Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Semolina and Sprouted Whole-Wheat Ravioli Dough
Making homemade ravioli is easy, but time consuming. If you don’t have a pasta machine I don’t recommend you try to make ravioli dough by hand. It can be done, but it isn’t easy and normally isn’t rolled thin enough to be pleasant.
This dough has a soft tender texture when cooked. Semolina is light flavored flour unlike the assertive flavor of whole-wheat flour.
If you plan to make ravioli, this is something that is better made ahead since it takes so long. I made mine not long before dinner and was rushing even though I started the dough an hour before dinner. The rolling and filling process always takes longer than you expect it to.
One important thing to remember when making ravioli is that the dough is best worked with when it is first rolled. This means you will roll a sheet or two of dough, fill and form the ravioli and then roll more dough.
Semolina and Sprouted Whole-Wheat Ravioli Dough
Makes enough for approximately 72 ravioli - 2 inch square
2 cups of semolina flour
½ cup of sprouted whole-wheat flour
1 pinch salt
1 cup of water (more or less)
Add dry ingredients to your food processor and pulse to combine. Slowing pour the liquid into the processor while it is running. Stop when you have added ¾ of the water and check the dough texture. Reach into the stopped food processor and grab a chunk of dough the size of a walnut and ball it up in your hands. If the dough sticks together you have added enough water. If it doesn’t turn the processor back on add the water a tablespoon or two at a time and then test the dough consistency.
Remove the dough from the food processor onto a large piece of plastic cling film. Gather the dough into a ball with your hands and wrap it completely in the plastic wrap. Allow the dough to rest for 30 minutes (on the counter is fine) before beginning to roll the dough. When the dough has rested you are ready to roll the dough.
Get your pasta machine (or Kitchen Aid pasta attachment) set on the largest setting. You will also need a large surface to lie out the rolled dough. I use a half sheet pan. Have your flour nearby in case your dough is too damp and needs to be dusted.
Start by cutting off a chunk of the semolina dough that is about ¼ cup in size. This will be enough for two sheets of dough. Begin by flattening the dough with your hands into a reasonably thin flat rectangle. If the dough feels a little damp to the touch lightly dust it with flour and run it through the machine, which you have on the largest setting. If the dough tears it was too thick but this won’t hurt anything. Fold the dough into thirds and run it through the pasta roller again. Continue to fold and roll and pass the dough through on the highest setting. Do this at least 6 times, but more times would also be good. As you do this you will feel the texture of the dough change and become silkier. Dust your dough with flour, as you need it.
After you have rolled the dough on the largest setting at least 6 times you are ready to move the pasta setting down one. I roll the dough twice on each setting as I reduce the thickness of the dough. If you dough gets too long to handle easy cut it in half and make two sheets. Continue rolling until you reach the smallest setting on the pasta machine. Since ravioli is double thickness when filled you want your dough as thin as possible.
When you are finished rolling this one small batch of dough it is time to fill the ravioli. Use a ½ tablespoon measure and place the filling on the sheet of dough about 1 and ½ inches apart. The filling should be on one side of the dough since you are going to fold the dough over on itself to encase the filling.
Use a pastry brush, or your fingers, to moisten the area of dough around the filling to help it seal properly. Now fold over the dough and press the dough together. You want to remove as much air from the filling pocket as possible. This gets much easier the more times you make ravioli.
Use a fluted pastry cutter or knife and separate the sheet of filling dough into ravioli. Lay the filled ravioli on a non-stick half sheet pan, silpat or parchment lined half sheet pan, or a pan that has a light coating of flour. The ravioli can be held in the refrigerator on the sheet pan covered completely covered with plastic cling film for hours. I have made these at lunch and served them for dinner. They will probably hold longer than that if well wrapped but I haven’t tried that.
To cook the ravioli fill a large flat pan with water and bring it to a low boil. Add the ravioli to the pan a few at a time; you don’t want to overcrowd the pan. When the ravioli float they are ready to be served.
Nutritional Information (for the entire recipe):
Amount Per Serving
Calories - 1382.4
Calories From Fat (6%) - 83.7
Total Fat - 13.51g
Saturated Fat - 0.5g
Cholesterol - 0mg
Sodium - 311.14mg
Potassium - 623.67mg
Total Carbohydrates - 287.25g
Fiber - 25.03g
Sugar - 2g
Protein - 50.35g
Making ravioli can be intimidating but it isn’t something you need to be concerned about. Ravioli are actually easy to make, but are time consuming. This is great weekend meal, especially when the weather is getting cooler.
I love making ravioli, but it wasn’t always like that. Tricks I learned in cooking class made ravioli much easier to make. I have included those tricks in the directions above but I wanted to repeat them here so they didn’t get lost.
You want the ravioli dough to be a little on the dry side. That is why I suggest adding ¾’s of the water and test the dough instead of waiting for it to form into a ball. Dried dough is easier to roll out.
Rolling the dough many times on the first setting is actually kneading the dough. The multiple folding and rolling of the dough on the first setting results in a much more resilient dough that doesn’t rip or fall about when cooked.
If you have access to a pasta machine I hope you will try making your own ravioli. I find it to be a meditative process.