Before, when I made fresh pasta, the dough would become a little "brittle" and was hard to work through the thinner settings of my pasta machine. Then I saw a tip on a cooking show to put the dough through the thickest setting several times (about 6 to 8 times), each time folding it onto itself.
The reason given in the show for the tip was that it would improve flavor/texture of the cooked pasta. However, it felt to me as if the dough became easier to handle (less "brittle") as well.
My question: what happens to pasta dough when you run it through the machine on thickest setting multiple times?
Some research I did before asking (that didn't give me an answer yet):
- Remembering it may have something to do with gluten, I read through the Wikipedia article on gluten. It does mention elasticity in the "bread" subsection, perhaps the same thing is at work here?
- Searching this Stack Cooking site I found this highly upvoted answer which mainly mentions gluten's effect on "elasticity" in the context of "chewiness", but doesn't related it to how well the dough can be handled.
- Of course I tried to Google the answer, but that mainly results in recipes for fresh pasta.