Ingredients for ramen noodles - wheat flour

Make better ramen noodles

To make ramen noodles that are better than others, selection and use of proper ingredients for the type of your noodle are very important.
Among these ingredients, wheat flour is the most important component because it takes the largest proportion among raw materials used for ramen noodles.
The elements of wheat flour are mainly protein, starch and moisture. In Japan, wheat is classified into strong-flour (bread flour), semi-strong flour (semi-bread), medium flour (all-purpose), soft flour (cake, pastry) depending on the protein content. Flour commonly used for ramen is called semi-strong flour and strong flour with protein content of about 10 to 13%.
Nowadays, 8 to 9% protein of flour (medium flour, or udon flour) has been used in certain types of ramen noodles like tsukemen. To make ramen noodles that are unique in texture and flavors, famous ramen shops often blend different flours with varying protein and other properties that matter to noodle texture.
We even know a ramen shop who grow and harvest its own wheat crops… Because wheat flour is very important in determining the quality of noodles, good ramen shops take it seriously.

Establish Instructor’s Presence

Don’t forget that your initial postings in the discussion forum, your first messages sent to all by email, or the greeting you post on your course home page will do much to set the tone and expectations for your course....
The quality of fresh noodles is determined by the protein content of the wheat flour, the water addition rate (how much water/solution is added against the weight of flour in mixing), noodle size (thickness x width), and also whether noodles are straight or curly.
The correlation chart here describes different types of noodles under these criteria. Basically, the higher the protein content of flour used to make noodles, the harder the noodle texture. And, as shown in the chart, generally, strong-flour with high protein is suitable for hard and small-sized noodles. Medium-flour with lower protein content is suitable for large-sized and soft high water content noodles.
Any type of ramen noodles can be put somewhere on this chart though there is no limit to the type of ramen noodles you can make.

Ramen noodle texture chart

Write your awesome label here.
What roles do the protein and starch of wheat flour play in noodle making?
Protein makes hardness and strength of noodles.
The protein (glutenin, gluazine) combines with water to become ‘gluten’, forming a network-like structure. You can make noodles with better texture by developing gluten in an appropriate way.
However, too much protein just makes hard noodles, so it would not mean that with the higher the protein, the more delicious noodles you can make. Starch makes elastic and mochi-like-texture.
By adding water to starch (amylose, amylopectin) and heating it, it becomes pasty and gluey. Because the strength of stickiness varies depending on the quality of starch, it is important to pick flour with stronger starch.
When comparing the structure of noodles to buildings, gluten (protein) plays the role of reinforcing bars (making the hardness in noodles), and starch plays the role of concrete (elastic, chewy, and mochi-like texture).
In addition to the above, there is something called, “ash” as an important indicator of the quality of wheat flour. In many brochures of wheat flour, protein and ash contents are indicated. These two values are essential when selecting proper wheat flour for your noodles.

composition of wheat

Write your awesome label here.

Ash is minerals such as phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, calcium, iron

Ash is minerals such as phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, calcium, iron contained in wheat flour. In general, wheat flour with a little ash content is clear and beautiful in color, but as ash content increases, the color turns dull, grayish color. And, too much of it makes poor noodle texture.
Flour with high ash content means nutritious with lots of minerals but, wheat flour with less ash is preferred for the reasons mentioned above. Because of that, wheat flour with less ash is ranked higher in grade, and flour with larger ash content is graded lower.
The ash content increases as it approaches the epidermal part of the wheat, and the ash content of the epidermal part is more than 10 times that of the center part. In other words, flour milled from closer to the center of wheat is higher grade.
Sourcing and selecting local wheat flours is critical in making your own craft noodles, especially great ones. What you would need to look for are protein, ash, and viscosity of the wheat, which matches the kind of craft ramen noodles you want to make. If you think you find a few good ones, you can send them to us so that we can test them to see if they are suitable for your craft ramen noodles. Please feel free to contact us for more details.

Learn the Art of Ramen Craftsmanship

We will help you cultivate your ramen skills and techniques that you need to start crafting your own bowls of ramen from scratch. Invest today to start mastering and applying our ramen principles in your business. Stop thinking and start making your ideal ramen today.