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I was making some roux for white sauce for pasta and followed instructions to the dot. (All purpose flour == butter == 4tbsp. 2 cups milk.) But the milk was very very thin (the only variant we get around here) and I ended up with a very thick sauce.

Is there any way I can estimate when to stop adding the flour (which I predict the culprit for any inconsistency in the sauce)?

I usually

  • Heat butter
  • Add small amounts of flour and stir while adding some milk simultaneously.
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Traditionally Roux is made from equal parts (by weight) of flour and fat so if you had 3 ounces of butter you would add three ounces of flour. Also, traditionally you start with just the butter and flour and cook them until the color you desire (as mentioned below by Chris) and then you slowly whisk it into your hot liquid (not simultaneously as you mentioned). If you whisk the completed roux into your liquid a little bit at a time you can stop when it's as thick as you want it. – djmadscribbler Jul 6 '12 at 21:07
up vote 5 down vote accepted

Typically, you go for 1 tbsp flour, 1 tbsp butter for each cup of liquid. You may have to adjust slightly, but that's a good starting point.

After the quantity of roux, the next factor to thickening strength is cooking time. The longer you cook the roux, and consequently, how dark it gets, the less thick the final result will be for a given quantity of roux and liquid.

For a white sauce (i.e. Bechamel and Bechamel-based sauces) you want the roux to stay more or less white. For a Gumbo, you cook it until it's light brown (sometimes called red).

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