Make sure you have the following ingredients before beginning….
Leave it for about 1 hour during summer time. During winter time, leave it for about 2 hours or leave it inside the kotatsu for 1 hour. Inside the Hama (dough), the hardened retiform structure of the gluten will regain the elasticity while leaving the dough due to “Maruke” (circular shape). This process will speed up in higher temperature with lots of moisture.
This is a process in which the dough is shaped into a circle, which is also called “Heso-dashi” (heso means a navel in Japanese). This is the most difficult process in making Udon noodles, so the beginner should be careful not to make cracks on the surface, and when the dough is shaped in circle, you could pass this stage. You would have to go through this process hundreds of times before making good circular shape like professional Udon noodle makers.
In the same way as Ashibumi , step on the dough until it spreads out to about 30cm to 40cm in diameter. When stepping on more than one Hama (dough), spread a little flour on the surfaces of the Hamas and stack them so that they do not stick to each other and you can do the stepping at once. The top Hama would take more time to spread out, so it is suggested that you occasionally change the top-bottom position of the Hamas to obtain even size. After the stepping process is done, wrap it in the plastic rice bag to keep from drying and leave it for 1 to 2 hours. During winter time, up to this process can be done in one day, leave it overnight, and the finishing can be done on the following day.
Now let’s begin “Nobashi (Rolling out the dough)” and “Houchoukiri (Cutting with knife)” which are the real pleasure in making hand-made Udon noodles.
The first step: Kakudashi (shaping the dough to square)
The second step: Rolling out the square edges
The third step: Rolling out the sides1.Place one side of the Hama (dough) in front of you and place the rolling pin near the edge.2. Place both hands in the center slowly separating your hand to the left and right side while rolling up and rolling out the Hama. When your hands reach the far left and far right, the Hama should be rolled up onto the pin.3. Turn the Hama 180 degrees and bring it towards you.4.Spread out the Hama from place closest to you to the other side.5. Repeat step 2.6. Turn the rolled up Hama and rolling pin 90 degrees counterclockwise and place it at the left side of the work board.7.Spread the Hama from left to right.8. Repeat steps 1 to 7.9.When the dough is evenly thinned out to about 3mm in thickness, rolling out process is completed. If there are thick areas, spread out that area to even thickness.
Be careful not to cut your fingers.
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