Preparation / Directions:
In a dry heavy skillet. Stir constantly over very low direct heat, scraping the flour from the sides and bottom of the pan. Or, heat the flour in a very slow oven, 200 deg F to 250 deg F, in a very heavy pan. Shake the pan periodically so the flour browns evenly. Do not let it get too dark or, as with brown roux, it will become bitter and lose its thickening power altogether. Even properly browned flour has only about half the thickening power of all-purpose flour. It may be stored in a tightly covered jar in a cool place.
BROWNED FLOUR A variant used in gravies to enhance color and flavor [and as we now know, to do fatfree cajun cooking]. The slow but inexpensive procedure by which it is made is worth trying. The flour, when ready, should smell nutty and baked.
Note: It's the starch in the flour that does the thickening, not the butter. Flour needs to be cooked to get rid of the raw taste and the butterfat makes this easy to do without burning the flour. However, it is possible to brown flour without fat, it just takes more care. Furthermore, browned flour is relatively shelf stable, so you can make a big batch and use it
over a month or two. Other starches (cornstarch, potato starch, arrowroot, etc) can be used as thickening agents as well. They vary in their strength, taste, and temperature sensativit