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Making a big batch of roux is a hassle, so I'm investigating how to make my life a bit easier.

According to 'Ideas in food', you can make roux in a jar in a pressure cooker. Nice, but the quantity is too little for my needs.

In the Cajun cuisine you can make roux for gumbo in the oven. That won't work for me as I need it to work as a thickening agent. Maybe it would work at a lower temperature.

The problem is to lose the raw flour taste. I'm thinking of mixing the butter-flour as always, on the stove-top. Then transfer the batter to a sous vide bag and let it bathe for 12 h at 85ºC (at which point the starches should be gelatinized).

What do you think? Is 12h too long or too short? Is 85ºC high enough to lose the raw flavour?

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I'm a little perplexed by the roux-in-oven thing. The point of roux in gumbo is to use it as a thickener, and the link you provided indeed says it's for that. The only problem seems to be that it doesn't have oil in it, so I'm guessing it might clump more. But you can definitely do roux (with oil) in the oven; see for example this gumbo recipe. Is your question "how do I make a lot of roux efficiently" or do you really want to do it sous vide? –  Jefromi Mar 24 '13 at 15:55
@Jefromi, according to SAJ14SAJ in this answer, dark roux for gumbo does not have thickening power. –  BaffledCook Mar 24 '13 at 15:59
You are right, I want to make roux efficiently. So, that's a better title. –  BaffledCook Mar 24 '13 at 15:59
350F is 175C. That makes for heavy Maillard reaction. –  BaffledCook Mar 24 '13 at 16:01
Roux is fast and easy to make stove top or in the oven, even in large batches. Not sure why you want to go to the trouble of trying to do it sous-vide. –  SAJ14SAJ Mar 24 '13 at 16:10

2 Answers 2

up vote 2 down vote accepted

In a roux, the starches are not normally gelatinized during the production of the roux--in fact, if you make your roux with oil rather than butter, there is no water present (other than latent moisture from the flour) to do so.

Roux thickened sauces must normally be brought to the boil; this is when the actual gelatinization takes place.

. . .

Roux is easy to prepare in larger batches, stove top. Simple use a larger pan, such as a six quart dutch oven.

Melt your butter or add your oil, then whisk in the flour. Cook for a couple of minutes (after the bubbling subsides if using butter), and you are good to go. Don't be afraid to turn the heat up as long as you are standing by, watching and stirring to prevent burning from hot spots.

Butter can foam up considerably, so use a large pot in comparison to the quantity of roux.

For dark roux, I would start stove top, and finish in the oven to reduce the likelihood of taking the browning too far, and reduce the labor of stirring required.

The roux can be refrigerated. You can scoop it with a spoon and add it to sauce at the simmer and whisk, and it will thicken almost instantly.

See also: Is there a technique for making larger batches of roux?

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The mysteries of roux remain mysterious. Thanks, next time I'll crank up the heat. –  BaffledCook Mar 24 '13 at 16:22

A trick I learned in culinary school, is to pre"toast" the flour in the oven (on a sheet pan); prior to mixing in with your fat of choice. This cooks out the raw starchy taste. As far as sous vide is concerned; I actually came upon this link in an attempt to see if / how others have had any success with roux at sub-boiling temperatures (outside of a pressure cooker; which obviously allows you to raise the boiling point). I guess I'll just have to experiment a bit to see if I can get decent results.

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Hello @Barry and welcome to Seasoned Advice! Good info re pre-toasting the flour. Can you please add the link mentioned in the answer? –  Cindy Nov 7 at 20:00

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