Rustic, Soaked “Handkerchief” Noodles


These homemade whole grain “handkerchief” noodles are soaked overnight for both better nutrition and better digestibility. They are then rolled thin and cut into squares in a traditional noodle shape. It should remind you a little of a handkerchief, hence it’s name.  Your fresh pasta is now ready to dry or cook. When cooked, they have the wonderful combination of rustic tenderness. All you need is a pasta sauce! We adore them.


These noodles are made from my recipe for soaked, rustic homemade noodles. The only difference is that they are rolled thinner and cut into larger squares instead of strips.  The reason we have begun to like this method better is because the thinness of the noodle keeps it more tender and delicate, while cutting it into the larger shape helps hold it together (the strips tend to fall apart more easily when rolled thin).

Because they are rolled so thinly, they also dry very well. I currently have no special equipment for drying my pasta. I either lay them on cooling racks (this works best), or lay them on the table (one recipe will cover my whole table with drying pasta). When you lay them on a surface like a table to dry, make sure that you keep flipping them every once in a while, so that they will dry evenly. I usually use both methods as I don’t own enough cooling racks for all of  my pasta to dry on.

It took me about 12 hours to completely dry my pasta. You know it’s done when they feel dry, and you can break one and it feels “crisp”.

By the way, I am not sure how long dried pasta lasts for as it always disappears very quickly around here. Does anyone have any experience in the keeping qualities of an eggless homemade dried pasta?

I have tried to give more details this time of the process, but feel free to ask any questions.


Rustic, Soaked “Handkerchief” Noodles

You will probably find that the top of your dough will become slightly discolored after “soaking” overnight. Don’t worry about it. It’s just fine and won’t effect the taste. This makes about one pound of pasta which is supposed to serve four people as a main dish or six people as a first dish.

    3-3 1/2 cups of freshly ground whole wheat or spelt flour
    1 cup of water
    1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar or lemon juice

1-The night before you plan on rolling out your pasta, combine all three of your ingredients. You can use a stand mixer or a Bosch to knead the dough for you (for the bosch, a doubled recipe works best). In that case, just dump them all in and knead into a stiff dough for about 6 minutes. If you are kneading by hand, combine the vinegar and water and place in a bowl. Add 2 cups of flour and thoroughly combine with a wooden spoon. Add the rest of the flour slowly and work into the dough. When it becomes too stiff to work anymore, dump it out onto a floured surface and gently knead more flour into it until it forms a stiff dough. (This will take about ten minutes of kneading).

2-Oil a bowl well, and place your dough inside of it. Turn the dough over, so that the top is lightly covered with oil. Cover well and leave out on the counter overnight.

3-When ready to roll, divide your dough into four pieces (it’s easier to control the thickness of the dough this way). I like to roll out my dough right out on a large wooden cutting board. Use white flour or arrowroot powder to flour both the board you are working on, the rolling pin and the top of the pasta. It’s crucial that you keep everything well covered with flour to be successful.

Roll out evenly until your dough is very thin. I like to keep lifting the dough every once in a while as I roll to make sure that it isn’t sticking to the board. I roll mine at least 1/8 of an inch thin. Then cut into squares. I like everything from 2 1/2 inch squares to twice that size. If you haven’t been working on a cutting board, you will need to gently lift your pasta dough and place it on your cutting board. Do this by gently draping it over the rolling pin and then moving it over. I find that a pizza cutter works great for cutting pasta easily and quickly.

4-As you continue to cut your pasta, dust it lightly with flour and spread out on the counter or cooling racks, or sheet pans.  Once you have cut everything out, you will be ready to cook them! (To dry, read my notes above this recipe).

5-Heat a  large pot of water, and salt it well. Bring to a rolling boil and gently start to add your noodles in, keeping the water at a simmer. I find that these noodles are usually cooked in about 3-6 minutes. It will depend on how thin you rolled them and whether they are fresh or dried (dried takes slightly longer to cook). Start checking at three minutes. Fresh pasta should not be “al dente”, but soft all the way through.

6-When finished, treating your pasta gently,  drain well and toss with your choice of pasta sauces and serve! Both of these pasta sauces go well. Homemade Marinara Sauce and Butternut Squash Pasta Sauce.


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I love beautiful and simple food that is nourishing to the body and the soul. I wrote Fresh: Nourishing Salads for All Seasons and Ladled: Nourishing Soups for All Seasons as another outlet of sharing this love of mine. I also love sharing practical tips on how to make a real food diet work on a real life budget. Find me online elsewhere by clicking on the icons below!

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  1. says

    How interesting! You’re more bold than I am. I haven’t made homemade pasta ever since I realized that I needed to use sprouted grains or soaked flour. It already seemed like more work than I wanted to do just to make pasta. Adding the extra step simply ended the experiment for me.

    When we really want pasta, we just buy some made from brown rice. That translates into us rarely, if ever, eating the stuff.

    So, more power to you, Kimi! This is awesome.

  2. says

    I love making homemade pasta and that’s all we’ve eaten since I started making it 4 years ago. I usually stick to ravioli or regular noodles. These look fun, I’ll have to give them a shot.

  3. Jessica O. says

    Hi Kimi!
    We just love to make homemade pasta here…It is just so yummy….we use to use our pasta maker….but when I found your other recipe…I just started doing it by hand….it goes much faster…..and is so easy… 8 year old and 10 year old can roll and cut now…so that is a big help….we just love it and it goes quick around here….
    We will look forward to trying these out…
    Jessica O.

  4. says

    Kimi, thank you! Before I started changing my diet I loved making pasta. When we started dating my now husband and I made raviolis together and he always asks, when are we going to do that again? I think I’ll try this idea out on him instead! I even have a hand crank pasta maker…wonder if it will work with this dough?

  5. says

    I was wondering, also, if this would work in a hand crank pasta machine. I hope so. I have been looking for a soaked pasta recipe that would be easy and quick AND that my beloved would like.

  6. KimiHarris says

    Food Renegade,

    Making homemade soaked pasta really isn’t too hard. 🙂 We like being able to have it more often now that I have found a more digestible version of it.

    Chiot’s Run,

    One reader let me know that they used this recipe to make their own ravioli with great results. I haven’t tried it yet, but it sounds like it would be good!


    Thanks for letting me know! I remember that you had mentioned that before. We find this very easy to roll out too. It is much easier than you think it would be (at least that’s been our experience!)

    Michelle and Ginny,

    I’m not sure since I don’t own one, but if you try it, let me know how it turns out! We do find it quite easy and simple to roll it out by hand though, so maybe it’s not worth the trouble. 🙂 Let me know if you try it!

  7. says

    These look lovely. I love the shape of the thin hankie noodles! 🙂

    I made a recipe for Pel’meni dough a couple of times that had a lovely flavor. It consisted of 2 c. whole wheat flour, 6 egg yolks and a cup of whey. This was mixed up and then left to sit for 2 to 3 days. I kneaded the dough a couple of times each day.

    I might try mixing this hankie noodle idea with the Pel’meni recipe. We have lots of eggs around from our girls.

    Do you think these hankie noodles would work in a lasagna or casserole Kimi?


  8. KimiHarris says


    I think it could be possible to add it later, but I haven’t tried yet so I couldn’t say for sure. 🙂


    That’s a great question. Anyone have any advice?


    Was that the recipe from Weston A Price? It sounds really nourishing. 🙂 I can’t use whey, so unfortunately I can’t make it. 🙁

    I think that these could definitely made noodles for a casserole! I am eager to try it out. 🙂

    Hi Jessica,

    I haven’t tried those particular ones. They look like they could be really good ones, and I have bought several things from radiant life catalog before. But they are awfully expensive! I use HMF’s super powder, which worked really well for us and it is much less per serving (though by no means cheap). It’s about the same price of Biokult, which is also a good probiotic. 🙂 (One I haven’t personally tried yet).
    Hope that helps!

  9. Jessica O. says

    Yes, the are $$$….I went out to vitacost…..& found the same brand about half the cost, but they did not have the exact one that Radiant life did, but others….not sure if the others are good too & why Radiant life does not have those….Hum….
    Where do you get the one you like?
    Jessica O.

  10. Rachael says

    Hi Kimi,

    I don’t own a grain mill and can’t afford to purchase one, and wondered if you thought this would work: could I soak the whole wheat berries and then food process them instead of grinding them dry? Do you know what volume of wheat berries will grind out to one cup of flour?


  11. Cathy Kelley says

    I made the soaked handkerchief noodles with freshly ground flour. After leaving it sit overnight, well maybe longer 19 hours I tried to make noodles. The dough was really, really soft and I seemed to have to use lots of white flour. I have made pasta/noodles before but never “soaked” I know what the consistency should have been and it definely was not right. I also used a pasta machine. I actually attempted to make ravioli. Since I ground the flour fresh I was not about to discard it. Although the flavor was good. Where did I go wrong?

    • KimiHarris says

      It sounds like you didn’t add enough flour in the first step. I’ve had that happen on occasion to myself too. The important thing to remember is that the dough will relax as it sits out. So, if you dough is a little too soft, it will be way too soft by the time it’s soaked. Make it a bit stiffer and it should be fine. 🙂

      • Rebecca says

        Also, try putting in the refrigerator for a few hours after it has soaked and before you roll it… it will firm up quite a bit, works wonders!

  12. says

    Just tried these. I’m glad I read the comment about how the dough should be stiff. Since I live in a very humid environment, descriptions of how the dough is supposed to be helps a lot since I always have to reduce the amount of liquid I include in a recipe.

    You were right, this was very easy to roll out. I made ravioli, too, and it was sooooo good. I had to use store-bought flour. I’m living overseas and hope to soon get a grain mill, but finding whole wheat is impossible. I’ll be trying to cook with barley and arrowroot powder. If you ever try anything like that, I’d be interested in hearing about it.

  13. Yoderclan says

    I just made these and put them in some chicken broth with pulled chicken on top. Totally simple and totally delicious. My hubby really liked this meal. How easy.

  14. Jennifer says

    Very interested in trying this once my spelt flour arrives. Do you use Whole spelt or light/regular spelt flour? They definitely bake differently but not sure on a dough recipe as such.


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