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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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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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When I make Rue I use 2tblsp of flour and 2 tsp of oleo or butter. Mix slowly on low heat keep whisking so no lumps I also add 1/8th tsp black pepper and a dash of salt when all mixed and no lumps I start pouring in the 2 cups of WHOLE milk a quarter cup at a time keep mixing.

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You need to use the same volume of butter and flour, not guess, no add whatever you think. And you need to cook that mixture together first, till it's light and frothy which indicates the flour is thoroughly cooked. Then you add the milk, stirring, and keep stirring till it's thick (it gets thicker as it cools). It works better if the milk is warm, but it's not tragic if it's not.

1tbs each butter and flour is standard/minimum for 1cup whole milk. I usually do 2tbs each, because I like my sauces thick. You can go up to 3tbs if you want something really thick, but it'll be near solid when cold. Note these are proportions for whole milk. If you only have that nasty low-fat stuff, you have a problem. You can compensate with 3tbs each butter and flour, at least that'll restore some of the desired fat content. But in that situation I'm more likely to just use half and half, the results are better.

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