Daniel Gritizer explored the idea of boiling traditional dried noodles in water spiked with baking soda. The idea was to mimic the alkaline texture of ramen quickly and efficiently in the kitchen. His one hangup was the flavor of the baking soda sticking to the noodles. We took the idea of boiling in baking soda water and applied it to our pre-hydrated noodles. The results were incredible. We were able to make noodles with the bouncy texture of ramen in 31 minutes. Though we want to play with hydrating them for even less time in the next go-round. Thirty of those those minutes are inactive cooking time, simply soaking the noodles.
We put 1% baking soda and 0.5% salt into 2000 grams of water. Then we added 450 grams of capellini to the water and let it hydrate for 30 minutes. When the noodles were was pliable we drained off the soaking water and quickly rinsed them in cold water. Then we set the noodles into a pan to hold in refrigeration until ready to cook.
These noodles are extremely flexible when hydrated. They want to clump together a bit but in the short term this is not a problem. Our first test had us boiling them immediately after soaking. They cooked in less than a minute. They were springy, chewy, and resilient. They were ramenized.
After letting the hydrated noodles sit in the refrigerator overnight we found that the bottom layer of the noodles was lying in a thin layer of starch and had stuck together. After dropping them into boiling water they did separate after stirring them for about a minute, but some of the noodles were torn in the process and they were still slightly clumpy. Maybe storing them in a perforated pan set over a regular pan, which would allow the liquid starch to drip down and out would alleviate this problem. What was interesting was that even though noodles stuck together a bit, they cooked up nicely, and still had a springy texture. Perfect for breakfast noodles.