Monday, November 19, 2012

Homemade Gluten Free Soba Buckwheat Noodles Recipe- Vegan, Pasta Maker Friendly

I had store credit at this hardware/household type store, and they didn't really have anything that I needed,so I decided to use that credit to get myself an extra- a pasta maker. I figured, since gluten free pasta is so expensive, if I could make my own it would be cheaper.
The thing is- you don't really need a pasta maker to make your own pasta- it's very doable with no special equipment. However, a pasta maker streamlines the process, and makes it much easier to make your own pasta in even less time and with less effort, so that making homemade fresh pasta is no big deal, and can be done on a regular basis and not just on special occasions.

So, smart me bought a pasta maker.
And then I discovered that my standard homemade gluten free noodles are too flimsy to go in the pasta maker. So it just sat there on the shelf unused for a few months.
Until I discovered this recipe.

Soba noodles are a type of noodle originating from Japan, made out of buckwheat flour. I was very excited when I heard about this type of noodle, because obviously it would be gluten free. Right? Wrong. Soba noodle recipes almost always always always have wheat in them, or at least that's what I've found with the online recipes.
And then the few gluten free soba noodle recipes I was able to find had egg in it, something I've been avoiding lately.
So I shelved the idea of making soba noodles.

But then I found this recipe for gluten free soba noodles that are pasta maker friendly, and because I was so excited by the pasta maker friendly recipe, I cheated and made those noodles, egg and all. They were perfectly textured, worked terrifically in the machine... But now I wanted to figure out how to make it cheaper and egg free, but without any packaged egg replacer.

Here's my version.
It works terrifically.
Its very versatile. Tastes yummy. Is easy to make. And did I mention that it works terrifically in the pasta maker, and also by hand, as its such an easy dough to work with?
In short- its so perfect you won't believe it's gluten free.

You can make these noodles and use them fresh, or you can leave them out and let them dry, so that you have noodles that you can just pop onto the stove whenever you want.
My favorite way to have these is with soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic powder, salt, scallions, and sesame seeds.

I've included some pasta maker tips that I've discovered via trial and error, for those, who, like me, are pasta maker novices, so that your pasta making goes more smoothly.

Homemade Gluten Free Soba Buckwheat Noodles Recipe- Vegan, Pasta Maker Friendly

2 cups buckwheat flour
1 1/3 c potato starch, corn starch, or tapioca starch
4 tablespoons ground flax seeds
10 tablespoons warm water
6 teaspoons xanthan gum
1 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons oil
5 tablespoons cool water
2 teaspoons garlic powder (optional)

1. In a large bowl, combine the buckwheat flour, starch, xanthan gum, salt, and garlic, if using.

2. In another container, mix ground flax seeds with warm water. Mix well, and let sit for 5-10 minutes, or until it gels up.

3. Mix the gelled flax seeds with the flour, then add the cool water and oil.

4. Mix very well, trying to encorporate all the flour into the dough. If there seems to be too much flour, add water a little bit at a time until you are able to mix all the flour in and get a good, firm, workable dough. If by accident you add too much water and the dough is sticky, that's fine. Just add a little buckwheat flour at a time until the dough is perfect.

5. Now you roll out your dough. If you don't have a pasta maker, flour your work surface, and use a rolling pin to roll out the dough very thinly. Once rolled, cut to the desired shapes, either with a pizza cutter, or a knife and cook.

6. If using a pasta maker, you should look to see what your pasta maker has. My pasta maker has one slot that makes flat wide strips of pasta, with adjustable thicknesses. There is also a slot to make spaghetti, and a slot to make linguini. What you can't do is just stick your ball of dough into the spaghetti slot and crank out spaghetti.
First, you have to make the dough into thin, flat strips, like in the picture below. You need the flat, wide pasta slot in the machine. But before you do that, you should know that you can't just plop a ball of dough into the machine and get a nice looking peice of pasta. You first need to roll it out a drop- a full centimeter thick is fine, but not thicker than that. Just roll it out somewhat, flour it a drop, then stick it into the flattening slot of the machine on the widest setting.
Once you used the machine to get a nice piece of rolled wide pasta, you can then roll it thinner by adjusting the thickness on the machine, and running the rolled piece of pasta through the machine again, this time on the thinner slot.

Once the pasta is the thickness you want, then you can put it in the spaghetti or linquini slot, or keep it uncut to make lasagna, stuffed canolini, or ravioli.

Once cut, you can then lay out on a tray for 12-24 hours to dry (toss them occasionally so they don't stick) and then put away. Or you can boil and use immediately.

Here's some stuffed cannolini/lasagna roll ups that my son made with these soba noodles.

Plain cooked soba noodles

Soba noodles with tomato sauce.

Soba noodles with soy sauce, sesame oil, scallions, garlic, and got pepper flakes.

Variations: If gluten isn't an issue for you, replace the xanthan gum and potato/tapioca starch with wheat flour, and adjust the water as necessary.
If egg isn't a problem for you, feel free to replace the flax seeds and warm water with 2 eggs. Adjust the rest of the water as needed.

Have you ever eaten soba noodles before? Homemade or store bought? What is your favorite way to have soba noodles?
Do you have a pasta maker? Did you ever use one? My "trick" for pasta making about the different settings, does that need to be done with all types of pasta, or is this recipe special? 
If you don't have a pasta maker, do you ever make pasta from scratch? How often?
Does this look like a recipe you'd try?

Linking up to Allergy Free Wednesday 


  1. Very helpful, very thoughtful, very inspiring. I think I'll give it a try, especially as you gave the alternative to flax seed, which I can't ingest because it is high in Vitamin E which thins the blood.

    Many thanks.

  2. Thanks for sharing. Hopefully one day I'll get to try it.. my pasta maker has sat unused for about 8 years but I got it out again tonight and made some rice noodles which were all gooey. Your recipe sounds much better :)


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