What flour and technique do I need for hand pulled noodles?
By Chad, cooking.stackexchange.com
For hand pulled noodles you need:
Bread flour (wet gluten 29-30%, protein 11%-12%)
45% added water
1% alkaline solution
kansui powder or (Lye Water + Baking powder) or Peng or Baking Soda
Ingridents (Alkaline solutions)
55% sodium carbonate (Na2CO3),
35% potassium carbonate (K2CO3),
10% sodium biphosphate dodecahydrate (NaHPO3.12H2O)
Instant ash Peng
sodium carbonate (Na2CO3) 90%
Sodium chloride (NaCl) 1.15%
It is recommended to use bread flour because of it’s higher wet gluten content compared to normal white flour. You will also need a small amount of alkaline’s. One recommendation is to use kansui powder, due to its ph of 11. If Kansui isn’t available, the next option would be baking powder and lye water. If either isn’t avaliable the next option would be to use sodium carbonate 1% of total weight flour weight (eg.. if you use 100g of flour to use 1g of sodium carbonate). If you’re using a lower gluten dough like (all purpose flour) then baking powder will do just fine. If you’re using cake flour then use baking soda.
Remember to put the kansui/baking soda/baking powder/sodium carbonate mix it in with the flour before adding water.
Sodium carbonate vs potassium carbonate:
I’ve haven’t had success with bread flour, plain flour or all purpose flour with potassium carbonate. Even though it increases the ph of the dough it still does not give the dough its stretchability.
Why use alkaline solution in the first place?! Alkaline solution will increase the water absorption and creation of gluten of the dough to enable it to be pulled sooner than normally leaving the dough to rest at room tempature for 45 min to 60 minutes. The downside of the Alkaline solution it also breaks down gluten after the peak absorption is achieve. So on one side you have faster absorption but the down side the dough will become more resilient to pulling if left to long.
For a non alkaline solution use this tutorial, it will cover all the basics that you will need to learn and you WILL need to use all purpose flour or plain flour.
In conclusion: Without sodium carbonate it’s possible to have hand pulled noodles with any flour. The down side is you will need to kneed the dough for 45 minutes and leave to rest for 2 hrs until you can start pulling your noodle strands.