Grandma’s Homemade Thin Egg Noodles Recipe

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Sneak Preview: Grandma’s Homemade Thin Egg Noodles recipe is made with a food processor and a simple hand-crank pasta machine. Even though Grandma made hers by hand, these are every bit as delicious, and much simpler.

Skinny Homemade Egg Noodles-- served with mashed potatoes and gravy

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My grandma made her famous thin noodles by hand. I can still picture her wearing a full-length apron over a simple cotton dress with her long gray hair twisted into a bun. Her work area was an aqua-colored Formica-topped breakfast table.

Grandma’s hand-mixed dough submitted to her silver-handled rolling pin with little resistance. After the noodle sheets dried, she cut wide strips and stacked them. Finally, she cut each stack crosswise into slivers she described as “thin as frog’s hair.” When asked her secret to great noodles, I remember her saying, “It’s all in the broth.”

Why make skinny or fine egg yolk noodles?

TRADITION!

And they taste outstanding, too.

Here’s the problem:

In our family, the noodle recipe is controversial. I asked around but could find no consensus.

Aunt Marg says the best noodles come from using only egg yolks, cake flour, a dab of cream, and salt. That formula would result in some very tender noodles indeed, but she didn’t specify amounts.

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thin egg noodles drying on the counter

Ingredients and substitutions:

  • FLOUR: The recipe specifies all-purpose flour. My aunt used cake flour which produces the tenderest noodles known to man. Please note that you are not going for chewy noodles such as you would serve with spaghetti. A high-protein flour (such as bread flour or whole wheat) would make chewier noodles.
  • SALT: Any kind of salt if fine. You don’t need much. However, the broth should be well-seasoned with salt.
  • BAKING POWDER: The baking powder is an obscure detail I sem to remember copying from my best friend’s recipe book. Maybe Gran gave her some insider information or perhaps it was her own mother’s recipe. I’m not sure. At any rate, it can be omitted if you prefer. I think it give the noodles a touch of lightness.
  • EGG YOLKS: Using egg yolks only will make rich and deeply colored noodles. If you prefer, use one egg and one yolk for lighter colored noodles that aren’t quite as rich.
  • HEAVY CREAM: Substitute whole milk for cream if you don’t have it. Your noodles won’t be as rich, that they will still taste fabulous.
  • STOCK: My first choice would be freshly-made turkey or chicken broth. Substitute canned broth, buoillon paste, or buoillon cubes if nothing else is available.

How to serve thin egg noodles:

One thing we agree about is how to eat these noodles. Serve and eat skinny egg noodles with mashed potatoes and gravy. If that doesn’t sound good to you, I’m guessing you aren’t a Midwesterner. No problem. Add some chicken or beef and plenty of quality broth. You’ll love them.

Since I’ve moved to Texas, I like to throw some cornbread dressing and buttered corn into the mix too. I’ll spare you a picture of that concoction.

If chicken stock isn’t your favorite, try cooking these noodles in beef stock. That’s the way my sister-in-law always does it. Her grown grandkids go crazy for them.

skinny egg noodles

What you should know about making homemade Thin Egg Noodles:

1. You can mix, roll and cut these by hand, but I prefer a simple noodle machine.

A pasta machine will produce noodles much skinnier than I can cut. With that in mind, the directions on this post are for a noodle machine. Grandma would have nothing to do with a machine.

2. Your noodles will be no better than your stock. Grandma said so.

My favorite way to prepare chicken stock is to put the bones of a rotisserie chicken into a slow cooker overnight.  If you prefer, you could try the recipe I use for my Chicken and Dumplings, but I would leave out the lemon juice.

3. Don’t be deceived by the small amount of dough produced by this recipe.

It has a way of birthing babies, and you will begin to think you won’t finish cutting noodles before Santa drops down the chimney.

This recipe makes enough for 4-5 people or even more if there’s a lot of other food, such as Thanksgiving. I usually double the recipe for a big family gathering.

4. Don’t throw out the egg whites with the shells.

Grandma and my sister-in-law, Susan, always make angel food cake with the leftover egg whites. If you like that idea, here are a few ideas: Espresso Angel Food Cake, Chocolate and Vanilla Angel Food Cake with Dipped Cone Ising, Snowball Cake

Mixing up the dough in a food processor:

Add flour to the food processor bowl along with salt and baking powder. Pulse several times to mix. Add egg yolks and half of the cream to dry ingredients and process until the texture of cornmeal.

homemade egg noodles with gravy and mashed potatoes

Gradually add the rest of the cream by dripping it until the mixture is just damp enough to stick together when pressed with your hand. It should not be wet or excessively sticky.

Knowing when you’ve added the right amount of liquid takes some experience best learned from your own mistakes or while watching over Grandma’s shoulder. If necessary, add more flour or cream/milk if needed.

How to roll out skinny noodle dough:

First: Use your fingers to press the dough into a ball and remove it from the bowl. Cover and allow to rest 10+ minutes. Next, divide the dough into four sections. Smash each section into a flat pancake with the palm of your hand on a floured board. It’s OK, even advisable, to be liberal with the flour.

Kneading the dough

Second: Set noodle machine thickness to 1 and roll one dough patty between the smooth rollers. Fold over and put through the machine again.

Repeat the process at least 4-5 times until the sheet of dough is smooth and shiny. Do this with each patty.

how to "knead" homemade egg noodles with a machine

Although this sounds time-consuming, it goes fast once you get the hang of it.

Set the thickness of the smooth rollers on #2 and roll each sheet through once or twice, tugging slightly on the dough as you pull it through. Keep moving the roller thickness up a notch and repeat the process. I like my noodles as thin as possible, so I go all the way to 5 or 6 on my machine.

Along the way, use flour whenever necessary to keep the dough from sticking. As dough strips get thinner, they get longer. Cut in half crosswise as needed.

Cutting the noodles:

Third: When noodles reach your desired thinness, lay them out to rest and dry. There should be no overlap between the strips. After the noodles are dry enough (again, experience is the best teacher), cut strips as long as you want your noodles to be. I usually make mine 3-4 inches.

Feed strips through the fine noodle cutter. Noodles should NOT stick together as they come out of the cutter. If they do, allow the dough to dry longer or dust with more flour.

showing how to cut the noodles with a machine

Cook freshly-cut noodles immediately. Otherwise, allow the noodles to dry for several hours.

When you’re hanging out in the kitchen:

Occasionally, walk over to the noodles and give them a quick toss with your fingers to encourage even drying. When brittle, place noodles in a zippered plastic bag and store them in a cool, dry place for up to a week or freeze.

How to cook egg yolk noodles:

Pour 3 cups of rich chicken or turkey stock into a medium saucepan and boil. Save back 1 cup of chicken or turkey stock to the side. Drop noodles into boiling broth and cook until tender–about 1 minute if noodles are fresh and undried. If dried, cook longer–5-6 minutes.

Turn off the heat but do not drain. As the cooked noodles sit in the hot broth, they absorb moisture, and the mixture will thicken slightly. That’s exactly what you want for serving over or next to mashed potatoes.

Add the remaining broth, if necessary, to keep your noodles moist. Like all pasta, they will absorb more liquid the longer they marinate in broth.

p.s. Did I mention this recipe is not for beginners unless you have a grandma beside you?


If you have questions or suggestions, email me privately to Paula at saladinajar.com. Hope to see you again soon! Paula

skinny egg noodles

Thin Egg Noodle Recipe: A Holiday Tradition

The recipe and instructions for these thin egg noodles uses a food processor and a simple pasta machine.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 45 mins
Cook Time 5 mins
Total Time 50 mins
Course Vegetables and Side Dishes
Servings 10 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour - 120 gr
  • Pinch of salt
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 egg yolks - from large eggs
  • ¼ cup heavy cream - (or whole milk) 59 gr
  • 1 quart seasoned chicken or turkey stock - 908 gr

Instructions
 

Making the noodle dough:

  • Add flour to food processor bowl along with salt and baking powder. Pulse several times to mix.
  • Add egg yolks and half of the cream to dry ingredients and process until texture of corn meal.
  • Gradually drip in the rest of the cream until the mixture is just damp enough to stick together when pressed with your hand. It should not be wet or excessively sticky.
  • Knowing when you’ve added the right amount of liquid takes some experience best learned from your own mistakes or while watching over Grandma’s shoulder. If necessary, add more flour or cream/milk.
  • Use your fingers to press dough into a ball and remove from the bowl. Cover and allow to rest 10+ minutes. Divide dough into 4 sections. Smash each section into a flat pancake with the palm of your hand on a floured board. It’s OK to be liberal with the flour.

Rolling out the dough:

  • Set noodle machine thickness to 1 and roll one dough patty between the smooth rollers. Fold over and put through machine again.
  • Repeat process at least 4-5 times until sheet of dough is smooth and shiny. Do this with each patty. Although this sounds time consuming, it goes fast once you get the hang of it.
  • Set thickness of smooth rollers on 2 and roll each sheet through once or twice, tugging slightly on the dough as you pull it through. Keep moving the roller thickness up a notch and repeat the process. I like my noodles as thin as possible so I go all the way to 6 on my machine.
  • Along the way, use flour whenever necessary to keep dough from sticking. As dough strips get thinner, they get longer. Cut in half cross-wise as needed.
  • When noodles reach desired thinness, lay them out to rest and dry making sure there is no overlap between strips.
  • When noodles have dried just enough (again, experience is the best teacher), cut strips as long as you want your noodles. I usually make mine 3-4 inches.
  • Feed strips through the fine noodle cutter. Noodles should NOT stick together as they come out of the cutter. If they do, allow dough to dry longer or dust with more flour.
  • You may cook fresh-cut noodles immediately. Otherwise, allow cut noodles to dry for several hours. Occasionally toss cut noodles with fingers to encourage even drying. When brittle, place in zippered plastic bag and store in a cool, dry place for up to a week or freeze.

Cooking the noodles:

  • Pour 3 cups rich chicken or turkey stock into a medium saucepan and boil. Reserve 1 cup of stock.
  • Drop noodles into boiling broth and cook until tender–about 1 minute if noodles are fresh and undried. If dried, cook longer–5-6 minutes. Turn off the heat. Do not drain.
  • As noodles sit in the hot broth, the noodles will absorb moisture and the entire mixture will thicken slightly–perfect for serving over or next to mashed potatoes.
  • Add remaining broth if necessary to keep noodles moist. Like all pasta, they will absorb more liquid the longer they marinate in broth.

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
Thin Egg Noodle Recipe: A Holiday Tradition
Serving Size
 
1 serving
Amount per Serving
Calories
 
118
Calories from Fat 45
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
5
g
8
%
Saturated Fat
 
2
g
13
%
Polyunsaturated Fat
 
1
g
Cholesterol
 
70
mg
23
%
Sodium
 
151
mg
7
%
Carbohydrates
 
13
g
4
%
Fiber
 
1
g
4
%
Sugar
 
2
g
2
%
Protein
 
5
g
10
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Author: Paula Rhodes
Course: Vegetables and Side Dishes
Cuisine: American
Keywords: homemade thanksgiving noodleshow to make traditional egg noodles with a pasta makerthin homemade noodles
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17 Comments

  1. Noodles. My favorite comfort food. The recipe for these noodles is very similar to my Grandma’s (who was also from Indiana). She made them the way her mother made them. Each generation seems to add or do something different/additional to the recipe. I added a bit of yellow food coloring to the egg mixture to make the noodles richer. I see that you don’t add meat to the noodles. Still good no doubt. We didn’t eat them with gravy as the thickened broth became a gravy of sorts. Sometimes she would make beef and noodles, but we much preferred the chicken version. We also ate them on top of mashed potatoes. Sometimes that’s all we would eat. A plate full of chicken and noodles over mashed potatoes. Nothing is better!!!

    1. Oh yes, forgot about the food coloring. I have done that in the past too. And some of my family prefers beef broth instead of chicken just as you mentioned. And my noodles often have bits of chicken in them, especially if I make them outside of a holiday.

      So glad you dropped by.

  2. I am sure saliva is dripping down my chin right now… I sure hope my mom comes through with the noodles for Christmas dinner!
    This post seems extra special…I love your sweet memories that originated in the kitchen! I am imagining Ellie having very similar memories with Grandma Kay.
    Perfect Christmas post!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Thanks Derinda. I’m sure Ellie will have many, many good memories in Kay’s kitchen, not the least of which is making gingerbread houses. I heard they did a good job this year.

  4. Homemade noodles! I love the thought but have not tasted and cannot imagine making. I have trouble making the bread machine work but you inspired me to try that at least. The Italian in me loves any pasta, of course, but I will have to hope that you will share your homemade noodles with me some day so I can have the tasty experience.

  5. Yum! Noodles are one of my favorite holiday foods! Allen also grew up eating noodles, so we’ve made them a couple of times. Maybe we’ll have to make some this weekend. Thanks for the great post!

  6. Aaaaah yes! As a certain smell can bring back so many memories, so the sight of homemade noodles reminds me of past family holidays, traditions, fun, Rook games and board games, lots of noise and laughter with aunts, uncles, and cousins. I even confess to a few tears over the memories of Grandma Herd rolling out noodles and pie dough in her kitchen with that feed-sack apron.
    Merry Christmas to you and all the family in Texas Gotta run and get my noodles rolled out and cut. (by hand)

  7. Jules @ Everyday Mommy says:

    I just keep staring at these noodles.

  8. I have been making noodles w/ machine since my mother had to order crank machine from Italy (over 50 years ago). When RA hit I could no longer crank so my son bought me the same type machine w/ a motor.
    I have used every recipe known and they are all good as long as they contain eggs.
    Love your site.

    1. Hi Marilou,
      What a thoughtful and generous son you have. I’m looking forward to making noodles soon for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Good to hear from you.

  9. Oh, I’m so homesick right now!!! These are like the noodles I grew up eating. Every holiday my Grandmother made a huge pot of these. They were everyone’s favorite item on the table. I am from Indiana as well and now live in Texas. Just like Paula, I thought everybody ate noodles like these. Seems odd that I am making them now without having a my entire family with me to devour them. Thank you Paula.

  10. Angell Vasko says:

    I am so excited to see your post about egg noodles for the holidays! Growing up in Indiana I too thought everyone did this for the holidays and was dismayed when I moved around the country and found out only my Indiana family did. Thank you for making me realized it was not just family!

    1. Angell, Did you have your noodles for Thanksgiving? We had them at my sister’s house in Alabama. Wonderful! Talk about comfort food. That is the ultimate.