Make Dough - Stand Mixer Method
Add the flour, salt, and eggs to the bowl of the stand mixer. Fit the mixer with the dough hook and mix the ingredients on low for about 30 seconds to 1 minute. Turn off the mixer. At this point, you’ll probably see a lot of flour along the edge of the bowl that’s not getting mixed into the eggs. Using a spatula or scraper, loosen the flour along the sides of the bowl.
Mix the dough on low again, until the eggs have been incorporated into the flour. At this point, your dough will look very crumbly with a lot of tiny, dry clumps of dough around the edges and the bottom of the bowl. Drizzle the water over the dry clumps. Mix the dough on low speed for another 2 minutes and turn off the mixer.
Using your hands, gather up and squeeze all the small bits of dough into a big lump. This may take 2 or 3 minutes. If possible resist the urge to add more water. If you still have a lot of dry clumps of flour after several minutes of gathering the dough together, add another teaspoon of water to the dough. Work the water into the dough.
Making Dough By Hand
In a large mixing bowl, add the flour and salt. Using a fork, create a small well in the center of the bowl. Crack 4 eggs into the well and whisk the eggs together. Then, use the fork to mix the flour with the eggs. Continue doing this for about 1 minute, until all the egg has been incorporated into the flour.
Brush the shaggy bits of dough on the top of the bowl aside. You’ll probably see loose flour or tiny bits of dough at the bottom of the bowl. Drizzle the water here and use your fork to mix the dough and water together.
Now, use your hands to gather all the small bits of dough into a big lump. This may take 2 or 3 minutes. Add a tiny drizzle of water only if there’s a lot of dry flour after a few minutes of gathering the dough.
Rest and Knead the Dough
Cover the bowl with a damp towel or silicone lid, and let the dough rest for 30 minutes. This will give time for the dough to hydrate more before you start kneading it.
Take the lump of dough out of the bowl and knead it on a surface for 6 to 7 minutes. You shouldn’t need to flour the work surface for this as the dough is pretty dry. The dough will feel pretty stiff, and that’s okay. Once you finish kneading, the ball of dough should feel much smoother than when you first started kneading the dough.
Place the ball of dough back into the bowl, cover it, and let it rest for another 15 to 20 minutes. This will allow the gluten to relax before you make the noodles.
Cut Dough Into Noodles
I highly recommend using a pasta machine or a pasta attachment with a stand mixer to cut the noodles. Because the dough is so stiff, it is difficult to roll out the dough into a thin sheet.
Divide the dough into 4 equal pieces, about 150 to 155 grams each. Flour your work surface. Shape each piece of dough into an oval shape. Then, roll them out into oval discs of about 4 inches by 6 inches, and 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. Dust both sides of these discs with flour.
Turn your pasta machine to the thickest setting and feed the dough through the pasta machine twice. Then, turn the dial on the pasta machine to the next setting (which should be thinner) and roll out the pasta once. Continue turning the dial to the next setting and rolling out the sheet of noodle until you get a pretty thin sheet. If you hold the sheet of pasta to the light, you can start to see light going through it. I usually roll them dough out to the 6 or 7 setting in my pasta machine.
Depending on your preference, cut out the sheet of dough with the narrow or wide pasta cutter.
Transfer the noodles to your work surface and sprinkle the noodles generously with flour or starch (see note 1). Shape the noodles into a loose bundle, cover it with a dry towel, and continue rolling out the remaining pieces of dough.
Bring a small pot of water to boil. In general, you don’t salt the water when cooking Chinese noodles. Add half of the noodles to the boiling water. Use a wooden spoon or large chopsticks to stir the noodles for about 15 to 30 seconds to keep the noodles from sticking together. If you are cooking thinly cut noodles like mine in the photos, cook them for 2 to 3 minutes, until the water is at a rolling boil again and the noodles are floating at the top. If you are cooking thicker noodles you may need a few more minutes. (See note 2)
Drain the noodles. If you are not using the noodles immediately, rinse them with cold water and drain them.
Cook the remaining noodles in the boiling water. Alternatively, refer to the notes below for more information on how to freeze or store the noodles in the refrigerator.
You can use the noodles for wonton noodle soup
or chow mein
. Alternatively, you can toss the noodles with a sauce like the one in this recipe.