Semolina pasta dough is an easy two ingredient dough that comes together really easily. Made with water rather than eggs this quick semolina pasta dough is naturally vegan and can be used to make all sorts of hands rolled pasta shapes. It is the dough I suggest making to any new pasta maker as you don't need a pasta roller. Turn it into easy shapes like my hand rolled gnocchi sardi, a perfect entry level shape. Shapes made from this type of dough have a delicious chewy texture that you will love.
Semolina Pasta Dough
Hello! I am writing up a guide for my semolina pasta dough to go into a bit more depth about this dough. If you have made an egg pasta dough, this will be a breeze. As I state in my where to start for making homemade pasta guide, it is the easiest type of pasta making.
With an egg dough, you need a roller (well you don't, but rolling by hand is HARD!) and with this dough all the shapes are hand rolled. The chewy factor is addictive and I promise you will fall in love with this dough like I have.
What is semolina?
Simple! It is a flour milled from a kind of wheat called durum wheat. It is just a different type of wheat and is often classed as a 'hard wheat'. The '00' flours or even plain flour is more of a 'soft wheat'.
Basically what that means is that shapes made out of a semolina pasta dough will have more of a bite, they often have, in my opinion, a really addictive and delicious chewy factor. When you add semolina into an egg pasta dough it helps to add structure and an al dente bite. That is why I often mix it into '00' flour when making my easy homemade pasta dough.
The difference between Semolina and Semola
This is something that confuses a lot of people and is VERY important! Both are made from exactly the same wheat but are milled differently. Semola is what we call really fine semolina and is the flour you need to use when making this pasta dough, it is also the flour that goes into an egg dough along with '00'.
It will most often labeled semola rimacinata. What is labeled semolina is a much coarser flour but it also used in pasta making, just not in the dough. When making any kind of pasta having the courser semolina on hand is very handy for dusting trays and preventing the pasta from sticking.
What shapes can you make with a semolina pasta dough?
So many! I need to get some more guides written up but until then the first shape you must make is my hand rolled gnocchi sardi pasta. It is hands down the easiest shape to make and the shape I always suggest for people who haven't made pasta before. My favourite pasta shape in the world (HUGE call, I know) is orecchiette, which you can also make with this dough, just with slightly less water.
How to make semolina pasta dough
- Weigh the flour and make a pile on your bench, I like to use the bottom of a bowl to make a firm indent in the flour to pour the water into.
- Pour your water into the middle then use a fork to start mixing the flour in, bringing small bits at a time from the outside into the liquid. It will thicken quite quickly and when it gets really thick bring all the remaining flour into the middle with your hands or a bench scraper.
- This is where I use the dough scraper to cut the dough up and down and side to side to incorporate the flour and water together into a shaggy dough.
- Once you have an even shaggy dough bring it together into a ball, it will seem like a right mess at this point but I promise it will all come together!
- Squeeze the ball together and start to knead it, it needs a fair bit of elbow grease here. Knead for 3 - 4 minutes until it has a dimpled texture, then wrap it in cling film and rest for 10 minutes.
- After 10 minutes continue kneading for 3 - 4 minutes until you have a lovely smooth ball of dough. Wrap tightly and rest at room temperature for at least 30 minutes but preferably an hour or up to three.
Let's talk hydration!
Have you ever heard people talking about the hydration levels in dough? Be it pasta or bread making? It sounds so technical but it's actually really simple, I promise! In most hand rolled pasta shapes, made with this dough the hydration is 50%.
That means that if you use 450g of flour, you would use 50% of that weight in water, so 225g. Easy right?! If you used 400g of flour, you'd use 200g and so on and so on. In my easy homemade pasta dough I use a hydration of about 56%.
An exception to the 50% hydration for this dough is if you are making my homemade orecchiette. It works better with a slightly lower hydration so I do about 46%. That means for 400g flour I would use about 185g water.
Need some sauce inspiration?
The thing I love about semolina pasta dough shapes is they truly go with any sauce. Throw out the rule book and do whatever you like! If you want something simple check out my 10 minute brown butter for pasta or my easy roast tomato pasta sauce.
If you are making gnocchi sardi check out my cacio e pepe with olives and basil, it's pretty much heaven in a bowl! For an orecchiette idea look no further than my creamy roast garlic and lemon pasta sauce.
It's just the traditional way! It's always a flour and water dough. Because the shapes are mostlt hand formed the semolina gives them strength so they hold their shape. My easy homemade pasta dough is a regular egg and flour dough.
It absolutely is!
I don't ever suggest freezing the ball of dough but you can absolutely freeze the finished shapes. Freeze them open on a tray for 20 mins or until hard then transfer to a freezer bag or container. Cook from frozen.
Yes, I do it all the time! It's so much quicker and easier. Put your weighed ingredients into a food processor and pulse to combine. When it is an even mixture, take the blade out then squeeze it into a ball as best you can before bringing out onto the bench to knead.
Made this semolina pasta dough and loved it?
I would love love LOVE if you could leave me a review down below and let me know what you thought! I love to hear any changes or adaptions you have made too. Also if you put a photo on instagram, please tag me so I can see, it makes my day!Print