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How do I make my roux taste less like flour?

I'm trying to make a basic cheese sauce for putting over broccoli, etc. A typical recipe I've tried is:

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons unbleached white flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon dry mustard powder
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • 1 cup low fat milk
  • 1/2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • White pepper, to taste

Melt butter in a medium saucepan. Whisk in flour, mustard powder and salt to taste. Gradually stir in milk, whisking over med-low heat until thickened. Add cheese, stirring until completely melted. Season to taste with white pepper.

The problem is that it always ends up with a flour/paste undertaste. Am I just not cooking the Roux sufficiently before adding the cheese or what?

  • @Jefromi, while making the roux is the critical stage here, leaving this question open will make it more 'findable' by people looking for information on 'cheese sauce' if they don't know to (or think to) search for roux. Since OP has the specific goal of cheese sauce I don't believe this qualifies as an 'exact duplicate' see aaronut's answer on meta
    – Cos Callis
    Jul 7, 2012 at 21:47
  • @CosCallis: The other question does ask about roux for soups and sauces, implying that there's a sauce that tastes like flour, so the other question is likely a more general form of this one. In any case, closed duplicates can still be found by searches; they're intended to be a mechanism for directing people to a place with good answers.
    – Cascabel
    Jul 7, 2012 at 22:28
  • related : cooking.stackexchange.com/questions/4381 (then add cheese)
    – Joe
    Jul 9, 2012 at 3:34

2 Answers 2


It seems like you are not cooking the roux. Even a white roux should be cooked. A roux made with butter froths when it is cooked, after that you can add the milk. You can try adding it gradually, if it works for you, I find that dumping it at once and stirring vigorously is better for me - else the first small amount of milk gels the roux into too-hard lumps which the next portion of milk doesn't dissolve. Also, "until thickened" is a bit of a hit-or-miss. I wait until I see bubbles of cooking - not the rapid small bubbles of boiling water, but big, slowly rising bubbles plopping here and there, only then I stop cooking the sauce.


I don't use flour for my cheese sauce, I use corn starch. If you use one cup of milk you'll need about one or two tablespoons of corn starch, depending on how thick you want it. Experiment.

Your recipe has cheddar cheese, which for me always clumps, so I use american cheese or a bend of three cheeses, mozerella, cheddar and american. I've used all sorts of cheese for cheese sauce, as long as it melts smooth.

Make a corn starch paste instead of the flour paste and you won't have the pasty flour flavor. Corn starch clumps just like flour if you just toss it in the hot mixture, so as with flour, make the smooth paste first before adding it in the pan.

  • Welcome to the site, tam. I'm starting to go through all of the answers you've posted recently and edit them. We prefer to keep things in good writing style here, so if you could start out that way, it'd be a big help.
    – Cascabel
    Jul 10, 2012 at 13:42

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