By Harold McGee
The aim in making pasta and noodle dough is to transform dry flour particles into a cohesive mass that is malleable enough to be shaped into thin strips, but strong enough to stay intact when boiled. With wheat flours, the cohesiveness is provided by the gluten proteins. Durum wheats have the advantage of a high gluten content, and a gluten that is less elastic than bread-wheat gluten and so easier to roll out. Water normally makes up around 30% of the dough weight, compared to 40% or more for bread doughs.