What is the chemistry of a roux?

 A roux, for people who aren’t super into cooking or from New Orleans, is a combination of a starch, often flour, and a fat, often butter. It’s also a good skill to learn because it’s another way to understand the chemistry of starch and butter.

What does a roux do?

When used in soups, sauces, and casseroles a roux provides creaminess and density, helps incorporate other fatty ingredients like cream or cheese, and generally binds things together into a cohesive finished product. And gravy, this season’s MVP, is made by adding stock and/or meat drippings to a roux.

How does one get a roux to change color?

Rouxs change character and color depending on how long they are cooked. A light roux is cooked until bubbly and the starchy flour taste has gone. A blond roux is made with butter and cooked until the mixture turns a beige color.

Is a roux an emulsifier?

When we’re talking about gravy, you’re probably starting with a roux, but flour is not an emulsifier. Flour is helping to thicken the stock in your gravy. It’s increasing the viscosity of the water phase of the stock and that’s helping to stabilize the emulsion.

How does roux thicken sauce?

The sauce is essentially a liquid, a thickening agent, and flavoring ingredients. When you thicken a sauce with a roux, the starches in the flour expand and absorb the liquid. But with whole butter, which is 15 percent water, the starch molecules start to absorb the water from the butter.

What determines the thickening ability of a roux?

The type of flour used and how far the roux is cooked will also determine the thickening power of the roux. Flours that are high in starch such as cake flour will thicken more liquid than a roux made with bread flour four example which has a lower starch content.

How would you describe a roux?

A roux is a smooth paste, made from flour fried in fat, that is added to sauces, soups or gravy to make them thick, smooth and rich.

How is a roux made?

Roux (pronounced RU) is made by cooking a mixture of equal parts flour and fat, typically butter. It is the thickening agent for three of the mother sauces of classical French cooking: sauce béchamel, sauce velouté and sauce espagnole.

What are the 2 main ingredients of a roux?

Roux is a French word (pronounced ROO) that refers to the combination of flour and fat that’s used to thicken sauces and soups. After combining the two ingredients, roux is cooked for a variable amount of time depending on the type (more on that below).

Why does roux turn dark?

The heat from the stove is what helps turn a roux that deep, chocolate brown color typical of a gumbo roux.

Why does the roux need to be dark?

The darker the color the more pronounced the roux’s flavor. But at the same time that a roux darkens, its thickening power lessens. This is because the intense heat from frying the flour in fat causes its starch chains to break down, and these smaller pieces are less efficient thickeners.

Why is a roux dark?

The fat and the flour separates. But that’s just fine, simply stirring it with a spoon will bring it back to it’s original consistency and texture. If dark streaks appear while cooking the roux it means that the flour has burned. Start all over again and discard the burnt roux.

How do emulsions work?

How do emulsifiers work? Emulsifier molecules work by having a hydrophilic end (water-loving) and hydrophobic end (water-hating). The hydrophilic end of the emulsifier molecule is attracted to the water and the hydrophobic end is attracted to the fat/oil.

Can you make a roux with oil?

You can use almost any fat when making a roux, from butter to oil to animal fat. Spicer told me she uses “several different kinds of fat, from vegetable oil to duck fat or even smoked duck fat,” depending on the dish she is making. In a heavy Dutch oven or cast-iron skillet, heat your fat of choice over medium.

How sauces thicken at the molecular level?

Starches thicken by a process called gelatinization. Starch gelatinization is a process that breaks down the intermolecular bonds of starch molecules in the presence of water and heat, allowing the hydrogen bonding sites (the hydroxyl hydrogen and oxygen) to engage more water.

What does flour do in a roux?

A roux is a cooked mixture of equal parts flour and fat. When flour is cooked in fat, the fat coats the flour’s starch granules. This helps keep lumps from forming when the roux is combined with liquid such as milk or stock, yielding a silky-smooth, uniform sauce.

Is roux a thickening agent?

Roux – Equal parts by weight of oil (vegetable, peanut, soy, etc.) or fat (butter, lard, bacon fat, meat or poultry fat) and flour, a roux is the most common type of thickening agent found in professional kitchens.

How does flour thicken a sauce?

So long as you’re not gluten-free, flour is an excellent option that you’ll likely always have on hand. Not only can you use it to thicken sauces, but it makes an excellent thickener for gravies and soups as well. When added to liquid, the starches in the flour expand, helping to thicken whatever you add it to.

How does a thickening agent work?

Starch-based thickening agents are polysaccharides. Large molecular weight carbohydrates which interact and form gels or thickened dispersions when in contact with water. Amylose and Amylopectin are two major polysaccharides in starches that are responsible for thickening foods.

How much liquid will roux thicken?

1 Tbsp. flour mixed with 1 Tbsp. of butter or other fat should yield enough roux to thicken 3/4 to 1 cup of warm liquid. To avoid lumps forming, slowing whisk liquid into the roux and simmer until mixture thickens.

What are the 4 stages of a roux?

  1. White Roux:
  2. Blonde Roux:
  3. Brown Roux:
  4. Chocolate Roux:

How do you make a roux step by step?

Begin by heating 2 tablespoons oil or fat in a saucepan over medium heat until a pinch of flour sprinkled into the oil will just begin to bubble. Then, whisk in 3-1/2 tablespoons of flour to form a thick paste the consistency of cake frosting. Continue whisking as the roux gently bubbles and cooks to the shade desired.

What are the 3 types of roux?

  • White Roux: Has a neutral flavor and is primarily used to thicken sauces, soups, and chowders.
  • Blond Roux: Has a nuttier flavor than white roux and can be used for sauces and soups.
  • Brown Roux: Has a nutty flavor, with less thickening power than lighter rouxs.

What are the importance of roux in making sauces?

A roux (pronounced “roo”) is one of the basic thickening agents in cooking and is used primarily for thickening sauces and soups. It’s made from equal parts fat and flour, which then has milk or stock added to it. This the base for classic sauces such as béchamel, veloute or espagnole sauce.

Can You Make a roux without flour?

If you’re looking for a gluten-free alternative, try using a combination of rice flour and cornstarch. Alternatively, you can use pureed vegetables, such as squash or potatoes, to make a roux. Other alternatives include arrowroot powder and tapioca starch.

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