Add the water to the flour little by little until it forms a rough dough. It's fine if it looks a bit crumbly.
Put the dough in a thick plastic bag and step on the dough until it's flat. Don't close the bag up.
Take the dough out of the bag and fold into thirds. Return the dough to the bag and step on it again until it's flat. Repeat this procedure 7 to 10 times.
Turn the dough one quarter every time you fold it over. Eventually you will end up with a smooth, square piece of dough.
Cover the dough with a tightly wrung out kitchen towel, and let rest for 40 minutes.
Dust the work surface and the dough with flour. Flatten first with your hands, then roll out with a rolling pin. When the dough is 30 cm square,
..flour it again and roll it around the rolling pin.
Roll the dough putting your weight into it, rolling from front to back and side to side.
When the dough is about 3mm thick, spread it out and fold it up accordion-style into 10cm wide folds, then cut the dough.
Cut the noodles rather thinly, since they'll become about 20% thicker after you boil them. The noodles in the photo increased in thickness from 5.4mm to 6.6mm.
Dust the noodles and untangle them.
Put the noodles in plenty of boiling water, stirring with cooking chopsticks to prevent them from sticking together.
When the water comes back to a boil, lower the heat so that the pot doesn't boil over. Boil for about 12 minutes.
When the noodles are done, drain and then rinse the noodles in cold running water while scrubbing the noodles gently with your hands. This makes the noodles firm and shiny.
Story Behind this Recipe
My father learned how to make udon noodles in a class. He taught my mother how to make them, and she became so good that she conducted her own classes. She in turn taught me how to make them..that's how this family tradition has progressed.
Please adjust the amount of water depending on the season. In the summer you'll need a little less than 160 ml. If the dough is too soft, leave it in the refrigerator for a while and it will become firmer. You can let the dough rest for up to a day with no problem. When testing the boiled noodles for doneness, make sure to refresh them in cold water first. The noodles will firm up again.