Hardly enough time to blog these days. Been some time since the last post! Recently I have been experimenting making dumpling skin and noodles, this is very fun!
Background: In Northern China, people usually consume wheat based foods - making their own dumplings or noodles, unlike here in Singapore, where our staple food is more like people in China's south - mainly rice-based food. You may notice an energy difference after eating wheat vs rice, that's one of the reasons why I prefer wheat. If you are not allergic to wheat, I really suggest making your own dumplings or noodles from wheat flour - it is much better than buying store bought, dried wheat noodles, or store bought wheat bread.
What you need:
Wheat flour and water.
Rolling pin and board.
Knife (for noodles)
Optional: A mixer with a dough hook to beat up your dough, if not you can just mix and knead it with your hands for a longer time.
Optional: A pasta machine. For dumplings, there is no need to use a pasta machine unless you want evenly thin pieces of skin. For chinese dumplings, we want it thicker in the middle and thinner at the edges. For noodles, a pasta machine will be a great aid, though you can still make noodles without one. Below is the method to make flat noodles without a pasta maker.
Mix flour and a little water and beat with the dough hook.
When the consistency of the dough looks dry, add more water, repeat until you get a slightly wet dough that sticks to your hands.
Add flour to the dough and start kneading with your hands.
When the dough feels sticky again add more flour and keep kneading until you get a lump of rather firm dough that is not too dry but does not really stick to your hand.
Note: The mixer saves you a lot of time as it gives you a more or less consistent dough base to work on. If you do not have a mixer you have to work extra hard to get the proper final texture.
Pull out a piece of dough and roll it between your hands and flatten it. Rub some flour on the rolling pin and board to prevent sticking, and flatten the dough with it. Rub some flour on the whole surface of the flattened piece. This is important to keep it from sticking.
Roll it up loosely. Don't roll too tight or it will stick.
Cut it into pieces with a knife.
Unroll each piece and you get noodles. Sprinkle a little flour on them and mix, so they won't stick to one another. Repeat the above steps with the rest of the dough.
End result after cooking...
Handmade dumpling skin
Break the dough up and roll it into a ball. Flatten the ball. Roll each piece into a flat circle (you'll need some practice with this). If you have more time, you can roll and flatten the sides of the flat circle further. To make the dumplings, put some pre-cooked veg in the center of a skin, fold it in half and press the sides together. Pinch the sides bit by bit from one end to the other. See picture below.
Anytime while making noodles or dumpling skins, if you find them start to stick to your hands the rolling pin and board, rub some extra flour on the surface.