Roux - technical

Discussion in 'Food and nutrition' started by [email protected], Mar 24, 2005.

  1. Hello all,

    I hope I can get a little help here about some technical questions
    about roux's. Before posting, I have consulted a lot of books including
    Culinary Institute of American and Cordon Bleu books.

    1. Regarding the dextrinization of the flour, many recipes say cooking
    the starch in fat reduces "starchiness" and increasdes "nuttiness". But
    at least for a white or blond roux, mot of the starch will still be
    there. So does the nuttiness from dextrinization mask the starch flavor
    of the remaining starch or is something else happening at a chemical
    level which actually changes the starch flavor?

    2. Many recipes say Gelatinization reduces starchiness by spreading
    the starch molecules around but I haven't read anywhere that it changes
    them chemically. So does the spreading around of the molecules reduce
    starchiness by effectively "diluting" their starch flavor? Or does it
    not change starch flavor at all, just the texture? (Some of the
    research I have done suggests the gelatinization actually removes some
    of the starchiness. But I wonder about this.)

    3. Some recipes mention that when making a bechamel, you should whisk
    and simmer (for up to 30 minutes) to reduce starchiness . I have had
    pretty good luck simmering at low heat and whisking only several
    minutes following gelatinization. Doesn't oversimmering begin to
    produce off-flavors from cooking milk proteins?

    4. Finally, many recipes seem to specify adding a hot roux to a cold
    liquid (or vice-versa). But does this matter if you add only small
    amounts of liquid to the roux? My method for 1 to 3 cups of bechamel
    has been to add only a couple tablespoons of liquid to the roux in the
    beginning (without regard to what is hot or cold), mix till no lumps,
    than add slighly more liquid. I don't usually have any lumps.

    Thanks so much,