I found that recipes on hand pulled noodles use various types of flours that's confusing from a chemistry perspective. Dough made from high gluten flour is more elastic and less extensible which doesn't sound like a good candidate for hand pulled noodles. Has anybody had success making hand pulled noodles from high gluten flour?

Any experience and theory is appreciated! Thanks.

  • I'm confused... if by extensible you mean "able to extend or stretch", then shouldn't more elastic dough be more "extensible"?
    – Jay
    Commented May 15, 2012 at 2:46
  • 2
    @jay no. Elastic means that it returns to its shape after deformation. A rubber band is elastic, because no matter how you pull it, it goes back after it has been left. Sugar syrup is extensible but not elastic, you can pull it to a very long strand (pulled candy or cotton candy) and it doesn't snap back.
    – rumtscho
    Commented May 15, 2012 at 8:48
  • 1
    cooking.stackexchange.com/a/9084/641 Commented May 15, 2012 at 12:46

2 Answers 2


Hand pulled noodles are normally made with low to medium gluten flour (cake flour)

Alkalines, like Lye water or baking soda are added to soften hard flours (high gluten). You use much less for soft flour

Elastic may not be the word you want, supple is what you want in the dough. It need to be able to pull and not break, and stay that way

The dough needs to sit a few hours to fully saturate. Also keep it warm at a high-ish room temperature to keep it supple

It can take years of practice to pull noodles well

  • a few hours? ok, I will try that.
    – Candy Chiu
    Commented May 16, 2012 at 12:35

Only did a quick pulling lesson and, yes, would need years... but the dough only rested minutes initially then half an hour between pull sessions: After 6 or 7 stretches, once everything ripped apart, dough rested and was then much more compliant with my torture. Only managed in the end 7 pulls; fewer than my 6 year old!

So, give it a go with the higher gluten but longer rests in between

  • How many half hour rests do I need?
    – Candy Chiu
    Commented May 16, 2012 at 12:36
  • depends on how many sessions of stretching you find necessary before good results. I imagine that Iwould just fail miserably and rip apart my noodles then give it a covered rest, try again. As long as the dough doesn't dry out...
    – Pat Sommer
    Commented May 18, 2012 at 4:15

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