Jason Altzman serves as the managing principal of Aero Marketing Group, a promotional and specialty events agency based in Phoenix, Arizona. When he’s not busy overseeing the company’s daily operations, Jason Altzman enjoys cooking.
A roux, a basic cooking technique that every home chef should know, is made from flour and fat and used to thicken soups, gravies, sauces, and other dishes. Unlike other thickening agents, roux is smoother, more stable, and more delicate and can be varying consistencies and colors.
White roux is the lightest colored roux, which is made by mixing flour with butter or oil. It is cooked for a very short amount of time, usually two to three minutes or until the flour’s raw flavor is cooked out. This keeps the white color of the roux and allows it to be used in white sauces, such as bechamel.
Blonde roux, also known as golden or yellow roux, is cooked a bit longer until the roux has caramelized slightly. This takes roughly three to five minutes. This type of roux is the most commonly used because of its balanced taste and flavor. Soups, stews, and sauces frequently use blonde roux as a thickening agent.
When a roux is cooked for around ten minutes it develops a dark brown color and has a sharp aroma, which is why it’s referred to as brown roux. This thickening agent is often used to create brown sauces or gravies. When the flour is cooked this long, its ability to thicken liquids is degraded, which means that brown roux does not thicken dishes as much as white or blonde roux.