pulling a lot, but it only took her and hour and a half of getting her hands in the dough to end up with something edible.  Pretty good if you ask me.

Anyways, what I'm saying here is if you have a stand mixer, making hand pulled noodles will be a lot easier for you.  If you don't have a stand mixer, think about it, but try to do it by hand first if you're going to buy one.  That way you'll really appreciate the time and work the darned thing saves you.


  1. It's nice to have a mixer. I wish I get one like that.

    For those who doesn't have a mixer, I will let you know a bread machine works fine too, especially for smaller dough.

  2. Hah! I just went out and bought a stand mixer last weekend. The Kitchenaid 5 quart heavier duty (bowl lift) model.

    About to try your recipe tripled.

  3. After ~20 minutes with the dough hook I found the dough wasn't quite in that stretchable state.

    So I pulled out the pasta roller attachment I bought with the mixer and ran it through that several times. That tipped it over the line and it became pullable.

    Now if I could just figure out how to pull the noodles evenly I might actually be able to eat something. I am quite sure I have achieved the right state - if I swing the dough at all it stretches all the way to the floor without breaking. Just can't seem to get the evenness needed to pull it all the way to noodles.

  4. Recipe
    300g cake flour
    50g regular flour
    200g water
    15g sesame oil
    6g salt
    3g baking soda

    Hello Luke, I have done alot of work and found this recipe to be the best to use when working with a kitchen Aid, You have to mix it for 12 minutes at speed 4, Have fun, Tomm

  5. Thanks Tomm!

    P.S. to everyone: Tomm is the chef I demoed noodle pulling to, and he's got a website with lots of cooking information, including some recently posted Hand-Pulled noodle recipes AND more videos on how to pull noodles.

  6. Luke, just wondering if you used the paddle attachment as Chef Tomm does in his video? It would seem that from watching Chinese noodle pullers doing it by hand, the goal is to break down the gluten. I know the dough hook tends to not mix very well on most mixers, so it would take longer and might not work as well as the paddle.

  7. Hi Alana,

    I use the paddle just like Chef Tomm. I've never tried the hook, since Tomm was the first to use a mixer, and I took his advice on using the paddle. The goal is to beat the dough up as much as possible, so I think the paddle is definitely the way to go. I can vouch for the 12 minutes he recommends, too. It gets the dough nice and stretchy.

  8. This looks like fun. Can the noodles be dried and cooked later using this recipe and method?

  9. I can't wait to try this! Thanks for all the detailed instructions and videos.

  10. Hi Luke. I don't know if you are still checking this post. I tried Chef Tomm's recipe this weekend, but didn't get good results. It never ended up elastic enough. Is there a "window" of opportunity for elasticity that you miss if you over-knead the dough? I thought maybe letting the dough rest was what I was missing, but neither you or Chef Tomm seem to rest the dough. Thanks.

  11. @Bill:

    I've never kneaded too much with a stand mixer. I usually get tired of watching it spin and end up finishing the kneading process by hand. My guess is you either:

    1. aren't mixing it enough (hard to believe, but it really requires a LOT of kneading).

    2. aren't using the right flour. Cake flour (or some kind of low gluten flour) is critical. All-purpose flour has too much gluten for practical uses.

    There's a new video on YouTube of a fellow who uses all-purpose flour, and he says you have to knead for something like an hour and a half. I'd estimate that translates to about 30 minutes in a stand-mixer.

  12. Luke, does the italian semolina flour work for hand pulled noodles?

  13. I tried spelt flour and it worked with my egg noodle recipe. As long as I kept the dough wet it pulled. It got hard to pull once the dough dried out. My noodles came out a little thick, though. I guess I was too afraid of pulling them that extra time.


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