I am going to be totally honest right from the start. Product Testing Round 1 of Philips Pasta Maker was a nightmare. I know I should have probably not used it at the same time as making dinner. I figured there was a chance someone might do that after buying it so I figured I would go for it.
The body of the machine is quite simple. You have the mixing chamber that sits in the middle of the machine. You slide in the paddle/kneading attachment, add a shaping disc and then close it all up.
I chose the fettuccine shaping disc.
I carefully measured out the flour, enough for 1-2 servings according to the directions. I scraped off the excess flour and did not shake or hit the flour cup to remove the excess flour. There were so many little side notes, “important” sections and directions. It was very confusing and overwhelming, even if I was not cooking dinner.
I carefully measured out 90 ml of water which was not pointed out in the directions with the flour measurement. I had to go to the flour/water ratio table two pages farther into the book to find out how much water to use.
In the “Note” section of the second page of the pasta making recipe table it says that seasonal changes may affect the flour/water ratio and you may adjust measurements based on the recommended proportion. This happens to me when I make bread all the time. The dough is always too dry. As a result, I started to get nervous about the perfection of this particular cooking ratio of flour to water.
The “Pasta Making”
It took me a second to figure out the math and realize that for a single serving, I needed to select the ~ 300g/10.5 oz option. If you do not hit the start button pretty quickly, the cups graphic starts flashing and you have to select it again. As far as I can tell, the only difference between the serving options is time. The larger serving kneads 5 minutes longer.
I put the flour in the machine, put on the lid, turned it on, selected my single serving and hit start. The paddle attachment started rotating and I added the water, as instructed.
I watched as the dough “came together” and thought to myself, it is going to be too dry. And yes. Sigh. I added a little more water.
At first this was the most exciting moment of my night! OMG, pasta! But then, um, it did not come out. It just stayed like this until the kneading was over. Crap!!! OK, I still had some time so I took out the dough, cleaned the disc (a total pain in the ass), added some flour and tried again.
The Foodie Results
Looks good right? I was personally so happy and excited and was freaking out. We were going to have fresh pasta for dinner!
The problem? It was still too wet. Everything stuck together and was completely unusable. I threw out the dough, cleaned the machine again (seriously not fun) and…
Boxed penne pasta to the rescue!
I am really not entirely sure how everything went so horribly wrong. Was I supposed to use that wheel to help with the pasta extrusion? If so, how?
How are you supposed to tell if the ratio to flour and water is correct without having to do a lot of troubleshooting?
Is this a problem with me as a user or with the machine? It is too early to tell. I have a lot more product testing and research to do.
Pasta making is not easy which is why this product appealed to me so much. Normally you have to crank it, fold it, crank it, fold it… This develops strength for the dough. I am wondering if 10 minutes of kneading water and flour together can actually be capable of making “real” dough.
I will keep investigating foodies! There is just too much potential with this machine to give up. I hope I can make it work.