A relatively simple gluten free pasta dough that cooks beautifully. Gluten free fresh pasta is totally achievable with a few extra steps and some patience. This dough can be used for most pasta shapes including ravioli. A wonderful recipe to have on hand for any gluten free family members or friends.
Hi! Ok so I am sitting here writing this up and feeling quite daunted! The first thing I have to say is this might not be an instant success like a gluten based pasta dough would be. The main reason for that is the multitude of different gluten free flours available. They are all made from different flours with different ratios and I cannot test them all! I have made GF pasta with lots of different flours and I find that the knack to getting it right happens in the rolling not in the flour used, so that is what I have focused on. It can crumble and tear so easily so I have developed a method that ensures a smooth and strong dough. You will make this work I promise, it might just take a couple of practices. At some stage I might come up with the perfect ratio of of different flours you can mix but I wanted it to be easier than that. I tend to shy away from recipes that you have to buy 5 different flours for.
What gluten free flour should I use?
If only I had a real answer to this! The truth is you might need to experiment with a couple. I tested this recipe with a really generic supermarket gluten free flour, this Edmonds one if you live in New Zealand. The ingredients listed were maize, tapioca, rice flour and vegetable gums. The first test worked OK but the dough was quite tough to work with and slightly too dry. Gluten free flours soak up moisture much more than a regular flour so I knew I needed to up the hydration.
The second test I upped the eggs and added a tablespoon of oil and it worked perfectly. I was so pleased with it! I had a different gluten free flour in my cupboard so I thought I would do a third test to see how it worked. It was so different! With exactly the same amount of flour and eggs the dough was SO sticky. So this is my point. Every gluten free flour is going to behave so differently so it may be a case of needing to add a touch more flour to make it into a workable dough. Ideally in the future I will come up with the perfect blend myself that you can make up at home. For now just use whatever you can find and let's see how it goes!
Ingredients for gluten free pasta dough
Gluten Free Flour - Obviously! If you are gluten free yourself then you will no doubt have a favourite. If not, maybe ask friends who may have tried some for a recommendation. You might want to try a couple to see what gets the best result.
Xanthan Gum - This is the key ingredient to get this dough behaving like it has gluten. It acts as a binding agent and gives the dough strength and elasticity. It won't ever be as elastic as a gluten dough but enough to be able to keep the pasta sheets from tearing too much. PLEASE NOTE: Lots of GF flours on the market already have xanthan gum in them so please check if it does as you can lower the amount you add in. I buy mine from a local organic store, you should be able to find it easily if you google it in your area.
Eggs - Free range is always preferable. Size doesn't matter as we weigh the amount added.
Olive Oil - Just adds a touch of hydration to the dough as GF doughs can be dry and crumbly.
Salt - I have added a pinch of salt just to add some flavour. Some GF flours can have a bit of a strange taste. It doesn't really matter as you'll be adding it to a delicious sauce anyway.
Equipment you will need
Kitchen scales - weighing the ingredients is absolutely crucial. I provide no equivalent in cups as I want you to have the best chance for success.
Food processor - I think this dough is easier to bring together in a food processor. Truth be told it is sometimes how I do a regular pasta dough too. Definitely do it on the bench or in a bowl adding the eggs to the middle if you would prefer.
Rolling pin - I like to do some of the rolling with a rolling pin, I think it prepares the dough for going into the pasta roller. It's been the key to my success of getting a smooth and strong dough.
Pasta roller - You can definitely roll a gluten dough just with a rolling pin but for a gluten free dough I think a roller is key. It helps make the dough smoother and stronger and I think it would be extremely difficult by hand. I have a marcato which I highly recommend. You can get them anywhere in the world.
How to make gluten free pasta dough
I am going to take you through a step by step guide from the mixing to the rolling, please read this thoroughly. I know I put in a lot of detail but I hope this makes it more achievable for you.
- Combine the flour, xanthan gum and salt in a bowl and mix throughly to incorporate.
- Weigh out the eggs by placing a bowl on the scales and cracking each egg into the bowl until you get to the right weight. It was around 5 eggs for me. When you have cracked in four and you think five might be too much then mix an egg into a cup then dribble it in to get up to the right amount. It will just depend on the size of the eggs you have, they vary in weight a lot that is why I am so specific about them.
- Tip the flour into a food processor and add the eggs. Blend until it starts to form a solid clump it shouldn't take longer than 10 seconds or so. It won't form a perfect ball.
- Tip it out onto the bench and squeeze it together into a ball and knead for 3 - 4 mins. The key thing to know is that it won't ever be a perfectly smooth dough ball like a regular pasta dough so don't stress! After 3 - 4 mins wrap in plastic wrap and rest for 10 mins.
- NOTE: One of my tests with a different flour the dough was SO much stickier than the first batches so if it is sticking to the bench when you are kneading then it needs more flour. You can't go too wrong here so sprinkle the dough with a teaspoon of flour and keep kneading, adding more flour as you go until it no longer sticks to the bench. Just be patient and keep adding a sprinkle to the dough until it doesn't feel tacky. Don't stress about it being perfect. It shouldn't feel dry and it shouldn't feel sticky or tacky so just somewhere in between.
- Once it has rested give it another knead for two mins then wrap it up tightly again and rest for 30 mins. When you rest a regular pasta dough you do so to allow the gluten to relax. You might think resting this dough is unnecessary but I found it made it easier to work with.
- Once rested divide the dough into four pieces, working with one quarter at a time and keeping the rest tightly wrapped.
How to roll the pasta dough
- If you just passed the dough ball through your pasta roller like normal you'd probably find it would crumble, tear and have holes in it. I find doing some of the work with a rolling pin helps this tremendously.
- Squeeze the quarter of dough into a round ball. Flatten with the heel of your hand on a wooden chopping board.
- Roll it out with a rolling pin, rotating it 90 degrees every few rolls and flipping it over every so often. Roll it out until it is 0.5cm.
- I know it is a bit wasteful but I trim the sides which can be crumbly and make it into more of a rectangle shape as pictured. I trim the sides throughout the process.
- Lightly dust with flour and pass it through the roller at it's widest setting. Fold it in half width wise and roll it with a rolling pin up and down and side to side just to get the layers sticking.
- Dust with flour and roll back through at the widest setting.
- Repeat that process twice more. When you have folded it in half for the third time, take it through all the settings, dusting in between if you need. Stop at setting four. Fold the sheet into three (or just judge how wide you need to fold it to fit through the width of the machine). Rolling pin it back and forth, side to side again.
- Trim any crumbling sides off.
- Take it back through setting two then back through each setting until you reach five. I tend to stop at five on my marcato (so stop at your equivilent) for GF pasta dough, any thinner and I think it becomes too easy to tear.
- You should have a nice smooth sheet of pasta to use however you wish!
What can I do with the finished sheets?
Honestly, you should be able to do almost anything with them! My favourite is always my homemade pappardelle. The dough is stable and elastic enough to make into a ravioli shape though. Check out my reels on instagram for folding cappelletti which is a really easy shape to make with this dough. As seen here in a simple butter sauce with lemon and spinach.
What sauce should I pair the gluten free pasta with?
There are no rules (except it needs to be gluten free!). It will work with any sauce at all and the majority of my sauces are gluten free! If this is your first time making pasta or GF pasta then maybe go for something super easy like my creamy tomato sauce (seen below!) or my creamy nduja pasta sauce.
Cooking the gluten free pasta
I find it takes a touch longer. For a pappardelle I would normally only cook it for 2 mins but I found this needed 4 - 5 mins. Just taste as you go to see what you prefer, it's totally personal preference.Print