Using whole wheat flour as a thickener

I recently tried using some of my whole wheat flour to thicken gravy. It didn't really work -- the gravy was bubbling away but remained relatively thin considering the (large) amount of flour I eventually added.

I seem to remember years ago a friend mentioning that her whole wheat flour didn't work for thickening. But I also know someone recently told me that whole wheat flour could be used to thicken things, just like all-purpose flour.

Do any of you know anything about thickening with whole wheat flour? The flour I used was Prairie Gold hard white wheat flour.


I tried this before, too. It ended up being more like gravy bread (I think I used King Arthur)! I'm curious about this, too. :)


I've used whole wheat flour to make gravy. I can't remember how thick it was- thinking back, I don't think it was very thick, but I thought it turned out well...

2 Tablespoons oil
2 Tablespoons butter
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
Stir together for a couple of minutes.

Gradually stir in:
2 cups milk
about 1 teaspoon gravy master (optional- I used it for color to hide the fact that I used whole wheat flour!)

Simmer on low for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

We used the gravy over slices of meatloaf. Don't know if that helps. :)

Oh, I use King Arthur's Whole Wheat.

We don't eat meat gravy except at holidays. However, I do use wheat of spelt flour to make all my white sauces and never have a problem with them thickening.

I use it to make a roux..use equal parts flour and oil.
Cook till golden brown. Then I 1 cup of water and let boil. If it get too thick I add more water.

To season I add salt, onion powder, garlic powder and pepper to taste.

I agree this is how I have made my gravy from flour. You can use milk or chicken stock in place of the water.
I just never knew that "roux" was spelled that way :) You learn something new everyday.

Tried it with milk tonight and it was good. Very creamey.

Yes, I have used my home-ground prairie gold flour for thickening. I believe it takes twice as much as white flour. It worked well for me and I liked it better than using white flour. More flavor and it seemed like it was actually nutritious! ;-)

In Christ,


I haven't had too much success thickening with whole wheat, but I always thought it must be something I was doing wrong. :)

As long as you make a roux out of the fat/oil/grease/drippings then add liquid you should be fine. I made stroganoff with a whole wheat flour gravy. It was definitely different than all purpose, but it thickened up fine. Also, I find it works best to use milk in it instead of water. Maybe its a personal preference, but I haven't had a runny gravy using ww flour and milk.

I was told by a professional chef that one must make a roux in order to use whole wheat flour as a thickener. I too had made the same mistake of by simply adding flour which never did thicken. The one thing he did tell me was to make sure the flour was ground extra fine. This could be accomplished by whirling quickly in a grinder (I use a coffee grinder set aside for herbs!) Hope this helps...

Have you tried the soft white pastry/winter wheat?
That might work better.

Thank you all for the tips!! I have never even heard of the term "roux", though I am familiar with that method of thickening sauces... my mom basically always did the "cold water/flour" combo (that gets poured into the boiling mixture) and I frequently do that, too. I'll have to try making roux next time!

I always use, as my mother always did...cornstarch and water... not alot and it always comes out beautiful...

I do make a roux w/gravy But for chili's etc, I use cornstarch.

I've also successfully used whole wheat flour (homeground, and I prefer soft white if I have some ground) to thicken gravy using the roux method. I really think the soft white does better, perhaps because I grind it more finely.

One thing we do with our ww flour to give it a finer consistency is to:

1. Put the fresh ground ww flour in the VitaMix and blend on high.

2. Sift it through a strainer to remove the larger chunks of bran if we're looking for a really fine flour.

I don't particularly like sifting out the bran, but I'd rather do that than use white flour.

Recording the Faithfulness and Provision of God for Future Generations

I almost always use whole wheat flour to thicken gravies/sauces. As a matter of fact, I did it last night (we had chicken fried steak and gravy) and I accidentally added too much flour and my gravy was too thick. I usually use the roux method and cook it a few minutes to cook the "raw" taste out of the flour before I add the liquid. Always works just as well for me as does white flour.

I use Wheat Montana red 100% whole wheat flour. The only place here to get white wheat flour is the health food store and it is very expensive -- like $6-$7 for a five pound bag. I might order it in bulk from Wheat Montana one of these days and keep it in the freezer.

I usually use arrowroot flour for any thickening. It is a more natural alternative to cornstarch and works beautifully.

I use arrowroot occasionally but didn't think it produced quite the same results for, say, thickening gravy. The gravy thickened with arrowroot seemed kind of slimey/stringy and didn't set as firmly as gravy thickened with cornstarch or flour... anyone else notice a difference with arrowroot?

I hve thickened gravy with whole wheat flour,using the roux method. It always seems to work fine for me. I`m not sure if I ended up using more whole wheat flour than if I would of used white flour. Since I don`t
measure anything it`s hard to tell:) Hope this was a help to you!! Have a blessed weekend!!~~~Toni

Wow, cornstarch in chili??

I use masa harina for chili, never flour or cornstarch. Bob's Red Mill carries some that is pretty good. Masa is the corn flour that is used to make corn tortillas, I believe. If I didn't have any masa on hand I'd use cornmeal and add it earlier in the cooking process to give it time to cook and thicken all the way.

Speaking of chili, people where I live now (Midwest) put BROWN SUGAR in their chili. Blech!!!!! I used to live in Texas and I can't stand sweet chili. That's awful. Chili is supposed to be savory, spicy, a little salty (but not excessively). I put pickled jalapeno slices and shredded colby-jack cheese on mine.

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