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Wondra Flour Outside the US: Sources, Alternatives


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23 replies to this topic

#1 Yariv

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Posted 02 November 2012 - 09:54 AM

I guess this was raised before in some form. Is there a replacement for wondra flour? I live in Israel where I can't get it. I understand that there is no perfect replacement, but anything passing would do. For example, I tried the microwave cake and with normal flour it didn't leave the siphon (it did cook ok, but had a really short lifetime).

#2 Merkinz

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Posted 02 November 2012 - 11:45 AM

I guess this was raised before in some form. Is there a replacement for wondra flour? I live in Israel where I can't get it. I understand that there is no perfect replacement, but anything passing would do. For example, I tried the microwave cake and with normal flour it didn't leave the siphon (it did cook ok, but had a really short lifetime).


Hey, I've been searching this alot and asking in other places but it seems noone can answer this ... All you ever get is a bunch of people telling you to order it online ... Which is far more expensive than I am prepared to pay.

I'm still hoping that someone can come to the table with genuinely useful advice on this issue.

#3 Baselerd

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Posted 02 November 2012 - 01:56 PM

I don't think any of us will have the exact recipe for Wondra - it's a proprietary product. You could try experimenting by grinding low-protein flour and malt flour very finely, steaming, and re-drying it. I imagine it will end up causing you more of a headache than it's worth though. Not to be a parrot, but I really think your best bet is to spend the money and order some online.

#4 Anna N

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Posted 02 November 2012 - 02:42 PM


I guess this was raised before in some form. Is there a replacement for wondra flour? I live in Israel where I can't get it. I understand that there is no perfect replacement, but anything passing would do. For example, I tried the microwave cake and with normal flour it didn't leave the siphon (it did cook ok, but had a really short lifetime).


Hey, I've been searching this alot and asking in other places but it seems noone can answer this ... All you ever get is a bunch of people telling you to order it online ... Which is far more expensive than I am prepared to pay.

I'm still hoping that someone can come to the table with genuinely useful advice on this issue.


Can you get White Wings gravy flour which I think is an Australian product? Think it might be the same thing as Wondra or Instant flour.
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#5 Merkinz

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Posted 02 November 2012 - 03:54 PM

I don't think any of us will have the exact recipe for Wondra - it's a proprietary product. You could try experimenting by grinding low-protein flour and malt flour very finely, steaming, and re-drying it. I imagine it will end up causing you more of a headache than it's worth though. Not to be a parrot, but I really think your best bet is to spend the money and order some online.


This is a typical response and it misses the point. I don't want to make Wondra flour, I don't want to know the chemical compounds in Wondra, I want a substitute. For example if you make pesto and you simply cannot find pine nuts you might use cashew nuts as a substitute. You don't expect the cashew nuts to taste like pine nuts, they may even have a slightly different texture and effect on the final pesto but the end result is still a delicious pesto.

Well what is a substitute for Wandra? what can I use instead of Wondra in say the Chicken Wings Batter recipe?
- Normal Flour? Corn Flour? Corn Starch? Potato Starch? Rice Flour? Glutenous Rice Flour? Tapioca Flour? Chickpea Flour? Texturas Trisol? ... ???
Which flour can act as a substitute? Which flour will deliver similar (albeit not identical) results? Would you use the substitute in identical quantities? Would you use the same flour in different recipes or would you use a different substitute depending on the recipe and desired result?

As it so happens I have 3 cans of Wondra sitting on my desk, I imported them and it was expensive and a pain in the arse. However there are quite a number of recipes in this book that call for Wondra and I imagine quite a number of people who don't have access to Wondra, so I think this topic is still worth perusing!

Can you get White Wings gravy flour which I think is an Australian product? Think it might be the same thing as Wondra or Instant flour.


Hey, I didn't come across this in my searching so thanks! I occasionally travel to Aus and have friends there who can send some over if I need. EXCELLENT to know this as this will now be my source!

... Still interested in hearing from the MCAH team about what they might consider a good substitute for others who can't access this ingredient.

#6 Baselerd

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Posted 02 November 2012 - 04:09 PM

I get the point and I'm crossing my fingers for you - not trying to be unhelpful but substituting proprietary starch and thickening ingredients is not as intuitive as substituting cashews for pine nuts. Different formulations can yield dramatically different results (depending on if you're using it for a binding agent for a baked good, sauce thickener, etc.), even among pregelatinized starches.

#7 Dexter

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Posted 02 November 2012 - 11:08 PM

Wondra is, at its most basic, just a very low protein, pre-gelatinized flour. Because of this, it can be stirred into warm liquids without clumping, and fries up to a superbly crisp crust.

How to fake that? It's going to have to be application specific. In many cases, you will be able to make a blond roux with something like cake flour (or similarly low protein). In others, it will doubtless require more tweaking - adding potato or corn starch to a flour slurry, or partially cooking batters before use. But, it's essentially its own animal, unlike any other single ingredient. Eric Ripert loves the stuff, and I'm told he orders the stuff by the drum. I hate to say it, but if you are looking for something that behaves exactly like Wondra, you are going to have to find something that is not just a pre-gelatinized, low protein flour product, but one meant to compete directly with Wondra. There aren't just a ton of those on the market.

Even the MC team seem to default to the (understandably frustrating) "just buy Wondra" position.

Edited by Dexter, 02 November 2012 - 11:15 PM.


#8 Yariv

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Posted 03 November 2012 - 01:20 AM

Thanks For the replies. I have to admit that I tried to order it online but, amazon for example, won't ship it to Israel. Given the answers above and the fact that I am guessing that many will buy the book outside the us, it will be great if the mc team post suggested replacements when possible. Say when it's cake flour with corn starch state it. If no relacment is possible or know then state it. I guess there are enough recepies in the book and we can skip some.

#9 EnriqueB

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Posted 03 November 2012 - 03:32 AM

It seems Wondra is not directly available anywhere outside US, at least not in Europe. I am in the same situation. Not a very fortunate ingredient selection ,in my opinion...

#10 adey73

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 05:48 AM

Yeah I tried to track down Wondra in Europe a few years back, as it's used in Michel Rollands 'Happy in The Kitchen'.

Perhaps MC@US Home is closer.
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#11 splice42

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 07:34 AM

To everyone wondering about Wondra, I'm pretty sure I found a replacement here in Canada. In fact, I'm pretty sure I saw it listed in MCAH as a direct substitute. I use Robin Hood Easy Blend flour. It's the one that comes in a cylindrical container, the one that looks like this: http://i-store.walma...96_Large_1.jpeg

I've been using it in lieu of Wondra in the MCAH creamed spinach recipe and it's been doing the job just fine.

#12 ElsieD

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 12:39 PM

Page 193 of MC@H lists Wondra and below it in brackets Robin Hood Easy Blend Flour so I would think they are the same.

#13 HowardLi

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 07:57 PM

To everyone wondering about Wondra, I'm pretty sure I found a replacement here in Canada. In fact, I'm pretty sure I saw it listed in MCAH as a direct substitute. I use Robin Hood Easy Blend flour. It's the one that comes in a cylindrical container, the one that looks like this: http://i-store.walma...96_Large_1.jpeg

I've been using it in lieu of Wondra in the MCAH creamed spinach recipe and it's been doing the job just fine.

What's the shelf life of this stuff? Indefinite?

#14 rotuts

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 03:00 AM

I keep mine in the refirg. its been there a long time.

#15 StefanS

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 08:03 AM

I'm guessing that the Swedish Ideal Mjöl will work as a substitute. Might be possible to get on the Internet, not sure.

#16 Jaymes

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 02:38 PM

So it's probably likely that if you can't get Wondra, you won't be able to get Pillsbury products either, but Pillsbury's similar product is called "Shake & Blend."

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#17 Dexter

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 10:16 PM


To everyone wondering about Wondra, I'm pretty sure I found a replacement here in Canada. In fact, I'm pretty sure I saw it listed in MCAH as a direct substitute. I use Robin Hood Easy Blend flour. It's the one that comes in a cylindrical container, the one that looks like this: http://i-store.walma...96_Large_1.jpeg

I've been using it in lieu of Wondra in the MCAH creamed spinach recipe and it's been doing the job just fine.

What's the shelf life of this stuff? Indefinite?


It's got a "best by" date stamped on the bottom of the can that tends to run about 8 months, but I've used it for up to 2 years post expiration without noticing any differences in quality or anything. I'm guessing the expiration date is more a manufacturing requirement than an actual spoilage indicator.

#18 nathanm

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Posted 11 November 2012 - 08:10 PM

Wondra is a type of pregelatinized wheat flour that is great for thickening sauces. We developed a lot of recipes for it in MCAH because it is a great product, and we thought it was widely available.

Indeed products like this are made all over the world at the industrial level. Here is a link from a French grain and flour company that makes it.

I assumed that this would be available at the retail level as well. In Canada it is called Robin Hood Blending Flour. I bet that it, or something like it, is available a lot of places under various brand names.

There is no perfect substitute - because it is a functional ingredient - i.e. it performs a function in the recipe rather than just being a flavor. It is like asking to make bread without yeast. Well, you can make a quick bread with baking powder but that is a quite different recipe - not really a subtitution.

That said, the main thing we use Wondra for in MCAH is thickening. Xanthan gum is probably the best substitue. There is a whole page in MCAH discussing how to thicken with Wondra and how to thicken with Xathan - it is called "How To: Make a Full Flavored Pan Gravy".

As that page directs, you must use MUCH LESS Xathan than Wondra. Wondra is about 4g to 5g per 100g of liquid. Xathan is 0.2g to 0.3g, so about a factor of 10X to 20X less than Wondra, although that depends on the recipe.

One big difference, as that page shows, is that when you use Xathan you may want to use a blender or stick blender to make sure you don't get lumps. With Wondra you only whisk, because a blender might make the result too gummy.

Another substitute is Ultrasperse - this is a commercial starch made for thickening. It will not be at a grocery store but it should be available online. We have sources listed in MCAH.
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#19 pbear

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 01:13 AM

I respectfully disagree. Wondra is a great product but not a magic powder. It's just a flour that dissolves easily in water. One can get almost exactly the same result wth regular flour and an immerson blender. That would serve, for example, in the creamed spinach recipe mentioned earlier in the thread. Ditto for almost any thickening application. Whereas xanthan gum, although an amazing stabilizer, has a very different mouth feel. That you would consider it the preferred substition for Wondra, as opposed to regular flour, is baffling to me.

As for the chicken wing recipe, also mentioned earlier in the thread, obviously xanthan gum won't work there. Whereas, in my experience, regular flour will. Indeed, I've been using a similar marinade-to-breading approach to buffalo chicken nuggets for almost twenty years. (I use chunks of boneless, skinless thighs rather than wings.) Your book has suggested to me that Wonda might work better, but I can testify that regular flour also works. This isn't anything like bread without yeast.

#20 naguere

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 06:43 AM

I have just searched Amazon for Wondra Flour in Great Britain, it is available , at a price:http://www.amazon.co...52727617&sr=1-1
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#21 adey73

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 11:05 AM

And their shop is in the People's Republic of Lancashire.

(now what the hell is Sweet Relish for Big MC sauce?)
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#22 Jaymes

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 12:25 PM

And their shop is in the People's Republic of Lancashire.

(now what the hell is Sweet Relish for Big MC sauce?)


It's sweet pickle relish: http://www.buythecas...CFQinPAodGxUAOA

You can just mince some sweet gerkins or cornichons. Although it's not exactly the same (relish also has pickled red bell peppers, among other things), it will certainly do. In fact, there are some folks that prefer finely-chopped sweet pickles to the relish.
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#23 Baselerd

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 02:39 PM

That you would consider it the preferred substition for Wondra, as opposed to regular flour, is baffling to me.


After reading through the MC books I've virtually stopped using roux to thicken sauces. As the books put it, the flavor release is just so poor in comparison to some of the fancier stuff nowadays...

#24 pbear

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 09:37 PM

Ah, but one can use regular flour in a slurry without making a roux. You just need to do something to deal with clumping, e.g., using an immersion blender. As between that and xanthan gum, I'd say the former is a much better substitute in sauces. This is based on having done many experiments with xanthan in home made pressure-canned simmer sauces, which is one of my little hobbies. I very much wanted it to work, as I don't like the heaviness of flour in most of those sauces, but concluded the texture of xanthan is unacceptably slimey. Based on a tip I saw somewhere (maybe here on eGullet), I ended up going with modified cornstarch (ClearJel), which is definitely an online-only item. In sauces where flour works, I use Wondra. If I couldn't get that, though, I'd use regular flour, not xanthan.

To be clear, this may simply be a matter of personal preference. That is, others may find xanthan a suitable thickener for sauces. I'd encourage those unable to get Wondra to try both solutions and draw their own conclusions.