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I make this soup based on a roux. I make roux the following way:

  • I melt butter
  • I add the same amount of flour
  • After cooking it a little I start adding a stock, just a little at the time.

This is where it goes wrong. Always when i add the first but of water or stock, my roux sticks a bit to the bottem om the pan. I try stirring the hell out of it, but I never prevent a little to stick to the pan. So this is what happens: I have a roux base that does not stick to the pan, but when I add the first liquid, it immediately start sticking.

I can imagine a couple of thinks to influence this proces:

  • The heat of the water/stock you add I normally have already warm/hot stock. Is it better to add cold liquid?
  • The heat of the pan Maybe I should cook less hot?
  • Does spices influence the stickyness? I make roux with yellow curry mixed with the flour mostly.
  • Does baking onions/garlic with the butter matter while making the roux?
  • From the question How to mix a roux with stock I find out I should add more water at the same time. Would this also help my current problem? Because I can not really imagine that. (Also I do not see how you would get a good roux without lumps while doing that, but that's an other questions and probably just needs some more practice)

I looked in these questions: How to make a roux? and How to mix a roux with stock but they could not really help me.

Thanks in advanced for the answer!

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possible duplicate of How to mix a roux with stock? –  Jefromi Jul 10 '12 at 18:51
    
I've provided an answer in case people don't agree that this is a duplicate, but you've basically said the exact same thing as my proposed duplicate: you're making a 1:1 roux, then adding liquid slowly, and having trouble. Rumtscho's detailed answer there explains why this is bad (despite your trouble imagining it) and adds a lot of other helpful advice. –  Jefromi Jul 10 '12 at 18:52

3 Answers 3

There's already a question about roux/stock temperature (as well as a recent question that's probably a duplicate). Summary: yes, adding cold liquid to hot roux is good. Additionally, most of what I'm saying is already in the answers to "How to mix a roux with stock". I've gone ahead and tried to address your specific concerns, but I really think thoroughly reading rumstcho's answer there would help you.

Yes, it's also bad if the pan is too hot, and you rapidly cook the roux and boil off excess liquid, leaving something that was briefly wet enough to spread along the bottom of the pan, then a second later dry enough to cook onto the bottom of the pan. This is also one of the reasons it's bad to add too little liquid at once. If it ever dries out, you've messed up.

And yes, you should probably be adding more liquid initially, at the very least enough to wet all of the roux. It's fine if the first batch of liquid gets you something substantially thicker than your end goal, but you shouldn't be just trying to get a slightly wet ball of roux, then a slightly wetter one, and ten steps later have a thick slurry. You want to give yourself enough liquid to work with right away.

Once you've got all that, you need to whisk well. If anything is remaining sitting on the bottom of the pan the entire time, of course it's going to stick.

With respect to your other questions: Spices shouldn't hurt you, and a roux containing significant onions and garlic isn't a normal roux, but I've certainly made tons of thick sauces with all kinds of things mixed into the roux, and had no trouble. Bits of things are just, well, extra bits of things. They don't really interact with the liquid when you add it.

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I couldn't really find there the answer to the question: Why does it stick? What in the things I do wrong causes the sticking? However, if you state: You should combine these answers and follow it up properly: -hot stock, not to hot pan, enough stock at once. And it won't stick, then I agree with you. However from your answer I think mostly the 'not enough stock' part is making it sticking. So it really did help me more. Thank you for your answer. I'm going to try that. :) –  Lotte Laat Jul 10 '12 at 18:59
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It sticks because (1) your pan is too hot, (2) you're not adding enough liquid, and/or (3) you're letting it cook too long before adding more stock. –  Jefromi Jul 10 '12 at 19:03

Of course you have to stir roux when making it, and you also have to stir with the proper utensil: a spatula with a wide flat edge. If you are stirring with a spoon, fork, whisk, or some other utensil, you are not moving the parts just above the pan bottom, and they are remaining there and burning. Also, don't stop stirring until it has thickened, else it will set and burn.

Of course the other answer (too hot a pan) is important too, but at the heat you need for making roux, it will burn quickly if not properly stirred. You need both - the correct temperature and the correct stirring spatula.

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I recently discovered this whisk, which does a pretty good job with the bottom of the pan. –  Jefromi Jul 10 '12 at 20:02
    
Interesting thing - does it also work well as a normal whisk? Also, I would be afraid that it won't move the bottom layer far enough but just go "under" it instead of pushing it aside the way a spatula does. –  rumtscho Jul 10 '12 at 20:04
    
I haven't done anything really intense with it yet, but so far, just fine for normal whisky things, and I've made one roux-based sauce with it in a broad pan with no problems. (But then, I've never really had problems with this stuff, and I don't use recipes. Just melt butter, add some flour, cook a bit, add some liquid, stir, add some more, there we are!) –  Jefromi Jul 10 '12 at 20:07
    
I tried whipping egg whites with that kind of whisk just this weekend. It seemed to be working, but I can't tell because the container of the egg whites was too narrow to have the whites nicely whipped. But it was certainly better than a spatula (although I haven't tried it to whip whites with). –  Mien Jul 10 '12 at 21:54

This goes to the point of a roux - you mix the flour with the fat to cover all the loose particulate matter on the flour grains that nt to stick together in the presence of water.

The problem is, butter has about 20% water content!

After you've melted your butter, keep it on the heat until it has completely stopped bubbling. That's when the water has completely evaporated. Only then add the flour, stir hard to coat all the grains, and then you should be able to add all the water you want :)

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