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Old 16-11-2003, 11:32 PM
AzuReBlue
 
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Default Cornstarch vs. Flour?

I was wondering what the difference is between using cornstarch to
thicken something vs. flour. Is there any? Can I use cornstarch
in place of flour with no noticeable effect?


thanks
--
blue

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Old 16-11-2003, 11:41 PM
Puester
 
Posts: n/a
Default Cornstarch vs. Flour?

AzuReBlue wrote:

I was wondering what the difference is between using cornstarch to
thicken something vs. flour. Is there any? Can I use cornstarch
in place of flour with no noticeable effect?

thanks
--
blue




Are you talking about gravy? My family prefers cornstarch.
The result is a little glossier, semi-opaque, and it doesn't
need long cooking to improve the raw flour flavor. Remember
that the thickening doesn't begin until the liquid reaches
simmering temperature, then it thickens quickly.

gloria p
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Old 17-11-2003, 12:06 AM
Bob Pastorio
 
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Default Cornstarch vs. Flour?

AzuReBlue wrote:

I was wondering what the difference is between using cornstarch to
thicken something vs. flour. Is there any? Can I use cornstarch
in place of flour with no noticeable effect?


Depends on what you're doing and how you're doing it.

Cornstarch is a pure starch with no protein or other ingredients. When
it gelatinizes, it's clear.

Flour has quite a few other things in it besides starch including
protein. When it gelatinizes, it's opaque because of the "impurities"
in it.

If you're making roux or slurries, they'll each behave differently.

What are you doing? How are you doing it? More info from you gets more
info.

Pastorio

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Old 17-11-2003, 12:09 AM
WardNA
 
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Default Cornstarch vs. Flour?

difference is between using cornstarch to
thicken something vs. flour


No difference that means anything to me. Cornstarch costs more, of course, so
you get the thrill of using an expensive ingredient.

Neil
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Old 17-11-2003, 12:38 AM
PENMART01
 
Posts: n/a
Default Cornstarch vs. Flour?

AzuReBlue writes:

I was wondering what the difference is between using cornstarch to
thicken something vs. flour. Is there any? Can I use cornstarch
in place of flour with no noticeable effect?


"noticable" is the operative... flour will create an opaque sauce, with a matte
finish, cornstarch clear and glossy... but flour thickened sauces will remain
thick indefinitely whereas sauces thickened with cornstarch will in a
relatively short time (perhaps an hour or less), depending on ingredients
contained therein, will become watery.


---= BOYCOTT FRENCH--GERMAN (belgium) =---
---= Move UNITED NATIONS To Paris =---
Sheldon
````````````
"Life would be devoid of all meaning were it without tribulation."



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Old 17-11-2003, 12:40 AM
Peter Aitken
 
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Default Cornstarch vs. Flour?

"Bob Pastorio" wrote in message
...
AzuReBlue wrote:

I was wondering what the difference is between using cornstarch to
thicken something vs. flour. Is there any? Can I use cornstarch
in place of flour with no noticeable effect?


Depends on what you're doing and how you're doing it.

Cornstarch is a pure starch with no protein or other ingredients. When
it gelatinizes, it's clear.

Flour has quite a few other things in it besides starch including
protein. When it gelatinizes, it's opaque because of the "impurities"
in it.

If you're making roux or slurries, they'll each behave differently.

What are you doing? How are you doing it? More info from you gets more
info.

Pastorio


Making a roux with cornstarch is new to me - can you please elucidate?


--
Peter Aitken

Remove the crap from my email address before using.


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Old 17-11-2003, 01:02 AM
Katra
 
Posts: n/a
Default Cornstarch vs. Flour?



PENMART01 wrote:

AzuReBlue writes:

I was wondering what the difference is between using cornstarch to
thicken something vs. flour. Is there any? Can I use cornstarch
in place of flour with no noticeable effect?


"noticable" is the operative... flour will create an opaque sauce, with a matte
finish, cornstarch clear and glossy... but flour thickened sauces will remain
thick indefinitely whereas sauces thickened with cornstarch will in a
relatively short time (perhaps an hour or less), depending on ingredients
contained therein, will become watery.

---= BOYCOTT FRENCH--GERMAN (belgium) =---
---= Move UNITED NATIONS To Paris =---
Sheldon
````````````


That is why I switched to Arrowroot...

It gives a nice glossy thickening and does not tend to "break" (get
watery) on re-heating like corn starch does.

I pretty much use arrowroot now as a thickener in all oriental dishes.

It also adds a mild, pleasant "peppery" flavor of it's own.

K.
--
^,,^ Cats-haven Hobby Farm ^,,^ ^,,^


"There are millions of intelligent species in the universe, and they are
all owned by cats" -- Asimov

Custom handcrafts, Sterling silver beaded jewelry
http://cgi3.ebay.com/aw-cgi/eBayISAP...s&userid=katra
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Old 17-11-2003, 03:59 AM
AzuReBlue
 
Posts: n/a
Default Cornstarch vs. Flour?

In article , penmart01
@aol.como says...
AzuReBlue writes:

snip
"noticable" is the operative... flour will create an opaque sauce, with a matte
finish, cornstarch clear and glossy... but flour thickened sauces will remain
thick indefinitely whereas sauces thickened with cornstarch will in a
relatively short time (perhaps an hour or less), depending on ingredients
contained therein, will become watery.


---= BOYCOTT FRENCH--GERMAN (belgium) =---
---= Move UNITED NATIONS To Paris =---
Sheldon
````````````
"Life would be devoid of all meaning were it without tribulation."


Ahh..I see! Thanks for the info! That explains then what has happened to
some leftovers of mine..;-)

--
Are you bored? Want to be entertained? Need some thrill in your life?
Well, a visit to my site won't help you, but here's the link
anyway:

http://www.wideopenwest.com/~misseegirl4/index.htm


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Old 17-11-2003, 04:25 AM
Bob Pastorio
 
Posts: n/a
Default Cornstarch vs. Flour?

Peter Aitken wrote:

"Bob Pastorio" wrote in message
...

AzuReBlue wrote:


I was wondering what the difference is between using cornstarch to
thicken something vs. flour. Is there any? Can I use cornstarch
in place of flour with no noticeable effect?


Depends on what you're doing and how you're doing it.

Cornstarch is a pure starch with no protein or other ingredients. When
it gelatinizes, it's clear.

Flour has quite a few other things in it besides starch including
protein. When it gelatinizes, it's opaque because of the "impurities"
in it.

If you're making roux or slurries, they'll each behave differently.

What are you doing? How are you doing it? More info from you gets more
info.

Pastorio

Making a roux with cornstarch is new to me - can you please elucidate?


Escoffier thought it was a good idea about a century ago. He talked
about arrowroot, but as starches, they're essentially interchangeable.
He said:
"A Roux made from a pure starch such as arrowroot would give the same
result as one made from flour, the only difference being that it is
necessary to take into account the other substances contained in flour
which would mean that a smaller amount of pure starch is required."

He suggested making the roux from clarified butter and arrowroot. We
used to do it in my restaurants for several reasons: No long simmering
necessary as starches gelatinize before the full boil is reached. No
skimming because the other ingredients are missing from both the
butter and the starch. It could be adjusted immediately rather than
having to wait for full thickening as is the case with a full butter
and flour roux.

We used to use the butter and starch volume for volume. Cup for cup or
tablespoon for tablespoon.

Pastorio

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Old 17-11-2003, 05:43 AM
Katra
 
Posts: n/a
Default Cornstarch vs. Flour?



Bob Pastorio wrote:

AzuReBlue wrote:

In article ,
says...

AzuReBlue wrote:


I was wondering what the difference is between using cornstarch to
thicken something vs. flour. Is there any? Can I use cornstarch
in place of flour with no noticeable effect?

Depends on what you're doing and how you're doing it.

What are you doing? How are you doing it? More info from you gets more
info.

Pastorio


I was making Chicken and Dumplings and the recipe called for flour &
water to thicken. That got me thinking about other recipes I've made
where cornstarch is called for, gravy if I remember correctly. Just
wondered what, if any, difference there was.


You made a slurry (water-based liquid + starch) rather than a roux
(fat +starch). Slurries will thicken more quickly, but won't give the
finished smoothness of a simmered roux-based sauce.

Cornstarch is a very good, inexpensive and efficient thickener. When
chilled, it often breaks (separates, to some extent, into a watery
component and a gelled one) but comes right back together upon
reheating and stirring. It can't be frozen without permanently
breaking, but neither can a roux-based sauce.


Why have I had a problem with this? What did I do wrong?
If I refrigerate a dish made with Cornstarch as the thickener, it
"breaks", every time, even on re-heating.

If I make it with Arrowroot, that does not happen?


The flour slurry will give you an opaque gravy but will need some
cooking time to get the raw flour taste out. The starch-thickened
gravy will be more transparent but will be fully cooked at the moment
of thickening. Matter of taste...

Pastorio


I've had flour based thickened dishes break every time. Especially a
problem with sweetbread gravy. Mom taught me to make that one with a
flour roux. Gets watery on refrigeration and re-heating.

I've had really good luck with Arrowroot, but I use more of it?
Maybe that is the difference???

Danke!
K.

--
^,,^ Cats-haven Hobby Farm ^,,^
^,,^

"There are millions of intelligent species in the universe, and they are
all owned by cats" -- Asimov

Custom handcrafts, Sterling silver beaded jewelry
http://cgi3.ebay.com/aw-cgi/eBayISAP...s&userid=katra
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Old 17-11-2003, 08:21 AM
Bob Pastorio
 
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Default Cornstarch vs. Flour?

Katra wrote:


Bob Pastorio wrote:

AzuReBlue wrote:


In article ,
says...


AzuReBlue wrote:



I was wondering what the difference is between using cornstarch to
thicken something vs. flour. Is there any? Can I use cornstarch
in place of flour with no noticeable effect?

Depends on what you're doing and how you're doing it.

What are you doing? How are you doing it? More info from you gets more
info.

Pastorio

I was making Chicken and Dumplings and the recipe called for flour &
water to thicken. That got me thinking about other recipes I've made
where cornstarch is called for, gravy if I remember correctly. Just
wondered what, if any, difference there was.


You made a slurry (water-based liquid + starch) rather than a roux
(fat +starch). Slurries will thicken more quickly, but won't give the
finished smoothness of a simmered roux-based sauce.

Cornstarch is a very good, inexpensive and efficient thickener. When
chilled, it often breaks (separates, to some extent, into a watery
component and a gelled one) but comes right back together upon
reheating and stirring. It can't be frozen without permanently
breaking, but neither can a roux-based sauce.



Why have I had a problem with this? What did I do wrong?
If I refrigerate a dish made with Cornstarch as the thickener, it
"breaks", every time, even on re-heating.


Could be too much fat in it. There's a funny bit of business that
happens with starches and fats that makes the fats less able to
thicken and hold it.

Reheating and whisking back together is what I do and haven't ever had
one not work. You have to heat up near a boil for this to work. And
you can't overwhisk it or that will cause it to thin down.

If I make it with Arrowroot, that does not happen?


Simple solution, eh?

The flour slurry will give you an opaque gravy but will need some
cooking time to get the raw flour taste out. The starch-thickened
gravy will be more transparent but will be fully cooked at the moment
of thickening. Matter of taste...

Pastorio


I've had flour based thickened dishes break every time. Especially a
problem with sweetbread gravy. Mom taught me to make that one with a
flour roux. Gets watery on refrigeration and re-heating.


Should be a little breaking on chilling, but it should go right back
together when heated. If it isn't, it might be that you aren't heating
it enough. Or stirring it enough. Or there's some occult thing going
on and you're cursed by that woman next door with that big wart on her
nose with the hair growing out of it.

I've had really good luck with Arrowroot, but I use more of it?
Maybe that is the difference???

Danke!
K.


Bitte.

Pastorio


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Old 17-11-2003, 08:37 AM
Katra
 
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Default Cornstarch vs. Flour?



Bob Pastorio wrote:

Katra wrote:


Bob Pastorio wrote:

AzuReBlue wrote:


In article ,
says...


AzuReBlue wrote:



I was wondering what the difference is between using cornstarch to
thicken something vs. flour. Is there any? Can I use cornstarch
in place of flour with no noticeable effect?

Depends on what you're doing and how you're doing it.

What are you doing? How are you doing it? More info from you gets more
info.

Pastorio

I was making Chicken and Dumplings and the recipe called for flour &
water to thicken. That got me thinking about other recipes I've made
where cornstarch is called for, gravy if I remember correctly. Just
wondered what, if any, difference there was.

You made a slurry (water-based liquid + starch) rather than a roux
(fat +starch). Slurries will thicken more quickly, but won't give the
finished smoothness of a simmered roux-based sauce.

Cornstarch is a very good, inexpensive and efficient thickener. When
chilled, it often breaks (separates, to some extent, into a watery
component and a gelled one) but comes right back together upon
reheating and stirring. It can't be frozen without permanently
breaking, but neither can a roux-based sauce.



Why have I had a problem with this? What did I do wrong?
If I refrigerate a dish made with Cornstarch as the thickener, it
"breaks", every time, even on re-heating.


Could be too much fat in it. There's a funny bit of business that
happens with starches and fats that makes the fats less able to
thicken and hold it.


Hmmmmmm... ok, I'll try chilling and skimming. I've been better about
meal planning lately so don't mind working a day ahead of time so I can
chill and skim solidified fat.


Reheating and whisking back together is what I do and haven't ever had
one not work. You have to heat up near a boil for this to work. And
you can't overwhisk it or that will cause it to thin down.


Whisk. Not fork. Got it. :-) I have a really nice 8 looped stainless
steel whisk I don't use nearly as often as I should.


If I make it with Arrowroot, that does not happen?


Simple solution, eh?


Yah. ;-) It's become my favorite thickener.


The flour slurry will give you an opaque gravy but will need some
cooking time to get the raw flour taste out. The starch-thickened
gravy will be more transparent but will be fully cooked at the moment
of thickening. Matter of taste...

Pastorio


I've had flour based thickened dishes break every time. Especially a
problem with sweetbread gravy. Mom taught me to make that one with a
flour roux. Gets watery on refrigeration and re-heating.


Should be a little breaking on chilling, but it should go right back
together when heated. If it isn't, it might be that you aren't heating
it enough. Or stirring it enough. Or there's some occult thing going
on and you're cursed by that woman next door with that big wart on her
nose with the hair growing out of it.


Not re-heating enough is probably my problem! I usually use the
microwave to warm rather than the stove. Guess that needs to change then
for recipes of this type. Thank you!


I've had really good luck with Arrowroot, but I use more of it?
Maybe that is the difference???

Danke!
K.


Bitte.

Pastorio


K.


--
^,,^ Cats-haven Hobby Farm ^,,^
^,,^

"There are millions of intelligent species in the universe, and they are
all owned by cats" -- Asimov

Custom handcrafts, Sterling silver beaded jewelry
http://cgi3.ebay.com/aw-cgi/eBayISAP...s&userid=katra


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