Friday, January 1, 2010

homemade ravioli dough - tyler's NOT ultimate recipe

homemade mushroom ravioli - 24So I thought it was time to take a break from baking sweets. In all actuality, my parents were the ones who requested I try something more savory. (I mean come on, me not wanting to bake sweets? Yeah right, lol.) Anyways, after searching through tons and tons of recipes, I decided on making homemade raviolis. How typical of me, to find one of the hardest and most time consuming recipes, and decide to conquer it. I knew this would take all day, especially since I had to roll out and cut each piece individually. What ended up happening was completely opposite of what I planned, which I should have assumed since it seems to always happen to me.

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I blended a few recipes/instructions together. I took the ingredients from Tyler Florence (because duh, he is supposed to have the best of everything) and I took the procedures from multiple other online recipes. I mostly wanted to make my pasta dough in the food processor, after seeing numerous chefs use it on the Food Network. It seemed so easy; all you do is press the pulse button a bunch of times and out rolls a ball of pasta dough.

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Just my luck, the food processor didn't work (I learned later that I didn't hook it up correctly). I turned to the old-fashioned way, which was forming a huge mountain and making a well in the center.

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So typically a person would make a well in the center of their flour, and then crack the eggs in. I'm not coordinated as Anne Burrell (have you seen her making pasta dough? she does it in seconds flat), so I whisked the eggs before hand, and then poured them into my sad looking well.

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This was probably the most terrified I have ever been while making something. I definitely stared at this mountain for a while, contemplating ways I could avoid a horrible spill.

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Knew it. It spilled everywhere. This is the "cleaned-up" version of what it actually was. I obviously had to quickly catch the spilling egg and then mix it immediately with the flour, to avoid anything from falling off the counter. Only after that was I able to wash my hands and grab the camera for this unfortunate image.

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This was my attempt to roll the mixture into a ball. Once again, just my luck. The mixture was too dry and every time I tried to gather it into a single ball, it would just crumble afterwards.

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I became so frustrated at this dough ball, but I was mostly pissed off at Tyler Florence. You lied Tyler! I figured there was no turning back now, and I added 1 more egg and a bit more of oil. The dough finally grouped together, but looked completely wrong.

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So I cut the dough into fourths, and began to roll out my pasta. I can't even tell you how firm this dough was; it would not roll. I had to get on a stool and put all my body weight on this rolling pin just to make it flat. Eventually I got to where I could press down no more further and my arms just ached.

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I then cut my thick dough into strips so I could just move on and begin the filling process already.

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I cut them into squares (thick looking squares) and set them to the side. I realized that the sun was starting to set and I wouldn't have enough time to make the filling, fill them, and then boil them while I still had adequate sunlight. I also wanted to fix these damn thick ravioli pieces. With all that said, I decided to wrap everything back up, and place them in the fridge for me to resume the following day.

Taken from Tyler Florence, which did not work.

2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs, plus 1 for egg wash (I had to add one more egg)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (I probably added another tablespoon of oil)
Cornmeal, for dusting

1. To make the pasta dough: In an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook (I wish), combine the flour and salt. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, and continue to mix. Drizzle in 1 tablespoons of the olive oil and continue to incorporate all the flour until it forms a ball. Sprinkle some flour on work surface, knead and fold the dough until elastic and smooth, this should take about 10 minutes. Brush the surface with the remaining olive oil and wrap the dough in plastic wrap; let rest for about 30 minutes to allow the gluten to relax.
2. Alternatively if you don't have an electric mixer: (this is what I did) Combine the flour and salt on a flat work surface; shape into a mound and make a well in the center. Add the eggs and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil to the well and lightly beat with a fork. Gradually draw in the flour from the inside wall of the well in a circular motion. Use 1 hand for mixing and the other to protect the outer wall. Continue to incorporate all the flour until it forms a ball. Continue as directed above.
3. Cut the ball of dough in 1/2, cover and reserve the piece you are not immediately using to prevent it from drying out. Dust the counter and dough with a little flour. Press the dough into a rectangle and roll it through a pasta machine, 2 or 3 times, at widest setting. Pull and stretch the sheet of dough with the palm of your hand as it emerges from the rollers. Reduce the setting and crank the dough through again, 2 or 3 times. Continue tightening until the machine is at the narrowest setting; the dough should be paper-thin, about 1/8-inch thick (you should be able to see your hand through it.). Dust the sheets of dough with flour as needed.
4. Beat 1 egg with 1 tablespoon of water to make an egg wash. Dust the counter and sheet of dough with flour, lay out the long sheet of pasta, and brush the top surface with the egg wash, which acts as a glue. Drop tablespoons of your favorite filling on 1/2 of the pasta sheet, about 2-inches apart. Fold the other 1/2 over the filling like a blanket. With an espresso cup or fingers, gently press out air pockets around each mound of filling. Use a sharp knife to cut each pillow into squares and crimp the 4 edges with the tins of a fork to make a tight seal. Dust the ravioli and a sheet pan with cornmeal to prevent the pasta from sticking and lay them out to dry slightly while assembling the rest.
5. Cook the ravioli in plenty of boiling salted water for 4 minutes; they'll float to the top when ready, so be careful not to overcrowd the pot. Lift the ravioli from water with a large strainer or slotted spoon. Bath the ravioli in your favorite sauce to lightly coat and serve.

Makes 24 ravioli

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