Skinny Homemade Egg Noodles–A Holiday Tradition

noodle bowl post 2

Skinny Homemade Egg Noodles

I thought everybody ate homemade noodles together with gravy and mashed potatoes. It was a holiday tradition on the Indiana farm of my childhood.

After marriage to my Texas-born-and-raised husband, I was dismayed to discover he didn’t like the sound of it. Together? On top of each other??

But it wasn’t long before he was a fan and of course, my boys were raised with the idea. After my Ohio-born daughter-in-law raved about her Grandma Teeter’s excellent homemade noodles during the first weekend she ever visited our home, Susie was immediately accepted into the family as a noodle lover we could trust.

My Grandma Herd made her famous noodles by hand from start to finish. I can still picture her wearing a full-length apron over a simple cotton dress with her long gray hair twisted into a bun as she rolled out noodle dough as thin as possible on her formica-covered breakfast table. Flour was flying everywhere as she deftly brought the dough into submission with her silver-handled rolling pin. After letting the noodle sheets dry a bit, she cut wide strips, stacked and cut them again short-wise into slivers she described as “thin as frog’s hair”.

When asked her secret to fabulous noodles, I remember her saying, “It’s all in the broth.” I have found this to be more challenging than the noodles themselves.

The noodle recipe is controversial. I asked around but could find no consensus. Aunt Marg says the best noodles come from only egg yolks, cake flour, a dab of cream, and salt–a formula that would result in some very tender noodles indeed but she didn’t specify amounts. I myself use all-purpose flour and a touch of baking powder to give them lightness. The baking powder is an obscure detail I seem to remember copying from my best friend’s recipe book. This is the same friend who eventually married Aunt Marg’s oldest son. Maybe Grandma gave her inside information or perhaps it was her own mom’s recipe. I’m not sure.

We all agree about serving/eating them with mashed potatoes and gravy. Since I’ve moved to Texas, I like to throw some cornbread dressing and buttered corn into the mix too. I’ll spare you a picture of that concoction.

Paula’s Recipe Notes:

  1. You can mix, roll and cut these by hand but I prefer a simple noodle machine because it produces noodles much skinnier than I can cut. The directions given here are for a noodle machine.
  2. Some people include the egg whites. They are still delicious. Adjust the amount of liquid if you do that.
  3. Unfortunately, I don’t have the perfect recipe for chicken stock.  If you do, please advise. You could try the one I use for my Chicken and Dumplings but I would leave out the lemon juice.
  4. This recipe makes enough for 4-5 people–more if there’s a lot of other food. I usually double it for a big family gathering. Don’t be deceived by the small amount of dough produced in the beginning. It has a way of birthing babies and you will begin to think you won’t finish cutting noodles before Santa drops down the chimney.
  5. Grandma and my sister-in-law, Susan, always make angel food cake with the leftover egg whites. This is a skill I haven’t mastered but want to. I think I’ll make that a New Year’s resolution. How do you like my lofty goals?
noodle bowl

Comfort Food: Noodles, Mashed Potatoes and Gravy

See Recipe Below 
First: Add flour to food processor bowl along with salt and baking powder. Pulse several times to mix. Add egg yolks and half of the cream to dry ingredients and process until texture of corn meal. Gradually drip in the rest of the cream until the mixture is just damp enough to stick together when pressed with your hand. It should not be wet or excessively sticky.

Knowing when you’ve added the right amount of liquid takes some experience best learned from your own mistakes or while watching over Grandma’s shoulder. If necessary, add more flour or cream/milk as needed.

Use your fingers to press dough into a ball and remove from the bowl. Cover and allow to rest 10+ minutes. Divide dough into 4 sections. Smash each section into a flat pancake with the palm of your hand on a floured board. It’s OK to be liberal with the flour.

noodle storyboard 1_edited-1

Mixing the dough

Second: Set noodle machine thickness to 1 and roll one dough patty between the smooth rollers. Fold over and put through machine again. Repeat process at least 4-5 times until sheet of dough is smooth and shiny. Do this with each patty. Although this sounds time consuming, it goes fast once you get the hang of it.

Set thickness of smooth rollers on 2 and roll each sheet through once or twice, tugging slightly on the dough as you pull it through. Keep moving the roller thickness up a notch and repeat the process. I like my noodles as thin as possible so I go all the way to 6 on my machine. Along the way, use flour whenever necessary to keep dough from sticking. As dough strips get thinner, they get longer. Cut in half cross-wise as needed.

noodle storyboard 2_edited-1

Kneading and rolling the dough

Third: When noodles reach desired thinness, lay them out to rest and dry making sure there is no overlap between strips. When noodles have dried just enough (again, experience is the best teacher), cut strips as long as you want your noodles. I usually make mine 3-4 inches. Feed strips through the fine noodle cutter. Noodles should NOT stick together as they come out of the cutter. If they do, allow dough to dry longer or dust with more flour.

noodle storyboard 3_edited-1

Rolling, cutting and drying noodles

You may cook fresh-cut noodles immediately. Otherwise, allow cut noodles to dry for several hours. Occasionally toss cut noodles with fingers to encourage even drying. When brittle, place in zippered plastic bag and store in a cool, dry place for up to a week or freeze.

To Cook: Pour 3 cups rich chicken or turkey stock into a medium saucepan and boil. Reserve 1 cup of stock. Drop noodles into boiling broth and cook until tender–about 1 minute if noodles are fresh and undried. If dried, cook longer–5-6 minutes. Turn off the heat. Do not drain. As noodles sit in the hot broth, the noodles will absorb moisture and the entire mixture will thicken slightly–perfect for serving over or next to mashed potatoes. Add remaining broth if necessary to keep noodles moist. Like all pasta, they will absorb more liquid the longer they marinate in broth.

P.S. Did I mention this recipe is not for beginners unless you have a grandma beside you?

P.P.S.  Merry Christmas to my family.  This may be the only Christmas card you get this year. Love to all, Paula

Skinny Homemade Egg Noodles--A Holiday Tradition
 
Author:
Recipe type: Side Dish
Serves: 8-10
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
 
Recipe and instructions for homemade egg noodles using food processor and simple pasta machine.
Ingredients
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 egg yolks
  • ¼ cup heavy cream (or milk)
  • 1 quart seasoned chicken or turkey stock
Instructions
  1. Add flour to food processor bowl along with salt and baking powder. Pulse several times to mix.
  2. Add egg yolks and half of the cream to dry ingredients and process until texture of corn meal.
  3. Gradually drip in the rest of the cream until the mixture is just damp enough to stick together when pressed with your hand. It should not be wet or excessively sticky.
  4. Knowing when you've added the right amount of liquid takes some experience best learned from your own mistakes or while watching over Grandma's shoulder. If necessary, add more flour or cream/milk.
  5. Use your fingers to press dough into a ball and remove from the bowl. Cover and allow to rest 10+ minutes. Divide dough into 4 sections. Smash each section into a flat pancake with the palm of your hand on a floured board. It's OK to be liberal with the flour.
Rolling Out the Dough
  1. Set noodle machine thickness to 1 and roll one dough patty between the smooth rollers. Fold over and put through machine again.
  2. Repeat process at least 4-5 times until sheet of dough is smooth and shiny. Do this with each patty. Although this sounds time consuming, it goes fast once you get the hang of it.
  3. Set thickness of smooth rollers on 2 and roll each sheet through once or twice, tugging slightly on the dough as you pull it through. Keep moving the roller thickness up a notch and repeat the process. I like my noodles as thin as possible so I go all the way to 6 on my machine.
  4. Along the way, use flour whenever necessary to keep dough from sticking. As dough strips get thinner, they get longer. Cut in half cross-wise as needed.
  5. When noodles reach desired thinness, lay them out to rest and dry making sure there is no overlap between strips.
  6. When noodles have dried just enough (again, experience is the best teacher), cut strips as long as you want your noodles. I usually make mine 3-4 inches.
  7. Feed strips through the fine noodle cutter. Noodles should NOT stick together as they come out of the cutter. If they do, allow dough to dry longer or dust with more flour.
  8. You may cook fresh-cut noodles immediately. Otherwise, allow cut noodles to dry for several hours. Occasionally toss cut noodles with fingers to encourage even drying. When brittle, place in zippered plastic bag and store in a cool, dry place for up to a week or freeze.
To Cook
  1. Pour 3 cups rich chicken or turkey stock into a medium saucepan and boil. Reserve 1 cup of stock.
  2. Drop noodles into boiling broth and cook until tender--about 1 minute if noodles are fresh and undried. If dried, cook longer--5-6 minutes. Turn off the heat. Do not drain.
  3. As noodles sit in the hot broth, the noodles will absorb moisture and the entire mixture will thicken slightly--perfect for serving over or next to mashed potatoes.
  4. Add remaining broth if necessary to keep noodles moist. Like all pasta, they will absorb more liquid the longer they marinate in broth.

 

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{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Angell Vasko November 27, 2013 at 8:31 am

I am so excited to see your post about egg noodles for the holidays! Growing up in Indiana I too thought everyone did this for the holidays and was dismayed when I moved around the country and found out only my Indiana family did. Thank you for making me realized it was not just family!

Reply

Paula December 1, 2013 at 8:26 am

Angell, Did you have your noodles for Thanksgiving? We had them at my sister’s house in Alabama. Wonderful! Talk about comfort food. That is the ultimate.

Reply

Tina November 22, 2012 at 1:01 pm

Oh, I’m so homesick right now!!! These are like the noodles I grew up eating. Every holiday my Grandmother made a huge pot of these. They were everyone’s favorite item on the table. I am from Indiana as well and now live in Texas. Just like Paula, I thought everybody ate noodles like these. Seems odd that I am making them now without having a my entire family with me to devour them. Thank you Paula.

Reply

Marilou September 9, 2012 at 8:46 am

I have been making noodles w/ machine since my mother had to order crank machine from Italy (over 50 years ago). When RA hit I could no longer crank so my son bought me the same type machine w/ a motor.
I have used every recipe known and they are all good as long as they contain eggs.
Love your site.

Reply

Paula September 9, 2012 at 9:48 pm

Hi Marilou,
What a thoughtful and generous son you have. I’m looking forward to making noodles soon for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Good to hear from you.

Reply

Jules @ Everyday Mommy January 3, 2011 at 12:44 am

I just keep staring at these noodles.

Reply

sis December 24, 2010 at 11:08 am

Aaaaah yes! As a certain smell can bring back so many memories, so the sight of homemade noodles reminds me of past family holidays, traditions, fun, Rook games and board games, lots of noise and laughter with aunts, uncles, and cousins. I even confess to a few tears over the memories of Grandma Herd rolling out noodles and pie dough in her kitchen with that feed-sack apron.
Merry Christmas to you and all the family in Texas Gotta run and get my noodles rolled out and cut. (by hand)

Reply

Gina December 24, 2010 at 10:42 am

Yum! Noodles are one of my favorite holiday foods! Allen also grew up eating noodles, so we’ve made them a couple of times. Maybe we’ll have to make some this weekend. Thanks for the great post!

Reply

Debbie December 24, 2010 at 8:18 am

Homemade noodles! I love the thought but have not tasted and cannot imagine making. I have trouble making the bread machine work but you inspired me to try that at least. The Italian in me loves any pasta, of course, but I will have to hope that you will share your homemade noodles with me some day so I can have the tasty experience.

Reply

Paula December 23, 2010 at 10:19 pm

Thanks Derinda. I’m sure Ellie will have many, many good memories in Kay’s kitchen, not the least of which is making gingerbread houses. I heard they did a good job this year.

Reply

Derinda December 23, 2010 at 9:24 pm

I am sure saliva is dripping down my chin right now… I sure hope my mom comes through with the noodles for Christmas dinner!
This post seems extra special…I love your sweet memories that originated in the kitchen! I am imagining Ellie having very similar memories with Grandma Kay.
Perfect Christmas post!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Reply

Lori December 23, 2010 at 7:56 pm

Noodles. My favorite comfort food. The recipe for these noodles is very similar to my Grandma’s (who was also from Indiana). She made them the way her mother made them. Each generation seems to add or do something different/additional to the recipe. I added a bit of yellow food coloring to the egg mixture to make the noodles richer. I see that you don’t add meat to the noodles. Still good no doubt. We didn’t eat them with gravy as the thickened broth became a gravy of sorts. Sometimes she would make beef and noodles, but we much preferred the chicken version. We also ate them on top of mashed potatoes. Sometimes that’s all we would eat. A plate full of chicken and noodles over mashed potatoes. Nothing is better!!!

Reply

Paula December 23, 2010 at 10:18 pm

Oh yes, forgot about the food coloring. I have done that in the past too. And some of my family prefers beef broth instead of chicken just as you mentioned. And my noodles often have bits of chicken in them, especially if I make them outside of a holiday.

So glad you dropped by.

Reply

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