[Noodle-making] What is composite dough in ramen? Advantages and disadvantages of composite

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[Noodle-making] What is composite dough in ramen? Advantages and disadvantages of composite

1. on the compounding of ramen dough

1.1What is composite? What is the role of composite?

In the ramen noodle-making process, there is a compounding process that combines the noodle dough with the noodle batter.
Those who purchase noodles may not be aware of this process, but it is an important process for those who want to start or have already started making their own noodles.
So what is the role of the compounding process?


The combined process has the following roles.

・Forging the gluten.
 Connecting the gluten structure together into a reticular structure while folding the dough.
・Uniform forging
 Forging the dough evenly throughout while folding it.
・Moderate forging
 The gluten tissue is worked out firmly until the dough is just before it breaks down.

The compounding process involves rolling the noodles several times, so the noodle-making process takes a little more time. However, this compounding process is one of the key factors in producing tasty noodles.

1.2 Advantages of compounding

The compounding process overlaps the two noodle dough sheets and forges the dough. The advantages of the combined process include, ・The noodles are less prone to cracking during the boiling process. ・The dough becomes tougher and less prone to breakage. ・Noodles are less prone to tearing. The dough can be trained to a moderate degree. The dough benefits from moderate forging, but care must be taken because over-forging destroys the gluten tissue, resulting in poor noodle quality. Experiments conducted by Yamato showed that the number of times compounding makes a difference to the hardness and stickiness of the noodles. (2.1 Number of times compounding affects noodle hardness and stickiness)

1.3 Disadvantages of composites

To do the combined process well, it has to take time and effort to do the work.
This costs money in terms of time taken to work on the process.

However, the combined process can be done quickly in a few minutes to a dozen minutes once you get used to it (※1), so in actual shops it is important to create a lean operation to do the combined process well in a limited amount of time.
(※1)Working time depends on the amount of dough.

2. do the noodles taste good without the combined process?

2.1 The number of times combined affects the hardness and stickiness of the noodles!

Can you really make good tasting noodles without compounding?

Actually, we found that the compounding process affects the hardness and stickiness of the noodles!

This time, we conducted an experiment to see how the firmness of the noodles changed depending on the number of times they were compounded. The experiment consisted of preparing ramen noodles under the same conditions (type of flour, water content) with a number of compounding times from 1 to 4. They are measured with a rheometer, which measures viscoelasticity.

[Noodle production details].

・Flour: Yamato Spirit

・Water content: 35% (including 1% brine and 1% salt)

・Cutting blade: No. 18 (mm)

Four types of noodles each with 1-4 compounding times were prepared with the above contents.

The actual measurement results are as follows.

Basically, as the number of compounding times increases, the noodles become firmer, but by the fourth compounding time, the hardness value has dropped. This means that the gluten is being destroyed by too much compounding. This shows that moderate forging is important for compounding.

2.2 What are the guidelines for the combined process?

Experimental results showed that if the noodles are compounded too much, the gluten is destroyed and the noodles lose their stickiness and hardness. In addition to maintaining a balance between moderate hardness and stickiness, Yamato Ramen School recommends compounding the noodles twice. If the hardness must be adjusted in the compounding process, it is recommended that the number of times be limited to three.

2.3 What happens if they are not combined?

It was found that the composite process provides a number of benefits by moderately training the noodles. So what happens if the ramen noodles are not compounded?
Compared to compounded noodles…

・easy to boil and stretch.

・The noodles are not strong enough and easily torn.

・the noodles are less sticky.

・The noodles are not hard enough.

Depending on the product concept, without the combined process (forging the dough), the noodles are not likely to be very tasty.

3. notes on the combined process - always age before and after the combined process

When compounding, it is important to allow sufficient time for the dough to mature before compounding. If the dough is compounded immediately after mixing, the more heavily watered the dough, the less sticky it will be (because the gluten structure is not sufficiently stressed).
As the dough has built up stress during mixing, it is important to allow the dough to rest during the ripening time to remove the stress (internal stress) before compounding.

3.1 Let's mature before the combined process

Ripening is the process of relieving stress (internal stress) by allowing the stressed dough (gluten tissue) to rest. Ripening should take place after mixing and before the compounding process. Ripening is also required after the compounding process.

The ripening process before the compounding process has the following roles

・Hydration of the flour.
 At the end of the mixing stage, the water in the dough is not uniform. A certain amount of time and temperature is needed for the water to spread over the slough-like noodle dough and make it moist.

 Small air bubbles that are introduced into the dough during mixing are released. This can only be done if the entire dough is laid down when it is loose and slough-like. If bubbles remain in the dough, they can destroy the gluten structure during boiling and cause the cooked noodles to become white and opaque.

・Relaxation of gluten
 When mixing is completed, gluten tension has already reached its limit. Further forging by compounding or rolling will destroy the gluten tissue. It should be noted that gluten tension “decreases to half every approximately every five minutes”. 

Ripening process: after mixing, the dough is left to rise for ‘3 hours at 25°C’ or ‘2 hours at 28°C’, depending on the amount of water added. This can be shortened for less watered dough, depending on the watered condition. The ripening time and temperature must also be adjusted due to seasonal temperature changes.

For more information, please refer to our ramen production method textbook.

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3.2 Maturing is also required after the combined process

To produce good-tasting noodles, the noodles need to be matured even after the compounding process.

Particularly in the case of high water content, the dough is also matured in the dough state after compounding; even with less than 40% water content, the noodles still need to be matured in the noodle line state. The role of ripening before compounding is different: the aim is to allow the ‘enzymes in the wheat’ to work in moderation. The purpose is to allow the enzymes in the wheat to work to the right degree.

3.3 What happens if it does not mature?

The most obvious effect is that the gluten tissue is destroyed in the compounding and subsequent processes, making the noodles easier to break. Ripening is an extremely time-consuming process, but is essential for producing tasty noodles.

This ripening noodle-making method was the first technology advocated by Yamato

 Seisakusho in the industry.

People who use purchased noodles are often astonished at the difference when they eat noodles made using the Yamato Seisakusho’s method. The most significant factor is the influence of the presence or absence of a maturing process.

At Yamato Seisakusho, we have created the industry’s first ‘ripening chamber’, which provides a system for safe ripening.

If you are using purchased noodles, does your supplier carry out this ‘maturing’ process?

If you are making your own noodles and have not yet matured them, please give it a try first.

4. summary.

・The compounding is the process of forging the noodle dough together (by rolling).

・The number of times the dough is compounded is two times.

・The number of times the dough is compounded is about two times.

Making your own noodles every day is hard work, but it is a chance to make delicious noodles that will make your customers say “Delicious! However, it is also a chance to make delicious noodles that customers can say “Delicious!
By all means, let’s create delicious ramen noodles with our passion for noodles!

Anyone can make good noodles.

You will realise that anyone can make delicious noodles.
With a huge database, the result of many years of research at Yamato Seisakusho,
Noodle-making experts can provide you with information on the production methods for the noodles you require, based on a vast database of more than 1,000 noodle recipes developed as a result of Yamato Seisakusho’s many years of research and the development of new noodle recipes,
The home-made noodle workshop offers a variety of consultations on how to improve current noodle products.
We can handle any type of noodle, including ramen, dipping noodles, udon, soba, pasta and yakisoba.

Classes are held regularly at Dream Studio locations nationwide.

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