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I am an amateur cook. While I have been making a couple different sauce recipes, I have been using flour to thicken it. To deal with lumping, I have been try several methods. One successful one has been to mix the flour into the cold broth. I simply add the flour to the broth and whisk out any dry lumps. This method works because the gluten globules don't form without heat.

However, I don't see this method referenced in any method. Instead I have been told to only mix the flour in oil or knead it into butter.

Is there a reason why the flour + broth method isn't recommendable?

Does the method to make a roux not work if there is liquid in the mix?

Thank you.

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If you add the flour to the broth you don't have an opportunity to cook the flour separately.

Roux is described by its color. Even the lightest whites or blonds are cooked a bit to remove some of the raw "cereal-y" flavor of the flour. Toasting it just a little removes this and it's generally considered an unpleasant taste.

Darker preparations bring out a nutty quality that is sought after for dishes like gumbo.

You're basically making a slurry, which is a normal thickening technique (you mentioned the other two). Generally the starch is mixed with a small amount of cold liquid and then added to the sauce to thicken

If you don't notice the raw flour flavor in your sauces, I'd say your technique is a fine solution. Probably due to the relative amount of flour you are using. You may notice it's not ideal for a thicker sauce.

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    Thanks for the answer and the term to reference (slurry). I will accept the answer in the morning. I just want to see if anyone else has anything to add. – PV22 Jul 1 '17 at 2:46
  • Would you be able to expand on why the flour doesn't cook after adding the slurry to the fat, as it's reducing? – PV22 Jul 1 '17 at 13:33
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    @PV22 The flour does cook when you use it as a slurry as long as you're cooking the sauce after adding it (boiling briefly, for instance, would cook the flour). I think what Preston was getting at was that you don't get to cook the flour separately, which deprives your sauce of the flavor a roux can provide. Because it isn't a pure starch, flour used as a slurry is not quite as powerful a thickener as cornstarch, which is a pure starch, so you may want to experiment with that if you want a very thick sauce. – senschen Jul 5 '17 at 16:41

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