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Why does it take an hour to "cook out the raw taste"?


Shalmanese
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Cookbooks always advise you to use a roux rather than a flour slurry because it takes 15/20/30/60 minutes to cook out the "raw" taste. However, noodles take just a couple of minutes to cook before they're considered done and there's never any discussion about any raw flour taste. What accounts for this disparity?

PS: I am a guy.

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I can't say I've ever heard the time involved was to cook out the raw taste, but for color and some depth of flavor. Certainly, a bechamel doesn't get cooked for that long. Am I misunderstanding your question?

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Noodles are cooked through in just a few minutes and you want them to taste like wheat. You aren't trying to cook out the wheat flavor. If you want to use a flour slurry just use wondra, no big deal. These days with so many starch options the main reasons to use a roux are flavor profile and tradition. Frankly it's harder to mess up a slurry so that's another point against the roux.

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I was going to agree with Chris entirely. Then I thought about using Ultratex or Wondra or similar in my gumbo or etouffee instead of a dark roux and decided I better add those as a definite exception. There is no blatantly floury taste in those but there is definitely a flavor benefit to having that dark roux in there.

It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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Well played Mr. Hennes, well played. :biggrin: You are of course correct that the desired flavor comes from the toasted flour and desiring a flavor from the flour was your disclaimer to not using other products. Apparently I'm just not too observant at 5:30 am.

It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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I can't say I've ever heard the time involved was to cook out the raw taste, but for color and some depth of flavor. Certainly, a bechamel doesn't get cooked for that long. Am I misunderstanding your question?

It does if you're Richard Olney!

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I would guess the difference between a flour slurry and wheat-flower based noodles is the simple fact that the flours in the noodles have had time to hydrate and break down, which is necessary for the formation of gluten. I'm sure that coating the flour in fat, which occurs in a roux and noodles made with egg, makes a big difference. Consider that Beurre Manié does not involve extended cooking, but doesn't leave any unwanted "faw flour" tastes. A final thought is that a "slurry" does not adequately disperse the flour, therefore the cooking time is necessary to allow the flour to completely disperse and prevent tiny clumps of flour, which would result in the raw flour taste.

Edited by JHeald (log)
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