Store-bought noodles are normally the weak link holding the entire bowl, either for their softness or my worry of potential presence of preservative.
Secrets behind firm noodles
1. Since noodles get their texture from the protein in wheat forming elastic chains of gluten, it is better to use bread flour (12% protein, higher than all-purpose flour).
2. Wheat flour contains a number of compounds called flavones and trans-ferulic acid which are bound to starch and therefore white. Adding alkaline solution to wheat flour changes the pH which detaches these flavones and trans-ferulic acid from starch and allows their natural yellow color to manifest. This is why you find yellow color of ramen noodle.
3. Alkaline solution (pH~9) could toughen the protein in wheat flour so that the resulting noodles are firmer, more elastic and springy texture and less sticky when cooked.
3 3/4 cups bread flour, 1 cup water, 3/4 tsp Koon Chun potassium carbonate & sodium bi-carbonate (available in most Chinese groceries)
1. Add everything to mixer bowl, and let mixer tun for 10 minutes. The dough is almost too dry to form a ball.
2. Instead of kneading with the machine or hands, I then transfer the 'dough' to a zip bag, then knead with feet :-). You can let your kids do the job, and they would love it. Wrap the zip bag with a towel, and step on it... 'Knead' until the dough come together.
3. Let the dough rest overnight in the fridge.
4. Next day, cut the dough into 4 pieces, and make noodles with Imperia pasta machine
|Imperia pasta machine (here or here)|
|Perfect texture and stayed that way over an hour in soup|
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