by: Max M Rasmussen

Roux - The Sauce Thickens and Darkens

White, medium and dark roux - Max M Rasmussen
Video Recipe - Roux is the classic thickening and darkening agent, that is being used in many of the classic French sauces. It's actually just wheat flour which is browned in fat, but there is some technique to it too.


For 1 litre (4 cups) of sauce.

  • 5 tbsps clear fat (a little less than 1 dl (1/3 cup))
  • 6 tbsp wheat flour. (1 dl (½ cup)) - substitute with fine sweet rice flour for gluten free version.

White roux

Roast the flour gently at medium heat for a few minutes. Is complete when the raw taste of flour is gone. It should not smell roasted.

Roux - white - Max M Rasmussen

Light roux

The same procedure as the dark. It just need a somewhat brighter color. Like milk chocolate. Smells like popcorn.

Roux - light - medium - Max M Rasmussen

Dark roux

Roast at medium to high temperature. When it is finished it must have a clear hazel color.  It should be smooth creamy and not muddy! It can take a while to get the right color. The fragrance is like slightly burned popcorn.

Roux - dark - Max M Rasmussen


The clear fat can be either clarified butter, melted fat from cow, chicken or duck. It can also be an oil.

The rule of thumb is  2 parts fat to 3 parts flour. The relationship is not that important as the fat is usually skimmed from the sauce later.

My own personal rule of thumb for how much to use is, 2 tablespoons fat and 3 tablespoons flour/starch per ½ litre (2 cups) final sauce.

The fat can be skimmed off the sauce and can be reused.