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White Lily Flour in a Roux

Davwud Nov 28, 2013 07:29 AM

Hey Hounds

I live in Canada and don't have access to WL. When I'm at my inlaws for Thanksgiving I get the task of making gravy. Every year I seem to have trouble with getting the desired thickness when I never do at home. The only real variable is the flour. I use WL down here.
Does WL not thicken as well as other, harder, AP flours??


  1. paulj Dec 1, 2013 11:56 PM

    "Cake flour has about 20% more thickening power than bread or AP (All Purpose) flour."

    Which conflicts with your experience (WL being more like cake).

    Are you using the same type of fat in both places? Butter is about 20% water.

    Different size and shaped pans might affect your judgement, especially if you work more by appearance and feel than exact measurements.

    1. paulj Nov 29, 2013 08:33 AM

      Is the WL by any chance self rising flour?

      How dark do you make the roux? Do you judge that by time or color? WL is described as a finely milled bleached flour.

      I'm not finding much online about the thickening powder of different wheat flours (bleached/non, bread v cake, etc).

      3 Replies
      1. re: paulj
        Davwud Nov 29, 2013 04:20 PM

        Just a standard blonde roux. Cooked it a minute or so. I've made gravy and sauces thickened with a roux many, many times. It always seems that down here they come up thinner than I expect.


        1. re: Davwud
          Davwud Nov 29, 2013 08:14 PM

          Oh, and no it was not SRF. SIL has both side by each. I wasn't able to just grab a bag. I had to read the lable to know which flour I was getting.


          1. re: Davwud
            Puffin3 Nov 30, 2013 07:12 AM

            You need a flour that will convert to dextrin when heated in order to get the correct chemical reaction between the fat and the flour.

      2. meatn3 Nov 28, 2013 07:09 PM

        Just a thought, but another variable could be humidity. The White Lily could have a bit more moisture in it which could change the timing of the roux coming together.

        3 Replies
        1. re: meatn3
          Puffin3 Nov 29, 2013 05:13 AM

          "What's the white 'floury' substance in this Zip lock bag maaaaam?"
          "Oh it's just 'White Lily' flour for making gravy officer".
          "Is that what they call it where you come from? The name sounds sort of, well, 'foreign' right?"
          "Ya but, ya but".
          "Turn around maaam. You are not under arrest. We are handcuffing for our protection until we can have your 'White Lily' tested. The officer who can do that won't be in until the day after tomorrow. Just follow the officer." LOLOLOL

          1. re: Puffin3
            Davwud Nov 29, 2013 05:59 AM

            Sorry officer, you must have me confused with a former East German weight lifter currently undergoing cancer treatment.

            In other words, I'm 5'8", 200 (ish)lbs, bald and have outdoor plumbing.


            1. re: Puffin3
              sunshine842 Nov 30, 2013 05:04 AM

              somehow I'm thinking that customs and DEA officials know what flour looks/tastes like -- no testing necessary.

              I believe WF is available in one-pound bags. I'd just take one of those -- then there's not even a hesitation.

          2. t
            Ttrockwood Nov 28, 2013 11:52 AM

            White lily has a different protein content from AP, not sure off the top of my head- can't you just use your regular AP at the in laws?

            5 Replies
            1. re: Ttrockwood
              paulj Nov 28, 2013 12:44 PM

              It's the starch that provides the thickening, not the gluten forming proteins. WL is 'softer', lower gluten, so it (probably) has more starch than the harder Canadian AP. Lets say 8% protein for WL, 12% for Canadian. While that is a big change on the protein side, the starch difference as not as significant. 88 v 92 % (ignoring other components like moisture).

              The numbers suggest that the Canadian AP doesn't thicken quite as well as WL, but not to the extent that most cooks would notice.

              1. re: Ttrockwood
                Davwud Nov 28, 2013 05:08 PM

                Sure I could. But I'd have to go buy a bag of flour just to make a roux once a year.

                Thanks for the info Hounds.


                1. re: Davwud
                  Ttrockwood Nov 28, 2013 09:14 PM

                  Maybe next year you can just smuggle some of your AP flour in your luggage? ;)

                  1. re: Ttrockwood
                    Davwud Nov 29, 2013 05:57 AM

                    Mrs. Sippi suggested the same thing. I thought perhaps I'd just make some roux and bring it with me.
                    The smart money is on me just making more roux with WL instead of unnecessary steps.


                    1. re: Davwud
                      mutti Nov 29, 2013 07:34 PM

                      I use white lily flour for a lot of things but not for gravy it has a tendency to dissipate save yourself the trouble and buy some regular flour.

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