Introduction: How to Make Home-Made Noodles or Dumplings
One of the fondest memories I have of holidays when I was younger was making food for Thanksgiving, and Christmas. These were the only times of year where my mother would agree to covering the entire kitchen in flour for the sake of delicious food!
The favorite dish of our festivities was chicken and dumplings (though some think this particular kind is more like noodles)- with a recipe from a cook book that Noah probably saved on the Ark. (It had instructions for plucking your chicken - Seriously.)
They're very easy to make if you don't mind making a bit of a mess, and so much better than store bought!
Step 1: Mixing the Dough
First off, we're going to need a few things to make our dough. You probably already have all of the ingredients if you do any baking/cooking at all in your home.
2 1/2 Cups All Purpose Flour
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1/3 Cup Water
1 Teaspoon of Vegetable oil (Or substitute for olive oil if you wish)
Combine all of your ingredients in a large mixing bowl, and stir with a spoon or fork. After moving the mess around for a while it should start to get clumpy looking, and begin taking shape.
Step 2: Kneading the Dough
If you've ever made bread then you'll be familiar with this step. Once your dough starts to look clumpy it's time to get your hands dirty. Spread some flour on your work surface (counter, table, ect.) to keep the dough from sticking, and start working it. If it's not well together you may want to knead it with your hands in the bowl a bit first.
Keep punching, rolling, and adding pinches of flour as needed - And until your dough has a nice consistency. Some people aren't sure what this is, but keep working until it's nice and solid for cutting. You should be able to tell when you get there.
Step 3: Rolling the Dough
Now that our kitchen, furniture, and probably passing people/pets are totally covered in flour.. we're done with the messy portion for the most part! Next we need to roll out the dough so we can begin cutting out our dumplings. The way I like to do it is roll the dough into a ball, and then start flattening it out with the rolling pin. Adding a bit more flour to the rolling pin, and the table will keep your mixture from sticking, and make the process much smoother.
Step 4: Cutting
Now that we have our rolled out dough we can start cutting the noodles. You can make them any thickness you like. Some people do them a little thiner, but I like mind to be much thicker.
Using a chopper like I have is probably easier, but any old thing will do to cut them. Even a butter knife if that's what you've got. If you wanted I'm sure you could use cookie cutters or something to make some kind of odd shaped noodles.
The picture shown is approximately how many noodles is in one batch. It makes a good amount, but I like a lot of them - So I made two batches for what you see cooking in the pot in the first picture. For two batches just double the recipe; or more if you have that many people to feed. One of the best things about this dish is that you really can make a lot of food without spending much.
Let your noodles dry for a few minutes, and then move on to cooking!
Step 5: Cooking
Cooking is only a matter of boiling the noodles, and can be as complicated or simple as you'd like. They really only take a few minutes to cook themselves.
You can either use store bought broth or boil your very own chicken that you raised yourself for hours on end if that's your style. Turkey is also a good substitution for chicken, and actually has a better flavor I think.
Add your broth to a large cooking pot, and let it come to a boil on low heat. Start adding your dumplings, cover them with a lid, and wait for them to finish cooking. Should look something like the picture below!
They do tend to be much better if you let them sit overnight. I guess they have more time to absorb the flavor, but I never wanted to wait that long. : )
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