I made some Broccoli Cheese soup and it seems my rue is not desolving like it should. Any suggestions?
Help with Rue not desolving....
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I'll take a stab at this one.
It might be the ratio of butter to flour in your roux.
Too tight a roux will result in some undissolved pieces that will continue to thicken your sauce.
Try using less flour and add it in small increments to your butter or other fat. You can always add more. If it is becomes too tight you can add some more fat to thin it out.
Cooking a bit of potato with the soup is a nice way to thicken without the added flour and fat.
Of course you will need to whizzz it afterwards if the bits of undissolved potato bother you.
I have used rewarmed mashed potatoes ("temper" with some of the soup or broth) and this worked as well.
I don't think you should add cold liquid to you roux (spelled this way). First, roux is butter and flour, so no ingredient is liquid in its cold state (unless you use oil, God forbid, but that wouldn't be a roux anymore IMO).
Second, even if you're adding milk to make a Béchamel, it is far better to heat your milk before adding it to minimize clumping.
Roux is from the french "beurre roussi", literally "russet /reddened butter" or what we call brown butter.
Adding oil is just a way to cut costs, but it's not how roux was defined. I can tell if a roux is made with oil just by looking at it, never appetizing IMO.
Also, I think we can agree on the fact that butter is often used in roux, and that it's never liquid when cold, even if clarified.
I think Chefross got it right. It is likely the ratio of butter to flour. I think there was too much flour in the recipe.
We make 5 gal. broccoli and cheese soup every wednesday. I needed to come up with a way for a Baker to make it. After trying many ways we settled on keeping the roux warm and
tempering the roux with the soup. Like making Creme Anglaise. This way we can also keep some broccoli pieces because it take less agitation to mix.
Roux ingredients here in the south vary depending on which type of cuisine you're cooking. I have been in enough restaurants and homes in Louisiana with top named chef and
Old soul Grandmothers ,th roux is always made with vegetable oil or animal fat. It then slowed cooked to a dark red brown. I garuntee! If I'm not mistaken Louisiana was French about 300 yrs, ago.
Edited by panini - 8/21/15 at 4:20am
A roux is a mixture of equal parts (by weight) of fat and flour. Fat is commonly butter (clarified if you want to get technical) but any fat will do.
Either the roux or the liquid should be cold/room temp. You add cold roux to hot/warm liquid, or pour cold/room temp liquid over hot roux (a little at a time).
It has to do with the gelatinization of the starches in the flour (in essence, if they get too hot too fast, the starch gelatinizes around itself, creating impenetrable starch-coated lumps of flour that will never break down or go away no matter how much you whisk). Basically you seal little lumps of flour in starch.
You can pre-make the roux and cool it down, to room temp, then add it to the hot liquid/soup a little at a time. Once the liquid is up to a simmer/boil (flour won't reach full thickening power until it comes to a boil), reduce heat and cook until the flour/starchy taste is gone.
I like this method because you add only as much roux as you need until desired thickness is reached.
Doesn't the "roux" part refer to the color of the flour, not the color of the butter? The flour can be "roux" or "red" or "browned" without using butter...?
But yeah, basically, to sum up, either cold roux/hot liquid, or hot liquid/cold roux. No lumps.
Obviously we all have our history and folklore. here is mine...
Roux means red as in red fox or red head colour i.e. red-orange-copper. A male red head in French is called un Roux and a female, une Rousse, the feminine colour is also used to describe an amber beer.
A typical roux is used for brown to dark coloured sauces whereas, as you all know, you add fat + flour and let is react until it colours...
there is 3 food science principles at play here:
1- Fat and starch don't mix. When both are combined and heated the fat separates (disperses) the starch granules so that they won't clump together when hydrated with water. (as @Someday alluded to in his explanation)
2- Warm fat coated starch granules soak up water slowly and uniformly so that the addition of water can be controlled (i.e. thick or loose). Adding warm liquids to dry flour always clumps (unless excessive mixing is involved) Risotto making works mainly on this principle. When starch granules are left to soak in water only, the granules swell but also bust which breaksdown the thickning potential. It become glue like and runny.
3- Since fat can attain higher temperatures than water, fat coated starch granules first harden (to help principle 2) then can brown with the protein in the flour (Maillard reaction). The thickening power of the roux, decreases as the colour increases but more colour means more taste (umami). I'm guessing here but, probably a roux (rust red) colour is the best combination of flavour and thickening when initially developed by a French cook to make and describe his recipes.
the difference between using fat or butter lies in the fact that butter has 10% water content. If the water is not driven out of the butter correctly then it will pre-gelatinize the flour and reduce it's thickening potential because the granules will breakdown prematurely. When using butter, it would be preferable to heat the butter first until it foams (water released by steam) then add the flour followed by cooking to the desired colour.
Note: the Maillard reaction is a chain reaction meaning once it starts the colour development cascades quickly. Controlling heat is your friend. I have indeed been able to attain an actual roux (copper penny like) colour with butter and flour on moderate heat and plenty of time. Like making caramel with melted sugar.
This is what I was talking about in my prior thread.
The equal parts thing makes a very stiff roux once cooked, so adding a small amount more of fat (butter) helps thin out the roux so it dissolves easier.
But, that being said, if the roux is too thin, the sauce will break when heated. The ratio of flour to fat has can be played with for the results you seek.
Now I understand why I had Coquille St Jaques break on me once, it was such a mystery all these years.
On another note, one day in a large company cafeteria some totally green cook dumped premix roux into their [very good] mushroom soup without thinning first. It still worked to thicken the soup, but also formed the most wonderful little soft dumplings. I knew what must have happened and went and told the head chef not to no way fire that guy.
This was one of those commercial rouxs, very white and made with modified starch. I'd like to duplicate it.
Chef are you talking cold like ice water or cold meaning room temp and not hot?
When I fry chicken and then make gravy with the drippings I use some milk from the fridge with tap water added to "warm it up" to room temp.
OBTW the chicken is fried in a ratio of oil 25% (ish) and lard 75% (ish) soooo when I add my flour is this still a roux even tho there is no butter?
'cuz I will toss some butter in there no problems.