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 Staples - about Thickening Agents

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PostSubject: Staples - about Thickening Agents   Sun Nov 16, 2008 8:47 pm

Staples - Thickening Agents



Thickening Agents -



Flour, to be properly used as a thickener, is blended into melted butter or other fat over low heat, stirred constantly, and cooked for 2-3 minutes. This is called making aroux.When liquid is stirred into the roux and cooked ot the boiling point, the roux will thicken the liquid. Incidentally, if the liquid is hot when you add it to your sauce, will not lump on you.



Burre Manie, is French for "handled butter." to thicken a soup or sauce that is already cooked, make a beurre manie by blending equal amounts of flour and soft butter, working them together quickly with your fingers. Add the mixture, bit by bit, to a hot sauce, stirring after each addition, until it is absorbed and you have the thickeness you want.



Instant-Blending Flour, is expensive, it dissolves in hot liquid without lumping and may be added directly to a gravy or pan drippings, or to a sauce. Do not use it in bread, cakes, or cookies.



Cornstarch must be dissolved in cold water before it is added to a hot mixture or it will lump. It's used frequently in Oriental cooking and produces the glazy, translucent sheen so often associated with Chinese food.



Arrowroot, is very expensive and not always easy to find. It must be dissolved in water first. It is clear and almost tasteless and gives a nice gleam to food.



Potato Flour, cooks quickly and smoothly in liquid, is transparent, and leaves no raw taste. It's nice in fruit and egg sauces, but it cannot be heated to more then 176F without thinning out.
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