If you're like most home cooks, you've had a moment or two where you feel like something's missing from your homemade sauce. If you've ever needed to bulk up a thin sauce, you can thicken sauce with Wondra.
Wondra, from the brand Gold Medal Flour, is touted as a quick mixing flour, meaning you can replace regular flour with Wondra to thicken your sauces. This flour mix is made by steaming regular flour, drying it and then grounding it into a fine powder. Because this powder is so fine, it makes for an easy addition to any sauce. There's no need for additional ingredients like water or oil.
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Wondra is quickly dissolved and absorbed, instantly thickening the sauce. This thickened quality makes it good for gravies, as it leaves no lumps or undissolved flour floating about.
How Do I Use Wondra?
While walking down any baking aisle, you're sure to find Wondra. It comes in two packages: one is a cylindrical blue tube with a picture of a gravy boat. This canister also has a slotted top, making it easy to pour. The other package is a blue box, also featuring a gravy boat. These two packages contain the same ingredients, but many people prefer the canister as it's easier to pour from than a box.
To use Wondra, consult your recipe to see if it calls for Wondra. Most recipes will list this by name, but some others will use the term "instant flour" instead. If you're braver and are cooking without a recipe, you'll want to decide how much thicker your sauce should be.
As a general rule, start slowly with Wondra. You may need less than you think. One tablespoon to begin is a good starting point, but you can always add more if needed.
What Is Wondra Good For?
Many chefs love using Wondra for their gravy. The ultrafine powder guarantees that it won't immediately clump like regular flour tends to do. It's easily incorporated into the gravy with less work and fewer ingredients; you only need a whisk. Gravy isn't the only thing it's suitable for, though. In addition to gravy, some cooks use Wondra for soups like chowder, which tend to be thick in the first place. These chefs recommend that you use it sparingly and start with a small amount to not over-thicken the soup.
You can also use Wondra in baking. While it won't replace traditional flour in baking recipes, you can use it in some cakes like angel food cake. In her seventh cookbook, The Way to Cook, Julia Child famously used Wondra in her crepe recipe. Other online writers recommend it for pie crusts. For baking, it can also be used similarly to regular flour: dust the bottom of the pan with Wondra to prevent cakes from sticking to pans.
Good Substitutes for Wondra
It's never fun when you're cooking and realize you don't have the proper ingredients. If your recipe calls for Wondra flour and you're out, there are some ways to make substitutions. First, mix 1 cup of regular flour with 1 teaspoon of cornstarch. Mix these well and sift three times to ensure the mixture is fine and well aerated. Then, remove 3 tablespoons of the powder. This mixture should now give you 1 cup of a Wondra substitute.
Another substitute for Wondra would be to first make a roux. While these can be tricky to make, it comes down to the heat used. Expert chefs define a roux as equal parts of flour and fat (generally butter) cooked together over low to medium heat until the mixture is the right consistency and color. Make sure to use low to medium heat, or you can burn the flour.