Egg Noodles 101 – Mother & Me

Mother (Phyllis Newell) and me making noodles.
    My mother’s homemade noodles are the BEST! If I was asked to identify the Best Food My Mother Ever Made, her homemade noodles, along with roasted chicken and mashed potatoes (not one starch but two) would head the top of the list.
     Mother learned to made them from her mom and she said, “She never used a recipe!” And, neither does my mom – which makes it difficult to replicate. Mom had four sisters but was the only one who really mastered the skill of noodle making. I’m trying to learn but, the truth is -- mine don’t yet measure up to Grandma and Mom’s standard and since Mom makes such good noodles, it’s easy to just let her do it!
     However, after teaching a class on egg foams (we made angel food cake, meringues, 7-minute frosting, etc.), I had an abundance of egg yolks. And, since practice makes perfect, I enlisted Mom for another lesson in noodle making. I admit – I’m not sure I’ll ever to able to “dump and pour” so I've listed the measurements (more or less) below for future reference.
    We made three batches of noodles (about 4½ lb.) and reminisced about past family dinners . . . a great way to spend a rainy afternoon! My mother uses Gold Medal Wondra® flour (a high-quality, bleached, enriched all-purpose instant flour milled from a select blend of wheats; it is extra fine and quick-mixing) but she admitted that her mother used just plain all-purpose flour. I asked her why she had switched and she replied simply, “I just like it!”

Mom's Homemade Egg Noodles
10 egg yolks + 2 whole egg
1/4 to 1/3 cup half-and-half or canned evaporated milk
1 teaspoon salt                       
1 teaspoon baking powder
Gold Medal® Wondra flour – about 3 to 4 cups+

Cooking Tip:
If not otherwise stated, you may assume that large eggs are used in most recipes. 
1 large egg generally yields: 1+ tablespoon yolk, 2 1/4 tablespoons white or 3 1/4 tablespoons total.

1.     Mix yolks, egg, milk, salt and baking powder in mixing bowl; add Wondra® flour, a little at a time, until dough can be handled. 
Mom mixes up the dough in one of Barry's handmade pottery bowls.
2.     Knead dough lightly, working in additional flour as needed.
Mom kneads the noodle dough on a floured surface.
3.     Divide dough into 3 or 4 pieces.
4.     Dust a work surface with additional flour and roll dough thin (about 1/8”) – be sure to move rotate dough as you roll in order to keep it from sticking. Repeat until out pieces have been rolled.
Mom begin rolling out a small ball of dough on a floured surface.
Mom rolls the dough into an elongated oval shape.
It helps to fold dough over periodically and make sure
it is not sticking to the floured surface.
5.    Leave sheets of rolled dough out to dry, turning occasionally for even drying. 
We arranged the sheets of dough on tea  towels.
They were allowed to dry several hours and we turned them 4 or 5 times.
6.     When dry, put 2 to 3 sheets of noodles together and cut very thin.
Mom shows me how to roll the sheets together for quick cutting. 
Note -- when noodles are dry enough, they roll easily & can be cut into thin noodles
Notice how thin Mom is cutting the noodles!
7.     Shake noodles out and leave on drying surface until dry.
Since we made noodles on a rainy day, it took a long time for them to dry.
As a matter of fact, Mom suggested that I cover them and leave overnight.
I did and they were ready to bag the next morning.
8.  Use immediately or bag and freeze for later use.
Bagged noodles are ready to go into the freezer.
To prepare Mom's Chicken and Noodles
1.     Roast a whole chicken according to standard recipe directions (my mom liskes to use a roasting bag). Cool and remove chicken from bone.
2.     Cook noodles in canned chicken broth — bring broth to a boil and add noodles.  Cook until noodles are tender, about 10 to 15 minutes. If you prefer thickened noodles, add some Wondra® flour to broth as noodles cook.
Serve noodles over homemade mashed potatoes along with roasted chicken. YUM!

FAMILY HISTORY -- Homemade chicken and noodles always makes me think of my grandmother.. Grandma was widowed at a young age and raised five daughters by herself. In a family cookbook I put together about 20 years ago, her daughters marvel at her abilities to juggle many tasks (she was a registered nurse, cared for her parents and took in boarders) yet made time for family mealtime. She was an amazing woman!
My maternal grandmother and her five daughters often  enjoyed Chicken & Homemade Noodles for Sunday dinners.

The Jeffries Family, Back row from left - Betty, Phyllis (my mom),  Olive.
Front row from left, Loletha, Bessie (my grandmother), Loletha.

                                               The Jeffries girls as teens.  Front to back -
 Phyllis (my mom), Waunita. Olive, Loletha and Betty.

1 comment:

  1. Making homemade noodles sounds like a fun activity to do on a rainy day! It also sounds like your mom's food is really tasty.