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About roux


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It appears that not everyone agrees on the proportions for roux. I have racked my brain trying to figure this out. I have found that each source does not agree with another. Here is what I have found:

1. 3 Tbsp Fat / 3 Tbsp flour (3/4 ounce flour / 1 1/2 ounce fat)

2. 2 Tbsp Fat / 3 Tbsp flour (2 parts fat / 3 parts flour by volume)

3. Equal portions of fat to flour by weight

4. 2 parts fat / 3 parts flour by weight

Does anyone know why there is such conflicting information out there?

Is there a consensus on what the proportions should be?

The conflicting information from many culinary sources sure does make it hard to understand such a simple creation!!!!

Edited by KensethFan (log)

--- KensethFan

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Ive always done 50/50 by weight, and thats what I was taught in school. I know sometimes chefs would like to do 60/40 flour... but nonetheless, it was always done by weight.

I put an ounce of water in a cup, add an ounce of oil to float on top, then a tablespoon on flour sprinkled on the oil. Microwave for 15-20 seconds and then . . .

PRESTO!

There's your roux. Try it with rice flour - you get a substance right out of Dawn of the Dead.

Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

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In truth, it doesn't really matter. You need enough oil in there to adequately conduct heat to the flour so it doesn't burn and that's all it is. Putting too much oil in there is going to lead to more oil in your final dish but it's not going to break anything.

PS: I am a guy.

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I always account for the moisture other than fat that is in the butter. For example, using 3 oz of clarified butter will yield you exactly 3oz, however melt 3oz of whole butter and allow it to simmer off milk solid will yield less than 3oz (approx 2.75oz) You will have less lumps if you use clarified or allow the moisture to be cooked away from the butter before adding the quantity of flour.

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  • 11 months later...

I would just use a 2:2:1 ratio. That being:

2 parts flour/2 parts fat/1 cup liquid (your soup)

Sauces like bechemel are usually 1:1:1

Soups are usually 2:2:1

Superthink preparations are usually 3:3:1

Hope that helps.

--- KensethFan

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You can also make a large batch of roux ahead of time, cool it to room temp, then add a bit at a time to your soup (when it reaches a simmer) until desired thickness is reached. This is a really handy way to use roux, and it will keep for a long time in the fridge or even at room temp.

A general rule of thumb, IIRC, is that a pound of roux will thicken a gallon of liquid to nappe.

Edited by Qwerty (log)
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I would just use a 2:2:1 ratio.  That being:

2 parts flour/2 parts fat/1 cup liquid (your soup)

Sauces like bechemel are usually 1:1:1

Soups are usually 2:2:1

Superthink preparations are usually 3:3:1

Hope that helps.

is 2parts about 2 tablespoons?

thanks

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"parts" in this context means the same as "quantity".  if 1 part is "one tablespoon", 2 or 3 is that amount multiplied by that factor.  at least that's what I think KSF meant.

Except that KSF then gave "cups" as the "1" component of the ratios. I think 2 tbs flour : 2 tbs fat : 1 cup liquid would yield a very thick consistency, so perhaps tsp was the "unit" of the first two? A pound of roux (blond, I assume?) to thicken a gallon of liquid also seems high to me, but I rarely make that much.

Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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"parts" in this context means the same as "quantity".  if 1 part is "one tablespoon", 2 or 3 is that amount multiplied by that factor.  at least that's what I think KSF meant.

....Except that KSF then gave "cups" as the "1" component of the ratios. I think 2 tbs flour : 2 tbs fat : 1 cup liquid would yield a very thick consistency, so perhaps tsp was the "unit" of the first two?....

The tablespoon ratio (2 Tbsp:2 Tbsp:1 cup) is correct for a thick sauce (add a cup of shredded cheddar and you've got a great cheese sauce). This is perhaps far too thick for a soup, as is, but might work as a base for a soup, depending upon the quantity being made.

 

“Peter: Oh my god, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits. It says, 'Oooooo.'

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– From Fox TV’s “Family Guy”

 

Tim Oliver

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"parts" in this context means the same as "quantity".  if 1 part is "one tablespoon", 2 or 3 is that amount multiplied by that factor.  at least that's what I think KSF meant.

....Except that KSF then gave "cups" as the "1" component of the ratios. I think 2 tbs flour : 2 tbs fat : 1 cup liquid would yield a very thick consistency, so perhaps tsp was the "unit" of the first two?....

The tablespoon ratio (2 Tbsp:2 Tbsp:1 cup) is correct for a thick sauce (add a cup of shredded cheddar and you've got a great cheese sauce). This is perhaps far too thick for a soup, as is, but might work as a base for a soup, depending upon the quantity being made.

Good point. And take that cheese sauce, pour it over brussel sprouts and bake until bubbly and golden, and you have a perfect early spring dish :smile: .

Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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Ok. Let me clarify.

For stock-based soup (creating a volute) I would use:

1 Tbsp flour: 1 Tbsp Fat : 1 cup stock - for a thin soup

2 Tbsp flour: 2 Tbsp Fat : 1 cup stock - for a thick soup or thick sauce (like thick gravy)

For creamy soups (creating a béchamel)

1 Tbsp flour:1 Tbsp Fat :1 cup milk or cream - for a medium soup (Cream would make it much thicker)

2 Tbsp flour:2 Tbsp Fat :1 cup milk or cream - for a thick soup (Cream would make it much thicker)

Really, the best way is to try a little prepared roux at a time and get it to your desired thickness. Using thickening agents like roux is not an exact science so sometimes we must experiment. For béchamel sauces, it can depend on the type of milk we use (i.e., skim, 2%, whole, farm milk). Thus, we might have a thicker béchamel with farm milk or whole milk when we use a 1:1:1 ratio than if we use skim milk. I have found that stock behaves differently than milk - milk in a 1:1:1 ratio will generate a thicker liquid than will a stock in a 1:1:1 ratio.

Bottom line: It is best to prepare some roux and use it a little at a time to obtain your desired thickness.

Hope that clears things up. Sorry for the confusion.

--- KensethFan

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I haven't posted in a while -- but I've been busy enrolling in a 2-year culinary degree program at State University of New York - Schenectady. (It's no CIA, but it's a reasonable commute!).

We're currently covering sauces, stocks, and soups. I'm doing a lot of work at home to make up for the fact that we don't really have (in my opinion) enough lab time, especially since the weather's been responsible for some class cancellations.

ANYWAY.

In class, when we've made roux, we've added stock directly to it to continue with our recipes. Here at home, though, I'm making the roux in advance for a recipe I plan to make later in the week. I just finished making a blonde roux (1:1 ratio of flour and clarified butter). I cooked it for roughly 9 minutes...ended up with a few little burned particles, but in general, it looked good.

But now that it's been sitting for awhile, cooling, I'm noticing that there's a definite film of butter on top.

So I have two questions.

First, are the burned bits (which I've removed to avoid having them impart flavor to the veloute I'll be making as a soup base) due to imperfect clarification of the butter on my part?

Second, is the butter film on top of the roux normal? If not, what might I have done wrong to cause it?

Many thanks for any advice,

Josh

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Never heard of using clarified butter for a roux...but thats just me, my culinary school was only County not State :wink:

tracey

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Never heard of using clarified butter for a roux...but thats just me, my culinary school was only County not State :wink:

Hehe...go, County!

The clarified-butter-for-roux comes from our textbook, "On Cooking" by Sarah Labensky, which seems to be a fairly ubiquitous textbook. It's even included in some editions of Mastercook.

--Josh

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I can't imagine how you can get burnt bits on a blonde roux except via gross incompetence and I'm having a hard time imagining how you could remove them. My advice would be to just start again, butter and flour are cheap and there really is no point in starting from a flawed base.

Second, yes, roux left by itself will seperate out. It's only when you add a liquid that the flour gelatanizes and captures the fat into an emulsion.

PS: I am a guy.

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