Homemade soba noodles

Chef and cookbook author Sonoko Sakai shares her recipe for making perfectly textured, nutty buckwheat noodles at home. These can be cooked just like any other pasta in a large pot of boiling water that need not be salted.


2 1⁄2 cups light buckwheat flour (Try Anson Mills Sobakoh)
1⁄2 cup all-purpose flour
3⁄4 cup lukewarm water
Tapioca starch, for dusting

In a large bowl, whisk together flours until evenly combined. Pour about 80 percent of the water over the flours. Using your fingers, toss and rub the flours with the water until crumbly. Keep adding the water until you have a nice, smooth dough that's ready to shape.

Scrape the dough onto a work surface and press and knead until smooth, about 5 minutes. Press the dough into a disk that's about 1/2 inch thick, then rotate the disk clockwise as you pinch portions of the dough on top of the disk and fold them over in a counterclockwise motion to form pleats. Sprinkle a little extra flour on top.

Arrange the dough pleated-side-down and mold into a cone. Flatten the dough around its perimeter until it is 1⁄2-inch thick, keeping a slight bump in the center of the disk. Transfer the dough to a work surface dusted lightly with tapioca starch and lightly dust the dough with starch.
Using a thin rolling pin dusted with more starch, roll the dough using back-and-forth strokes, rotating it as needed.

Once the dough is flattened to 1⁄18-inch thick, dust the flattened dough generously with starch and fold in half. Dust the sheet with more starch so that it doesn't stick to itself and fold it again in the same direction to make four layers.

Using a sharp slicing knife, slice the dough into 1⁄16-inch-thick noodles and toss in the starch to ensure they don't stick together. Use the cut soba noodles immediately or transfer to a parchment paper-lined baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for up to 3 days.