White Sauce Recipe--A Gluten Free Diet Version
This white sauce recipe is really not complicated at all. It is
simply a matter of combining a fat and a flour and bringing it
to a bubble over low-medium heat. Stirring constantly is
important to prevent lumps and scorching. Once the mixture comes
to a bubble, you can add the liquid gradually, in small amounts.
Some people use a whisk. I use a wooden cooking spoon.
Keep stirring until the liquid is incorporated and the mixture
is smooth. Then add more liquid, until it is all incorporated.
Cook over medium heat until it just reaches the boiling point,
then turn down heat and cook for 3 minutes more. That's all
there is to a white sauce recipe!
For a thin white sauce, such as a cream of mushroom, celery, or chicken soup, you would use:
1 Tablespoon butter or margarine
1 Tablespoon Sweet Rice Flour or a Gluten Free Flour Mix
1 cup milk or milk substitute
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper.
Melt butter over low heat, allow to cool slightly, and then
incorporate the gluten free flour. When smooth, turn up heat
and keep stirring until mixture bubbles. Gradually add milk,
stirring constantly to avoid lumps. When all the milk is
incorporated, bring to a boil and then reduce heat. Cook for 3
minutes more. Add seasonings after removing from heat, and
blend into sauce.
I like my sauces a little thicker than this, so I would
personally use 1 1/2 Tablespoons flour to 1 Tablespoon of
butter. You can substitute canola or corn oil for the butter
or margarine if you wish. If you use a milk substitute, it
may be necessary to add extra fat to make it creamier. If it
is very thin compared to milk, you might need to add powdered
milk substitute. There are powdered soy milks available. I
use Vance's Dari-Free, which is made from potato.
I like to use the sweet rice flour, which has a better texture
than regular rice flour and is not as gritty.
Note: I do use potato flour for a white sauce or roux if the
recipe uses potatoes. Otherwise the flavor is too strong.
You must be very careful with potato flour. It will very
suddenly begin to color, and if you don't immediately remove
it from the heat, it will scorch. It is quick though.
An Optional Method:
If you find it easier, you can also heat the milk, and after
the blended flour and butter cools a bit, add it to the milk.
You need to stir the milk constantly while adding to prevent
lumps. Bring mixture to boiling point and cook 3 minutes or
For a medium white sauce recipe, such as for creamed spinach
or gravy you use:
2 Tablespoons butter or margarine
2 Tablespoons Sweet Rice Flour or Gluten Free Flour Mix
1 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
Cook as directed above.
For a thick white sauce recipe, such as for croquettes or
souffle' you use:
4 Tablespoons butter or margarine
4 Tablespoons Sweet Rice Flour or Gluten Free Flour Mix
1 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
Cook as directed under thin white sauce.
To make a larger amount, double or triple the recipe.
Ways to Use this White Sauce Recipe:
To make a gravy, you would substitute the pan drippings for the
butter or oil. Allow the fat to cool before adding the flour
or it will lump.
For cream of mushroom soup, use fresh mushrooms sliced 1/8 inch
thick or so, about 1/2 cup. Or use a 4 oz can, drained.
Saute mushrooms until tender and lightly browned. Add to sauce
after combining milk and flour/fat mixture. Allow to cook in
the sauce for the 3 minutes to bring out the flavor, let it
stand about 10 minutes before adding other spices. In addition
to the salt and pepper, add 1/4 teaspoon ground thyme, and 1/4
teaspoon onion powder or more to your own taste.
For cream of chicken, add 1/2 cup chopped cooked chicken meat,
and 1/4 tsp gluten free poultry seasoning or thyme and sage
combined to make 1/4 tsp. Optional: Add 1/2 tsp of chicken
bouillion and cut salt to 1/8 tsp. You can also use
1/2 milk and 1/2 chicken broth when making the sauce. (Gluten
For a cheese sauce add 2-4 ounces grated cheese while sauce is
warm enough to melt the cheese and blend well. If sauce is
not warm enough, set over hot water until cheese is melted and
blended. Add paprika and a pinch of dry mustard to season.
For Cream of Celery add 1/2 cup chopped cooked celery.
How to Make a Roux.
A roux is made with the same proportions of fat and flour as a
white sauce recipe. The difference between a roux and a white
sauce is that the liquid is in the pot of food you want to
thicken (no milk or seasonings) and that a roux is cooked
longer. The rawness of the flour is mellowed and browned,
contributing an entirely different flavor to the food.
When you make a roux, you start with the oil or butter and flour
in a paste. Instead of just bringing it to a bubble, you keep
it over medium heat. The constant, continual stirring keeps
it from scorching.
A minimum of five minutes of cooking at the bubbling stage is
needed to remove the raw taste of the flour. Depending on the
recipe you might want to stop there, with the flour mixture
being a light tan color. A deeper roux will be like peanut
butter. For a dark roux, you want it to look like dark brown
gravy. This is often called for in Cajun dishes.
I find oil is much easier to work with when making a roux, as it
is less apt to burn than butter. I usually cook mine to the
peanut butter color stage. Also, I don't think the starches
in a flour mix will brown at the same rate, so I would stick
with sweet rice flour. I use the medium thickness
When adding a roux to the contents of a pot (like beef stew), the
food in the pot should not be at more than a low simmer. The
roux should cool for about 5 minutes before adding it. As you
add the roux, keep the pot stirred so it blends without
Once all the roux is blended into the food in the pot, turn the
pot up to a boil and let it thicken at a boil for at least 3
minutes. Then turn off the heat. It will continue to thicken
more as it cools.
If the food in the pot is delicate and you don't want to stir
it rapidly, then drain some of the liquid from the pot and add
it slowly to the roux and incorporate it that way. Then add it
all back to the pot.
If you are concerned about watching fat intake, and want to
avoid the use of more oil, there is an alternative. You can
take the flour and put it on aluminum foil in a toaster oven or
under a broiler. Brown it to the desired color. Take some of
the liquid from the pot and blend it with the flour once it
has cooled. Then add to the pot and bring to a boil as
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