This White Roux Recipe is a staple in French and most Southern recipes. Made from the combination of flour and fat, it is used as a thickener for gravy and sauces.
Creole and Cajun dishes rely heavily on the roux. The roux is a sauce used as a base for mother sauces in French cuisine.
The sauce is very important in French cuisine and has also found its way into American societies and foods.
White roux is a type of roux. There are about four types of roux and include dark brown, brown, white, and blond. Let’s not forget the Vegetable Demi-Glace.
The major difference between these types of roux is the duration of cooking or preparation.
The fat in dark brown roux is allowed to stay longer than the other types of roux, hence its dark brown color. Therefore, the white roux stays less on fire while the dark brown roux stays longer.
History of White roux
Roux started in France. In 1651 when the legendary Francois Pierre La Varenne wrote his cookbook that later became one of the foundational manuals of the French Cuisine, he mentioned something called liaison de farine.
The liaison de farine was also called thickening of flower and this mixture was made from lard and flour. Later on, the name of this mixture changed into farine frit or roux.
By the mid-1700s, the name of the mixture and its method of preparation changed. The name was changed to roux de farine and the use of lard was substituted for that of butter.
This approach gave roux a lightly creamy color. This type of roux became very important to French chefs that many experts noted that chefs rely too much on the roux.
This importance however dwindled over the years until the 1970s when Paul Prudhomme rekindled people’s interest in the use of Roux. Before him, the use of roux dwindled because of nouvelle cuisine.
Many people trying to cut out fat from their diet stopped using roux for their dishes because lard, butter, and flour are rich sources of fat and calories that they are trying to cut. But with the emergence of Paul Prudhomme, the rekindled interest brought the use of roux back to the radar.
Ingredients Used for making White Roux
White roux has two main ingredients: flour and fat. The best type of fat that chefs prefer to use for the roux is ghee which is also known as clarified butter. However, you can also use bacon grease regular butter, lard, and oil.
Oil is the least preferable option because once the roux starts cooling. Depending on the oil you use, the mixture may separate, and the flour and oil become distinct.
The ratio of flour to fat depends on you and your preference. However, you need to know that the more flour in the mixture, the better its efficiency as a thickening agent.
To make the roux, you’ll need the following ingredients:
- Unsalted Butter to add in fat. You can also use bacon grease.
- All-Purpose Flour to thicken the roux and is also the base of the roux.
- Milk to help break down the flour and turn the roux into a delicious sauce or thickener.
- Garlic powder, ground clove (optional; you can substitute it with ground allspice), salt and pepper to taste.
How is white roux cooked?
Making white roux is faster and easier than you think.
To make the roux, using a medium size saucepan or cast-iron skillet, heat the pan over medium-low heat.
Melt the butter then add the oil.
Add the flour and immediately begin to whisk to avoid lumps. Once the lumps start to disappear add in the milk a little at a time. Continue to whisk while you are adding the milk.
Season with salt and pepper, ground cloves and garlic powder. Reduce the heat to low and continue to whisk/stir until the ingredients are well incorporated.
Cooking time for this process should take about 3-5 minutes on low heat. Remove the heat from heat when thickens to avoid burning.
The roux is complete you know longer smell the flour. You can also test it by sliding your index finger on the back of the wooden spoon. It should leave a clean streak; this is an indication that the roux is done.
How to use your roux
There are many uses for a White Roux. You can turn it into a gravy and add it over biscuits. You can also use it to make scallop potatoes. You can also use it o make Salisbury steak.
Storing White roux
Once your white roux is done, you can pour it into an airtight container or an ice cube tray and place it in a refrigerator.
You can refrigerate the white roux for hours or overnight till it gets cold and hardened. However, this roux stays fresh and usable for a few days or weeks, at most.
You can also store white roux in the freezer using an airtight container.
More Sauces to Enjoy
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How To Make White Roux
- Sauce Pan
- Cast Iron Skillet; Optional
- ¼ cup All-Purpose Flour
- 2 Tbsp. Unsalted Butter
- 2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
- 1 ½ cup Milk; Or you can use creamer
- Pinch Of Ground Cloves; Optional
- Salt and Pepper To Taste
- ½ Tsp. Garlic Powder
- In a medium size saucepan or cast-iron skillet, heat the pan over medium-low heat.Melt the butter then add the oil. Add the flour and immediately begin to whisk to avoid lumps. Once the lumps start to disappear add in the milk a little at a time. Continue to whisk while you are adding the milk. Season with salt and pepper, ground cloves and garlic powder. Reduce the heat to low and continue to whisk/stir until the ingredients are well incorporated.
- Cooking time for this process should take about 3-5 minutes on low heat. Remove the heat from heat when thickens to avoid burning. The roux is complete you know longer smell the flour. You can also test it by sliding your index finger on the back of the wooden spoon. It should leave a clean streak; this is an indication that the roux is done.
Sisley White - Sew White
This is something I wouldn’t normally try but you’ve made it easy.
Hope you get a chance to try it.
The perfect base for my white pepper gravy.
Great tips and useful posts on the roux. Thanks for sharing.
Love the addition of cloves and pepper! I honestly usually only make roux when I make homemade mac and cheese, so I keep it simple, but I tried it with this recipe this week and it was so so delicious and just had some extra oumph! Thank you!
Thank you, Dana
This is so simple to make and I love the idea of using it as gravy over biscuits. Can’t wait to introduce this to my weekend brunch!