The Fresh Loaf

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Water roux for recipe that doesn't have water?

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BakerNewbie's picture

Water roux for recipe that doesn't have water?

I'd like to modify an existing sweet bread recipe to use the water roux technique. The general guideline I've found is to take 10% of the flour and add water that's 5x the amount of flour. That's easy enough for recipes that have water. The sweet bread recipe that I have uses only milk. How do I use the water roux technique? My ideas:

1. Use milk instead of water

2. Use water, and reduce the milk accordingly

Which option is correct? Or is there a different approach?

emkay's picture

It's perfectly fine to use milk instead of water in the tangzhong (water roux). 

dablues's picture

I've used milk, no problems!

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

10% might be too much and end up gummy.

5% of the total flour with 5 x  with liquid, just until it thickens, do not boil.  If you do happen to cook too long, you may need to add back 15g (1Tbs) water or more.

My tip:  weigh the flour and the water (milk) in the pan. Note.  After thickening and cooling, weigh the pan again and add enough liquid to compensate.

BakerNewbie's picture

Hi Mini Oven, why do you recommend 5%? The sources I've found online all seem to suggest 10%. 

BakerNewbie's picture

The link seems to suggest to use water -- and just subtract the water amount from the milk:

 If the original recipe calls for 1 cup of milk, use 1/2 cup of milk instead and 1/2 cup of water for the roux.


Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

with one stone...  scalding the milk at the same time you make the roux.    You do know that roughly 90% of the milk is water and the other 10% is milk solids...  So if you think about it.  adding water instead of milk will up the water in the recipe so you don't have to correct the weight after heating.

If you figure the hydration, milk has less water than water. 10% less.  So that has to be taken into consideration.

I make milk roux all the time for my lasagna.  Could also call it white sauce if you wanted to.  Browning the flour first in some of the recipe butter is also a nice addition to flavour.  Thinning the milk with water might help prevent burning which is easy to do with milk in a sauce pan.  If you use the microwave you're less apt to burn the milk.  

I would still weigh the milk & flour mixture (incl. bowl) before heating and then afterwards, correct with water not milk as it was water in the milk that evaporated during the process, not the milk solids.    

The link to the  above also suggested 5% flour in the roux.  :)

lmirage's picture

I use 10% and it does get a little gummy, especially if I don't have more fat (I usually put eggs as well).