By: Helena Stallings, Culinary Arts Graduate
For many culinary arts students at Escoffier, the first thing they are taught is how to make a basic roux. In the culinary industry a roux is the most commonly used thickener to add to sauces and without a roux we would not have 3 of our 5 mother sauces. The basic roux used in the culinary world is equal parts butter to flour, but any fat can be substituted for butter. In my opinion a bacon fat roux is a wonderful accompaniment to breakfast gravies. The procedure of making a roux is simply melt your fat in a pan over medium-low heat and whisk in equal parts flour. A white roux is lightly cooked and very pale, it is used to thicken the Béchamel mother sauce. A blonde roux is cooked slightly longer and will look and smell similar to peanut butter, it is used to thicken the Velouté mother sauce. A brown roux is cooked quite a bit longer, until the color is dark brown and it is used to thicken the Espagnole mother sauce. A roux may only be 2 ingredients, but without it our sauces wouldn’t be the same.
How To Make A Roux:
1 cup clarified butter
1 ¾ cup flour
- Melt one cup of clarified butter in a medium saucepan. Sprinkle some flour into the butter to test if it’s hot enough. If the flour bubbles, it’s ready.
- When the oil is hot, slowly whisk in about 1 ¾ cups of flour. When all the flour is gone, a thick paste should be formed. Whisk constantly until the roux becomes smoother and thinner.
- For a white roux, stir and cook for about 5 minutes after the last of the flour has been added. For a blond roux, cook for about 20 minutes, stirring constantly. It will be thinner than before. For a brown roux, cook and stir constantly until the color resembles a peanut butter like hue. It will be even thinner and the bubbling will be barely noticeable.
- Follow the rest of the directions on the recipe!