Last weekend, I made some fresh pasta without a pasta machine. I used a simple recipe of 200g AP flour, 2 large eggs, ~1 tbsp olive oil and a pinch of salt, kneading by hand then resting the dough (for about 1.5 hours) at room temperature wrapped in cling film. However, when rolling out the dough (using a wooden rolling pin) I was unable to achieve the thinness I wanted -- at some point, the dough started springing back as much as I stretched it with each roll.

How can I roll out pasta dough by hand to any thinness? How do I stop the dough from springing back?

  • 3
    If the dough is springing back, it's cause the gluten is still tight. Let it rest for 15-20 minutes, then try again.
    – Rob
    May 13, 2020 at 12:13
  • I had let the dough rest for about 1.5 hours before rolling. Are you saying to partially roll, then rest, then roll again?
    – LSchoon
    May 13, 2020 at 12:19
  • Yes............
    – Rob
    May 13, 2020 at 12:20
  • Interesting. I had thought the initial rest would have been enough. I have never needed to rest the dough between rolling when using a pasta machine. Feel free to turn your comment into an answer, if you want.
    – LSchoon
    May 13, 2020 at 12:24
  • 2
    @LSchoon : the pasta machine can apply lots of force, so you might not notice that it's springing back immediately after it goes through the roller. There's also a bit of a stretching action as you pull it from the pasta machine which you don't get when rolling it out by hand.
    – Joe
    May 13, 2020 at 12:35

3 Answers 3


If the dough is springing back, it's cause the gluten is still tight. Let it rest for 15-20 minutes, then try again.

  • 4
    This is good advice which works for other doughs as well, for instance pizza dough, although often you only need to wait 2-3 minutes.
    – GdD
    May 13, 2020 at 14:14

You can let it rest, but I think it should not be necessary if you are rolling pasta dough properly. Don't try to laminate it like the machine does. That's now how you do it when you roll by hand. Roll it out flat in one go. If the pasta grannies can do it without letting the dough rest in the middle of rolling, so can you.

  • I did not try to laminate the dough.
    – LSchoon
    May 13, 2020 at 20:10
  • 2
    There is a fun pasta-related series on youtube called "Pasta Grannies", I like it. It shows lots of pasta rolling techniques. youtube.com/user/pastagrannies
    – Kingsley
    May 13, 2020 at 20:56

The elasticity in the dough has a lot to do with the type of flour you are using. 00 flour for pasta making should work much better for rolling thinly. That said, if you replace the eggs with water, you can roll and cut pappardelle or tagliatelli and it will cook up fine even when not thin. You need super thin dough for stuffed pastas and egg doughs because the egg (and salt) make the dough so hard it can't cook properly if it's too thick. Kneading and resting both develop the gluten. You could also try kneading more before and after resting or let it rest longer, but all purpose flour is not as finely milled and has a higher protein content than soft wheat 00 pasta flour so I wouldn't expect it to roll as easily when combined with egg. You could also try replacing the egg with white wine. That makes a soft easy to roll dough even with all purpose flour.

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