December 31, 2013

"Wondra" Brand Flour

Wondra brand flour is an interesting flour. I had come across at least one recipe for crispy fried chicken (Cook's Kitchen Magazine - an offshoot of Cook's Illustrated) and was interested in giving it a try.

Now, as we know by now, cake flour has less protein than either all purpose or bread flour and so, there isn't as much gluten to develop which is why it is so good for cakes.

Wondra brand flour is another animal altogether. It falls into the category of "instant flour" and is designed to make smooth gravies without any lumps. It is a finely ground flour that has been treated so that it dissolves instantly in water.The process has a name, pre-gelatinization, and is done by heating the flour with either very hot water or steam and then drying it.

I had some chicken soaking in a bath of buttermilk with cayenne pepper, garlic powder and corn starch and decided to do a dip in Wondra and see how it fried up.

The result was an incredibly crunchy crust that I think would get a big thumbs up from your dinner guests. There was a noticeable, bread-like aftertaste in the mouth but it was not at all unpleasant. I was really impressed by the crust. Another benefit is that it yielded a very attractive crust color...the "golden brown" that one always hears about.

I look forward to trying Wondra again in the near future.


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  3. Cornstarch gives it the crunch. Not wondera flour. I use a thin slurry of 2c water 1c cornstarch after soaking my chicken. You can add more cornstarch if you like. The thicker the slurry, the big ger the crunch, stays crunchy for HOURS.

    1. Makes perfect sense . I have had such bad luck with recipes in Cook's Illustrated. They always want to "fix" or "repair" a perfectly good recipe. Their thing seems to be, "even if it isn't broke, we're gonna find some way to change it". So I am not surprised that Wondra is useless. I'm sure you've seen my recipe for Gus's Fried Chicken and the use of corn starch.

    2. Yes indeed, Using 1/2 flour and 1/2 wondra flour for the crust is incredibly delicious,along with salt , pepper, garlic powder, and a pinch of paprika. Soak the chicken pieces in ice water with a little cornstarch and a pinch of salt for about 10 minutes. Immediately remove one piece at a time and deep fry. Every 1 will Love you !


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