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MizTina
06-07-2007, 10:49 PM
I'm sure this is a silly question, but do you brown your flour before when making gravy?

My grandfather always made the gravy in our family, and he taught my cousins and myself to either brown the flour in a frying pan or in the oven before starting the gravy making process.

I've been making gravy this way for nigh on 40 years and am still amazed by the reaction of people watching me make it. They've never seen it before, it seems they brown their flour in the oil. I have no clue how to do that, but I've had to teach quite a few people of those people how to brown flour after they had my gravy.

Maybe this is a particular part of the south thing? My grandfather was from north Georgia. I am baffled by the lack of flour browning.


T.

Squink
06-07-2007, 11:07 PM
it seems they brown their flour in the oil. I have no clue how to do that, How to Make a Roux (http://ehow.com/how_13900_make-roux.html)
I usually just add flour to the mix of oil/water/whatever which will become gravy, but the flour doesn't brown that way. I'll bet pre-browned flour would make it tastier, much like a browned roux.

Hunter Hawk
06-07-2007, 11:07 PM
Saveur magazine had an article not too long ago that discussed browning flour sans oil as an aspect of one type of southern cooking, but I forget the specific locale. ISTR that one cook browned flour in large batches, then stored it in a flour canister so it would be convenient.

I brown the flour with the oil, mostly because I'm a lazy bachelor and doing it separately would require another pan.

it seems they brown their flour in the oil. I have no clue how to do that
You get yer pan with yer oil. You dump yer flour in the pan with the oil. You put it on the heat. You let it cook, stirring as needed, till it's the color you want.

lissener
06-07-2007, 11:25 PM
It's the only way to do it.

An Arky
06-08-2007, 06:25 AM
I haven't done it that way, though I might try it, because when you have recipes that call for a dark roux or well-browned flour, it seems to me that the time spent browning the flour in the oil is significant, which means the oil or butter breaks down and scorches more than if the flour had a "head start". I don't know what it would mean, gluten-wise though.

Spoke
06-08-2007, 06:57 AM
You get yer pan with yer oil. You dump yer flour in the pan with the oil. You put it on the heat. You let it cook, stirring as needed, till it's the color you want.
...which is how my own north Georgia family has always done it.

Dolores Reborn
06-08-2007, 07:19 AM
I've never heard of this! Sounds intriguing, though. Do you do this just for brown gravy and roux, or for white cream gravy, too? At what temp do you cook it? I would assume very low. Does it take a while? Could you do a big batch in the oven, maybe, then store it as mentioned upthread?

Hmm...

Ichbin Dubist
06-08-2007, 07:43 AM
I brown the flour with the oil, mostly because I'm a lazy bachelor and doing it separately would require another pan.

A real lazy bachelor would be eating takeout over the sink while staring at the can of gravy he bought 3 years before.

I've never browned flour except in a roux, but this method sounds interesting. (Disclosure: I love Southern cooking, but I was raised in New Jersey where "gravy" often turns out to be tomato sauce.) Baking the flour would probably impart a very different flavor than a roux.

devilsknew
06-08-2007, 08:00 AM
So let me get this straight, you basically brown or burn the flour dry without oil or any other medium? Wouldn't the flour turn bitter?

Fiver
06-08-2007, 08:01 AM
...which is how my own north Georgia family has always done it.There it is, then. I'd offer recollections on how my not-as-far-north-Georgia family does it, except I was never around to watch the gravy making.

MizTina
06-08-2007, 10:43 PM
I've never heard of this! Sounds intriguing, though. Do you do this just for brown gravy and roux, or for white cream gravy, too? At what temp do you cook it? I would assume very low. Does it take a while? Could you do a big batch in the oven, maybe, then store it as mentioned upthread?

Hmm...


Only for brown gravy. I use my old revereware frying pan on medium heat, but you have to keep turning it as it browns or it will burn darn quick. It takes awhile for it to brown and the smell is kinda like some sort of alien overcooked popcorn, but it goes away quick.

You can have a nice goldish gravy or my favorite, a medium dark brown.

I prefer the frying pan to the oven because I can keep better watch on it. Way too easy to forget when you don't tend it.

And yes, you can store it. It tastes different than other folks gravy, I guess because the flour is actually cooked first.

If you ever want to try it, let me know and I'll walk you through it. After one time of making it, it's a cake walk.

T

MizTina
06-08-2007, 10:46 PM
So let me get this straight, you basically brown or burn the flour dry without oil or any other medium? Wouldn't the flour turn bitter?

Yes, in a dry frying pan. I've never done it in cast iron, so I don't know how it would so, but in revereware, it does great, you just have to keep an eye on it and keep shifting and turning it with a spatula.

It would be bitter only if it burned. It just has a different, more gravy taste..to me anyroad.

T

Zsofia
06-09-2007, 12:39 PM
My family is from south Georgia, and we make a roux with bacon grease or butter or what have you. I may try this weird "brown flour" thing for kicks.

Diogenes the Cynic
06-09-2007, 12:45 PM
I'm from Louisiana so of course I make a roux.

freckafree
06-09-2007, 01:51 PM
When she made potato soup, my mom always thickened it with flour browned the way you do it, MizTina.

MizTina
06-09-2007, 01:54 PM
When she made potato soup, my mom always thickened it with flour browned the way you do it, MizTina.

Ooooh, I bet that has great flavor. Since potato soup is about the only way I really like white potatoes, I might have to give that a try.

Thanks for the tip!
T

Ukulele Ike
06-09-2007, 03:38 PM
Years ago I was discussing roux-making with a friend in a New Orleans cab. The (female) cabbie joined the conversation, and declared that flour browned in a dry pan was the only way to go.

Moirai
06-09-2007, 09:20 PM
It's the only way to do it.


Yes. With butter.

Dolores Reborn
06-10-2007, 09:38 PM
I'm trying this very soon...

Moirai
06-11-2007, 08:41 AM
A roux should also eliminate lumps in your gravy. The flour bits are completely coated by the butter, so when you whisk in your stock you shouldn't end up with any lumps at all. That (along with the taste, of course) was the first selling point for me. Prior to cooking school, I would use Wondra to avoid gravy lumps- eeeeeew.

When you cook the roux, make sure you take enough time to cook off the raw flour taste- you can smell and taste it.

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