Instant Flour

Instant flour is the go-to of meat gravy makers everywhere, at least here in the States. Instant flour is pre-gelatinized, which means it’s been steamed to initiate the breakup of the starch granules into individual starch molecules. The process isn’t completed because at least some of the bigger granules are needed for starch thickening to work. The great thing about instant flour is that you can just pour it into a hot liquid without making a slurry first. Clumps don’t form, the thickening happens virtually, well…instantly, and delivers a result much like a traditional roux but without the added fat. Handy stuff if you have a hot sauce that needs to be thickened just before serving. Of course like other starch thickeners you don’t want to boil it too long, knowadimean?

14 thoughts on “Instant Flour”

  1. Joe I have never heard of instant flour. My go to for thickening is cornstarch. Are they much the same? Bev

    1. Hi Bev!

      They are similar in that they are both starches, however they deliver rather different results. Instant flour performs much like a roux, which is to say it gives nice thickness and body as well as a little starchiness and a cloudy appearance. That’s generally what you want for gravies and stews (especially gumbo) where are glossy and clear cornstarch-like appearance is just a little weird. Does that help?

      – Joe

  2. Add me to the list of “never heard of this stuff”. Boy, there were times it would have come in handy!

  3. I have a cookbook written by Bea Toms. Mrs. Toms just turned 100 years old recently. She was on QVC last Wed. night showing her cookbook. It has a yeast roll recipe that calls for Wondra flour. 🙂 Seems that I can only find Wondra in 13.5 oz canisters in my area. Some stores sell a 2 lb. box. She is known for her rolls, can’t wait to
    try them out. I don’t need to make 5 doz., so I might make 1/2 the recipe. 🙂 🙂

  4. It might be just me (I can be “that way” at times) but Wondra has never worked well for me. I like the non-clumping but hate the flour-ey taste… even when I try to cook the flour taste out. What am I doing wrong. So many others use it and seem successful… I’d like to be successful with 5-minute gravy too.

    p.s. Wondra makes a great coating for fried food.

    1. Wondra does have a somewhat floury aftertaste even when it’s cooked a bit, so you won’t eliminate it completely, but try leaving it to boil for a minute or two and see if that helps. And you’re completely right: on fried foods its fantastic. I should have mentioned that!


      – Joe

  5. Back in the day, Wondra came in 5 lb. sacks like all-purpose flour and they said it could be used the same way. My pie crust recipe is the one they provided on the bag, with only two changes: I now use butter instead of Crisco and I use King Arthur all-purpose flour instead of expensive Wondra. I often make six crusts at a time and freeze them. In my climate, one 9″ crust weighs in at 8 oz. before baking.

    I do use Wondra for gravies.

  6. If I don’t have time to wait for crepe batter to set, I use Wondra and only wait ten minutes. Works beautifully!

  7. I know that in some bread recipes, a portion of the flour and water is pre-cooked until gelled, thus pre-gelatinizing some of the flour. This flour paste (or water roux or tangzhong) makes the bread moister and improves its keeping qualities. I wonder if that effect could be achieved by substituting in some instant flour? Well I guess the only way to find out is to try it.

    1. A very interesting idea, Wilson! Please let me know how the experiment turns out. I will be keen to know!


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