Here is our story about our experience comparing semolina flour versus all-purpose flour when making homemade pasta using goose eggs.
It all started a couple weeks ago when we went to dinner with some friends and one of them had just bought some goose eggs from a local farmer. We all decided it would be fun to have a dinner party and everyone pitch in to make pasta. We had this dinner last Sunday and it was a fun evening of wine, pasta, and good company.
Last Sunday, Steve used a recipe he found online that used a combination of goose eggs and chicken eggs. His recipe also called for a mixture of semolina flour and all-purpose flour. I can’t find the recipe he used but it had all the elements of a standard pasta recipe: eggs, flour, salt, olive oil and water. When the dinner was over, Steve sent us home with some goose eggs so we could try them out ourselves.
Since we had never used semolina before, we picked some up at the grocery store so we could try using it in our own pasta. Yesterday we decided to make two batches of pasta to compare using the different flours in our pasta. The first batch is using a goose egg with semolina flour and the second batch is using one goose egg with all-purpose flour. We really are just doing this so we can do a side-by-side comparison of the two flours.
Something to know about goose eggs is that they are very large and have large, bright yellow yokes. The ones we got seem to be about the size or 2 or 3 chicken eggs. We had to compensate a little with the flour quantity to get the right texture for the dough but we’ve made enough dough to be able to do so without much trouble.
Pasta from Semolina Flour and Goose egg:
For the first batch of pasta, we used Bob’s Red Mill Semolina Pasta Flour that we bought at our local grocery store. If you can’t find it in your store, you can buy some online. Since we hadn’t made any pasta like this before, we used the recipe on the package.
- 1 1/2 cup of semolina flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs (we substituted 1 goose egg)
- 2 tablespoons water
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
Pasta from All-Purpose Flour and Goose Egg:
For this batch, we used regular all-purpose flour but we didn’t have a recipe to use for comparison. I went with a recipe from one of my favorite TV Chefs, Lidia Bastianich. The proportions are slightly different, but basically the same recipe.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- 2 large eggs (we substituted one goose egg)
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 3 tablespoons of cold water
Instructions for both pasta recipes
Since we wanted to compare the two flours, we used the same mixing process.
Combine the flour and salt in a large bowl. In a second bowl, add the egg and beat it to mix it up then add the water and olive oil. Next, add the egg, water, and olive oil mixture to the semolina flour and salt. Mix in the bowl until you have a stiff dough. Then move it onto a floured counter top and knead the dough for 10 minutes. Then, put the dough into a zip-lock bag and allow it to rest for at least 20 minutes.
After resting the past, we used our pasta roller to get down to the 2nd thinnest setting and then used the linguine cutter on the pasta roller to cut the pasta in a consistent manner.
Summary of our comparison:
We really wanted to taste a difference in the two pastas, however, we really didn’t taste a difference. There was a slight textural difference but I don’t think it was enough that I would have noticed it.
- When we were mixing the pasta and kneading it, the semolina mixture was grittier and stickier so I was a little concerned. The all-purpose flour mixture was very silky and smooth and seemed like it was exactly what you wanted.
- However, after resting, the texture was reversed and the semolina was not near as sticky and it went through the pasta roller without any trouble. The all-purpose flour had become stickier and we to add some flour to keep it from sticking to the pasta roller as it went through.
- Cooking the pasta seemed to be identical in time needed to cook them. We cooked it in small batches for about 3 minutes per batch.
- The taste of the final pasta really was indistinguishable. I couldn’t tell a difference when it came to taste.
- The final texture is where we saw the biggest difference. Even though we rolled both pasta mixtures the same way and to the same setting, however, the semolina flour seemed thicker, even though it should have been exactly the same thickness. Once cooked, it held onto the seemingly thicker status and seemed more substantial and toothsome. The semolina pasta also seemed more structurally stable. However, I don’t think it was enough to have noticed if you weren’t intentionally doing a side-by-side comparison.
- I would like to try this comparison again using regular store bought chicken eggs just to see if it was goose eggs that made the difference.
Here is Ryder checking out the pasta as it was resting.
Ryder checking out our rolled pasta
Just for fun, here are some pictures from our first experiment using the goose eggs last weekend. This first picture is one goose egg in a bowl. You can see the two chicken eggs in the background for a comparison of the size.
Goose egg in a bowl
Here is a picture of the bowl with 2 goose eggs (on the left side) and 2 chicken eggs (on the right side).
Mixing bowl with 2 goose eggs and 2 chicken eggs
Here is one of us using the chitarra to cut the past.
Here we are using the chitarra to cut the pasta.
This is Curt breaking open the first goose egg. You can tell by his voice that he was surprised at the size of this egg.
Finally, here is a clip of Steve using the chitarra for the first time.