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On a lightly floured work surface, fold the dough on itself . . . .
Flatten the dough to about 1/2 inch (1 cm) thick.
Pass it through the rollers of the machine set to the widest setting. You will notice that the surface of the dough is rough and irregular.
Repeat this step of folding the dough . . . .
. . . . and press to remove the air.
Pass it through the machine again.
. . . . and passing it through the machine at least 6 - 7 times, until the dough feels smooth and elastic.
When the surface of the dough results very smooth, it is time to set the machine one notch lower. Set the dial to number 2 and pass the dough through the rollers once.
Move the dial to the number 3 notch and pass the dough through the machine again.
Then set the machine to number 4 notch and pass the dough through the rollers again.
Cut the dough strip when becomes too long and difficult to handle.
Then the number 5 notch.
*** Please note: on some machines this is the last notch.
Dust the sheet lightly with flour if the pasta becomes sticky.
Finally set the machine to the last notch and pass the dough through the rollers for the last time. You can stop passing the dough through the machine at any moment, if the desired thickness is reached earlier.
Shorten the pasta sheet for better handling, and set aside to rest for about 30 minutes before cutting.
How to Make Fresh Pasta
(3) How to Make Fresh Pasta Sheets
by Hand Pasta Machine
** TIP **
Don’t let the pasta sheets dry too much. If the weather is very dry pasta sheets could loose their moisture content very fast. They could become brittle and difficult to handle especially around the edges.
If you are preparing fresh pasta for tortellini or ravioli:
* you may want to use the minimum flour necessary, just enough to prevent the dough from sticking to your hands while working.
* it is recommended to cover the pasta sheets with plastic wrap to keep them soft and pliable.