Squeeze Cookies (A Roasted Flour Experiment) Recipe

Squeeze Cookies

A favorite from the archives, this post was originally published in April 2008.

Among the many things I learned during that memorable conference on molecular gastronomy, one idea has been whirling around my brain with particular insistence since then, and it is that of farine torréfiée*, or roasted flour.

It was introduced to us by way of a truism: raw flour is bland, browned flour isn’t. This is why we bother to make roux, and why the crust of bread is tastier than the crumb. With this simple fact in mind, why not bake with roasted flour? The finished product would no doubt benefit from the heightened flavor.

Of course, exposing flour to direct heat cooks it. This changes the structure of its starch and gluten molecules, and therefore it behaves differently from raw flour; one notable change is that it loses some of its elasticity. Consequently, the primary use Hervé This suggested for roasted flour is in sablés, i.e. cookies with a crumbly, sandy consistency, for which a weak gluten network is desirable.

I found a recipe for sablés à la farine torréfiée on Pierre Gagnaire’s website** and it looked exciting (it uses cooked egg yolks! exciting!) but for my first roasted flour experiment, I was more curious to alter my — or, should I say, my mother’s — basic recipe for sablés.

I did follow Gagnaire’s instructions to roast the flour, and after just a few minutes I could tell that this was going very well: already my kitchen smelled like the bakery around the corner***. When the flour had cooled and I used it to make the sablé dough, however, I realized it would not come together as obligingly as it normally does, but seemed rather to wish to remain a mound of sand.

I sensed that adding more butter would do the trick, but I like the moderate butter content of my mother’s recipe (most call for equal weights of butter and flour) so I proceeded as planned, and tried to form the dough into lumps however I could. The easiest (and most fun) way was to just squeeze it by the handful, a technique that resulted in these odd-shaped cookies I naturally decided to call squeeze cookies.

I find their funky look endearing, but if you’re worried that someone in your household (and I’m not naming names) might liken them to slugs or caterpillars, you can also shape them into balls, or pucks, or pack the dough in an even layer in a pan, following the instructions in this shortbread recipe.

More important than the shape, you’ll agree, is the flavor: I deliberately omitted any sort of flavor booster (vanilla, spices, citrus zest…) the better to judge the effect of the roasted flour, and I’m not afraid to say the effect is absolutely wowing. In fact, the same person who was so full of gastropod metaphors declared them the best sablés I’d ever made.

Grilled notes of chocolate and hazelnut come through in every bite, the consistency is a fine crumbliness unlike that of any sablé I know, and all that comes from a simple twenty-minute roasting step. See how the baking horizon has suddenly broadened? Don’t you have a favorite baking recipe you should be experimenting with, right this minute?

~~~

* The French term torréfier (to torrefy) has a slightly different meaning from rôtir (to roast) but has, to my knowledge, no exact equivalent in English. Torréfier is defined as “exposing to intense heat until the early stage of carbonization.” The most frequent use of the term — and the process — is the roasting of green, raw coffee beans, which turns them into a browned, intensely fragrant version of themselves.

** Pierre Gagnaire and Hervé This engage in a monthly conversation (in French, of course) wherein the scientist explores a chemical or physical phenomenon and the chef offers a recipe to illustrate it.

*** They say you should bake a loaf of bread before people come to visit the house you’re trying to sell, but, as it turns out, just roasting some flour should do the trick.

Squeeze Cookies

- 150 g (1 1/4 cup) all-purpose flour (I used organic T65 flour)
- 75 g (1/3 cup) sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt flakes (fleur de sel, kosher salt, crushed Maldon…)
- 75 g (6 tablespoons) chilled unsalted butter, diced
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 to 3 tablespoons milk

Makes about 20.

Preheat the oven to 160°C (320°F). Spread the flour evenly on a rimmed cookie sheet and put in the oven to toast for 20 minutes, until fragrant, stirring the flour around every 5 minutes or so. (It may become lightly golden in places, but it should not change color overall.) Remove from the oven and let cool completely on the cookie sheet. This will take about an hour; you can toast the flour in advance and keep it in a jar.

Combine the toasted flour, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Add the diced butter and process until the mixture forms fine crumbs. Add the yolk and 1 tablespoon milk, and process in short pulses until the mixture clumps together when you squeeze it in your hand. If it is still too dry, add a little more milk. (The dough can also be mixed by hand, using the tips of your fingers or a wire pastry blender. Handle the dough as lightly as you can.)

Line a baking sheet (one that fits in your fridge) with parchment paper. Take a small handful of the dough and squeeze it in your hand to form the shape you prefer — either the simple “squeeze cookie” shape or a slightly flattened ball — and place it on the prepared baking sheet. Chill for 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 180°C (360°F). Slip into the oven and bake for 15 minutes, keeping a close eye on them, until they’re golden at the edges. Let rest on the sheet for 5 minutes then transfer to a rack to cool completely.

Cooking/baking time: 35 min

  • http://www.kittalog.com Kitt

    Wow, what an interesting concept! And I like the squeezed shape.

    I wonder what no-knead bread would taste like made with roasted flour. Would the crumb taste more like the crust? Would it even work at all? Time to experiment …

    Thanks!

  • http://kitchen-notebook.blogspot.com/ Lucy V

    These cookies look very nice, Clotilde, thank you. The roasted flour must smell up the house deliciously, I will try it tonight. I like the idea and homey look that squeezing the dough lends to this recipe as well.

  • http://realgoodtaste.blogspot.com Jen

    Hi Clotidle- What an interesting use of roasted flour. The only time I have ever used it was in Ecuador when my host grandmother would make little cheese filled tortillas with it- I never even thought to try it out for other things.

  • http://www.msadventuresinitaly.com/blog Sara, Ms. Adventures in Italy

    It sounds interesting, though I wonder – would a savoury recipe benefit more from roasted flour?

    My mom made fresh coffee cake before the realtors came over :)

  • http://www.ModernBeet.com Jen (Modern Beet)

    Wow! I have never heard of roasting flour, but now that you mention it, it makes perfect sense. I can envision so many possibilities — crust for a savory pie or quiche in particular.

  • http://www.vegoftheweek.com vegoftheweek

    It’s true that so many other foods taste better browned and toasted: rice, bread, nuts and seeds, in some cases pastas. Seems logical that if you start with browned flour, then bake with it, the result would enhance the flavor experience. I’ve made roux and toasted baggettes…I’ll have to try browning flour as well.

  • http://orangette.blogspot.com Molly

    This is fascinating, Clotilde! Very, very cool. And contrary to that certain someone, I love the look of this “squeeze” version…

    xo

  • http://cookingandbooking.blogspot.com Rachel

    These sound fascinating – I love the idea of the roasted flour. Also, I must admit, I love the shape of the cookies. I might have to try squeezing my next batch of shortbread cookies.

  • http://linda.kovacevic.nl linda

    Fun idea! The squeeze cookies look very cute.

  • Brenda

    Very interesting. I will have to try these. FYI, liked your magazine article on butter.

  • http://madeater.blogspot.com cookiecrumb

    I love this.
    Can you believe we’ve lived until 2008 and never experimented with roasted flour?

  • http://www.bounteous-bites.blogspot.com/ Evelin

    You just gave me an irresistible urge to bake and experiment! This idea can really only be referred to as ‘WOW’.

    Pre-cooking ingredients that shouldn’t traditionally be pre-cooked is seeming to become more and more popular. Browned butter, now this…and I must admit cookies made with pre-cooked eggs can taste great! I made my best almond cookies from an almond nougat accident – oh the flavour!:)

    And I’m definitely going to try and make these cookies soon!

  • Niranjana

    Cookies look lovely. Must try them soon! In South India where I’m from, we make steamed rice dumplings that are shaped just like your cookies.

  • http://www.windowseat.travelocity.com The Window Seat

    The only thing better than baking, is experiment baking! C’est cool!

    I’ve been thinking a lot about molecular gastronomy because this season of Top Chef is practically a showdown between simple California-style cuisine and New York-style molecular gastronomy.

    I sit somewhere in the middle. Perhaps I shall bake these cookies and let them decide!

  • http://www.peanutbutterboy.com Nick

    Very interesting idea. Roasting the flour first could definitely increase the flavor but would have different bake characteristics and maybe dry out faster. I wonder how well this would work with a whole wheat flour to increase the “nutty” flavor associated with it. Overbaking seems like more of an issue here.

  • http://meglevitt.blogspot.com mimi

    How dare you be so prolific and young!! I am just jealous because I got nothing done when I was young and you are all over the place with your fabulous life.
    AAANyway… I wanted to say that I have made the squeeze cookie with leftover sugar cookie dough because i just got too tired of rolling and had to use the leftovers. I sometimes make them look like turtles. It’s all how you position your hands.
    No, really, how can you do so much writing, reading, blogging, cooking,and traveling? There must be at least 5 of you. This week I was into scones. I decided on pineapple apricot with sanding sugar. MMMMMMmmm.

  • Elizabeth

    For how long and at what temperature did you roast the flour?

  • gingerpale

    Browned flour, done (carefully!) in a skillet on the stovetop, is nice in gravy. It not only thickens it but gives it more color too.

  • http://biogourmet15.blogspot.com Julieta

    He he, I had tried that squeezing thing when making pâte sablé, just for fun, but I never thought that could work out in such wonderful sablés! I’d bake a plain-flavored first batch, and maybe I’d add some chopped herbs to the second batch. It sound inusual, but it’s delicious!

  • amy

    these cookies are yummy! went with the flattened ball shape. my kitchen smells great & the cookies taste wonderful. i may NOT share them with my 2 & 4 year olds–may eat them all myself!

  • blowback

    Torrefy is, I believe, the English word for it. Although I will admit I can only recall it being applied to wood.

  • http://skinnygourmet.blogspot.com Erin @ The Skinny Gourmet

    How interesting. While I make roux for many dishes, it would not have occurred to me to roast the flour in advance for baking. If you keep experimenting I would be interested to know if a pattern emerges in terms of how you have to adjust liquid or baking time in the final recipe to adapt regular recipes to roasted flour.

  • Alain Roy

    What exactly is T65 flour? (For those of us not living in France.)

    -alain

  • http://tech-samaritan.org techsamaritan

    In the Philippines (and maybe other countries with Spanish influence) there is a wrapped cookie that is made almost just like this called polvoron (also polvorone). Polvoron often have crispy rice or pinipig, or coco powder in them.

    I used to pick them up from the sari-sari store, but in the US they can be found at Goldilock’s bakery.

  • yourpapounet

    “Torrefy” is a perfectly legitimate english verb, meaning “to subject to fire or intense heat; parch, roast, or scorch” etc., and the act itself is “torrefaction”. Comes from the latin “torrefacere”, “to make (facere) hot (torre)”. The root “torre” gave also the adjective “torrid”, very hot, which can be said of a summer, or of a love affair…

  • http://thedineandwineclub.blogspot.com Elke

    I cooked a gravy once with browned flour and have to say it was yummy…never thought of using it in pastry. Thanks for the experiment. Will try it at the weekend.

  • http://chocolateandzucchini.com clotilde

    Kitt – I probably wouldn’t try roasted flour in a bread recipe, as the modified gluten would probably prevent the dough from rising properly.

    Elizabeth – The recipe includes all the instructions on how to roast the flour.

    Blowback and Papa – That’s interesting. I’ve never heard the word, and wonder why it’s not used for coffee roasting, as it is in French?

    Alain – T65 is “farine bise,” a slightly more “whole wheat” flour than the flours most commonly used in baking (T55, or sometimes T45). If you’re in the US, all-purpose flour is a close equivalent.

  • http://www.livingtastefully.weebly.com/-passions-to-pastry.html Eileen

    Sounds absolutely wonderful!

  • Rachel

    Having made my friends’ wedding cake last week, I am (very uncharacteristically for me) feeling a bit ‘baked out’ at the moment, but these cookies sound like the antithesis of said big, complicated project… quite possibly the thing to get me back to baking sooner than planned!

  • blowback

    clotilde – torrefaction is used in reference to coffee roasting but not widely. See this example.

    Perhaps it is because the English are not so committed to their food as the French so why waste their vocabulary on it (cf. Inuit and snow).

  • http://thenewcook.com Andy

    Reading experiments about new culinary techniques is really interesting. Keep up the good work.

  • http://www.foodshethought.blogspot.com Liz

    I am not a huge fan of cookies, but the chemistry behind the gastronomic arts has always fascinated me, being a science teacher and all. Oh, that I could speak/read French. When we finally start to sell our house, I am definitely going for the baked flour treatment. Thanks for the info.

  • http://proofofthepudding.wordpress.com Dana

    I LOVE the idea behind this. These sound so wonderful!

  • http://mylifeisyummy.blogspot.com/ LINA

    The shapes are so cute!

  • Donna

    Mabel Allen at Ballymaloe House near Cork in Ireland, shares a recipe for brown bread with toasted flour. VERY YUMMY! I can’t wait to try these cookies! Hard cooked egg yolk too????? Wow!

  • http://www.beurreetpain.blogspot.com Honeybee

    “Basler Mehlsuppe” (soupe à la farine rôtie), a soup traditionnally eaten for breakfast (!) at around six in the morning at the Basel carneval after you’ve been watching the “cortège” for two hours in the freezing cold is based on roasted flour. It gets its dark brown colour and intense flavour from it. An acquired taste, I have to say but certainly worth a try. There are many variations, like this one for instance.

  • Trevor

    Thanks for a very interesting experiment and recipe. This reminds me of the process of malting used in brewing beer. To make darker and/or sweeter beers you roast the malted grain (barley/wheat) for different lengths of time. This brings out various flavours including caramel, bready, hazelnut and coffee. To get the sweeter (caramel) flavours you start with wet malt that has more simple sugars while the roasty flavours come from dry roasting malts that have more starch and less simple sugars. These techniques could all be adapted to flour roasting for biscuit making…

  • http://balancefood.blogspot.com Chou

    Well, this opens whole new horizons of possibility. I believe pie dough made with roasted flour is in order this evening–what better thing to benefit from decreased gluten? Once I finish shoveling that huge pile of dirt into my garden, of course. :)

    Thank you for posting the link to their monthly conversation!

  • http://www.lafromagette.blogspot.com js

    if roasting flour does anything like browning butter, I’m totally into it! Can’t wait to try.

  • http://www.thursdaynightsmackdown.com michelle @ TNS

    ooh, it’s always so interesting to learn something new like this. these sound delicious, and i love the shape.

  • http://shortcut-to-mushrooms.blogspot.com Judith

    I must say I tend to be a bit skeptical of certain foodie “tricks” that seem just silly (and time consuming). But this looks easy enough, and I trust your taste buds, so I think I might try it. I’ll prepare to be surprised :-)

  • ann marie

    you might try roasting half the flour….you will get the flavors and still get the textures too…when i make risotto i pan roast half the rice first….when i make orzo or any pasta using the absorption method i pan roast half of it….the taste is amazing…i find roasting it all is too much…i like the subtlety better.

  • http://thedreamersandme.blogspot.com/ La Rêveuse

    This sounded like a fantastic idea, so I tried it today, using the shortbread version. I admit I didn’t have incredible butter on hand and the baby was napping so I was trapped, but other than that I followed the recipe, and frankly I was underwhelmed.

    Could it perhaps be an oven issue? My flour didn’t seem as roasty toasty as I would have liked. Is there a point you should reach whether or not the time has elapsed? If I made it again, I think I would either roast it longer or at a higher heat. As is it turned out rather bland, unfortunately.

  • Javed

    This is fantastic. In fact I’m trying them tonight. They’re in the oven being baked as I type this, and my apartment smells wonderful!

  • http://chocolateandzucchini.com clotilde

    La Rêveuse – Sorry yours didn’t turn out to your liking (you can always salvage them with a coating of melted chocolate or Nutella).

    Do you have an oven thermometer so you could check it was at the right temp? In any case, you should roast the flour until it is unmistakably fragrant, and turning light golden in places.

  • http://daysontheclaise.blogspot.com/ Susan

    My first thought was ‘OMG, she’s had an attack of the Heston Blumenthal’s'; and my next thought was ‘Hmm, I wonder what the implications for coeliacs are – would the gluten be modified sufficiently?’
    Worth playing around with. I like Ann Marie’s idea for getting the best of both worlds.
    Susan

  • http://thedreamersandme.blogspot.com/ La Rêveuse

    Well, I’m eating them anyway! ;) Worth another try. My oven thermometer says it’s accurate, but I’ve wondered because I have had trouble getting things to brown as I like. Next time I’ll roast it a little longer. Thanks!

  • http://chewonthatblog.com Hillary

    Interesting concept of roasted flour…I’ll have to try this after Passover.

  • http://vegeyum.wordpress.com Vegeyum Ganga

    How amazing – amazing really that this is not common place. We roast everything else to bring out the flavour. Cashews. pine nuts. rice. onions. But like you had never heard of flour before.

  • Hari

    Great site with captivating writing which get you hooked!

  • http://www.helengraves.co.uk Helen

    That’s a really interesting idea. Flour is something that is obviously so commonplace in cooking and an idea like this is almost revolutionary! I can’t believe the way this has opened up a whole new world of possibilities.

  • http://happyspecialday.blogspot.com Nomanda

    Sounds great! I’ll try the recipe over the weekend and invite my gourmet french neighbours for a tasting session!

  • http://www.earnestandgame.blogspot.com Heather

    Hi Clothilde, we just threw a party over the weekend and the main cookbooks that I used were yours (5 recipes–lamb/prune meatballs, chicken liver/fig terrine, cheese puffs, cocoa nib cookies, honey almond bites–and muhammara from your website) and Naomi Duguid/Jeffrey Alford’s Flatbreads & Flavors–I made Tibetan Barley bread–step #1 involves toasting the barley flour in a skillet to achieve that nutty brown flavor.

    Thank you for your recipes and commentary-your writing is so sprightly and nuanced that it’s so very hard to believe that Engl is a 2nd language for you!

  • http://sailusfood.com sailaja

    Clotilde, I feel so inspired me with this post (reading it over a cuppa of masala chai) on roasted flour and nodding my head knowing exactly what you mean by “the baking horizon has suddenly broadened”. Trying to imagine the baking aromas filling the kitchen!!

  • http://kitchenparade.com Alanna

    Just wanted to let you know that your post is featured on BlogHer today! ~ AK

  • Elena

    I made these on a rainy day this weekend and they were delicious. My husband and I both tasted the flour after it was roasted and could really taste the nuttiness. I tried making little rounds but gave up pretty quickly. He loved the irregular shape of the squeeze! I’m adding this one to my repertoire. Thanks so much.

  • sara

    i made these this past weekend and loved them when they first came out of the oven, so toasty tasting, but i found that after they had cooled the flavor mellowed considerably and they had a weird consistancy. i think it is my own fault as i made them by hand and squeezed them to the point where maybe the center didn’t cook properly. i am going to try again with a lighter touch. thanks for the neat and new recipe!

  • Jessie

    Hi Clotilde-

    I’ve been a fan of your blog for a long time but this is the first time I’ve posted a comment. As soon as I read your post about roasted flour, I knew I had to try these cookies. I wasn’t disappointed! The smell of flour roasting in my kitchen sent me over the moon, and the cookies themselves were phenomenal. They had a flavour all their own, with a wonderful salty kick at the end (I used fleur de sel).

    Thanks for the recipe – delish!

    P.S. I do agree that they bear more than a slight resemblance to bugs, but I consider that part of their charm. :-)

  • http://thepapillonpantry.blogspot.com Kiriel

    I have a renaissance recipe dating from 1636 for “fine cakes” which uses pre-baked flour, so the use of it goes back a long way! When I redacted the recipe from 1636 and cooked it, I was very taken with the great texture that pre-baking the flour gave the final biscuits.

  • Este

    Hi Clotilde, I enjoy reading your blog very much and was pleasantly surprised when u wrote about roasting flour. I’m from Asia and where I stay, we have a cookie by the name of Kueh Bangkit which requires roasting flour with pandan leaves. This is not a new technique and is something that grannies have been doing. The Kueh Bangkit is a cookie infused with the fragrance of the pandan leaves and melts in the mouth..I hope you will have a chance to visit Asia and try it one day!

  • Frances

    Gofio is the traditional staple of the Canary Islands pre-dating the Spanish colonisation and originating with the indigenous population, the Guanches. The grains, which can be barley, maize or wheat, or a mixture, are torrefied and then ground into flour. In times of famine, wild seeds and cereals would be prepared in the same way. Because the starch is already cooked, it readily combines with hot liquids without immediately becoming lumpy. You will often find an attractive ceramic pot of gofio on the tables of traditional restaurants, for you to add to soup or stew to thicken it. Also served as a nutritious breakfast gruel mixed with honey and hot milk, gofio is increasingly used in desserts, baking and ice-creams, as interest in traditional ingredients grows. In Tenerife, particularly in the North, you can still find Molinos de Gofio; in fact you will smell the flour mill before you see it, with that unmistakeable nutty, warm appetising aroma of roasting flour.

  • http://www.realfoodforrealpeople.blogspot.com Sandy

    Mmmm. I can’t wait to play with this! And I’m wondering how this would work with cornmeal.

  • http://www.eddybles.com eddybles

    I love this idea! I recently attended a presentation by a chef from New Orleans at the French Culinary Institute in NYC. He discussed the bake flour that he has used for decades to add an additional level of depth and character to his roux but said he also uses it just as he would raw flour to thicken sauces at the end of the cooking process. I’ve used his baked flour trick for my roux and the results are rich and satisfying and I like the idea of expanding its use to baked goods. Thank you for the great suggestion!

  • Kate

    I made some of these for a visit to my sister and nephews…they get a big thumbs up from everybody, even eldest nephew, who is quite a tough cookie when it comes to biscuits (‘scuse the pun). They are awfully moreish, though!

  • Bianca

    I just finished roasting the flour, dipped my finger in for a little taste experiment and the first thing that came to mind was POPCORN! It tastes like plain unsalted unbuttered popcorn. No jokes.

    Clotilde, I love your site. I’m a teenage foodie living in Australia and I’ve already wowed my family with so many new Frenchified ideas, on top of the ones I’d brought back from my two-month-long student exchange trip staying near Lyon. Thank you!

  • http://scotvet.net Jeni

    Hi Clotilde, just wanted to say I made these tonight (substituted whole wheat flour for 1/2 the plain flour) and they were amazing! My friends and husband agree that they are rich, warm, and comforting without feeling heavy or overwhelming. Thanks!

  • http://www.aulevain.canalblog.com Jane

    I saw your article in ELLE à table and the concept is absolutely intriguing! As an avid bread baker the first thing I’m going to do it bake bread with it. I figure I’ll just add an amount like I would other flours that are “non-panifiable”. Not quite sure how much would be needed to get the great effect.
    But I’ll definitely try your cookies. I believe you when you say they are heavenly.
    Jane

  • http://horneandoaciegas.blogspot.com/ Marta

    The recipe looks fantastic! What a great idea. I am really looking forward to try it and explain it to my fellow Spaniards! Thank you for an amazing site!

  • http://www.hornlessunicornn.blogspot.com/ kate

    I heard of your website via NPR. Your writing is amazing and picturesque. I am so impressed by your website, I have forwarded on to handfuls of folks, bakers, foodies, and just cats that like a good read! I cannot wait to try your recipe for Squeeze Cookies! Keep up the great work! I’m a new fan!

  • Schrell

    Someone mentioned toasting flour for gravy. I have done that also, in a cast iron skillet. I wonder if doing it on the stove top would be different than doing it in the oven.

    I recall reading that toasting flour changes the properties of flour, lessening its ability to thicken, as in making a roux. I wonder if adjustments would have to be made when using toasted flour in baking.

  • Karine

    Most likely, no one’s reading this entry any more, but I just reviewed it for the first time, and am immediately worried by this idea. The reason why no one has ever thought of roasting flour before may be because it’s highly flammable and explosive? One of the biggest non-wartime explosions in the U.S. (if not the biggest?) was at a flour mill in Minneapolis in the late 1800s. Homemade bombs can be made with flour. Google this if you don’t believe me and good luck with your “experiments”! I’ll stay away from this one, thanks!

  • http://chocolateandzucchini.com clotilde

    Karine – Thank you for your comment, but there is no such danger in following this recipe: for flour to explode, it must form a highly dispersed dust, such as in a grain elevator or flour mill. But here, the flour is simply layered on a baking sheet — packed, inert, and thus non flammable.

  • nins

    hi, this is kinda like filipino shortbread, called polvoron.

  • http://www.howsweeteats.com Jessica @ How Sweet

    These sound delicious!

  • http://gourmetlab.blogspot.com/ Chandrika

    Hi,

    You can dry roast the flour on the stove top. It will provide the same effect as roasting it in the oven.

    I had dry-roasted wheat flour and sugar before. That was really yummy. Cookies even sound better. I think pancake will be good with the roasted flour too.

    Thanks for posting the recipe on roasted flour.

    Thanks
    Chandrika

  • http://www.crispytarts.blogspot.com The French

    Love the exchange about explosive flour. So interesting. If we were actually facing danger every time we baked, we’d get a lot more respect. “Do you know what I went through to make this?”:)

  • http://www.gamereviewwiki.com/bikinibirthday Samantha Angela @ Bikini Birthday

    I love the shape of those cookies!! Roasted flour is such a good idea. Too bad it couldn’t be used for bread. Maybe with the addition of some vital wheat gluten?

  • http://fivehomeedinkent.blogspot.com Ann

    Roasted flour for “cookies with a crumbly, sandy consistency, for which a weak gluten network is desirable” – and yet they wouldn’t form?

    Welcome to the world of gluten-free cooking, lol! GF flours make amazing biscuits because of that shortness. I understand that you didn’t want to adjust the fat content, but would adding liquid help? Usually with gf cooking one adds more liquid to help bind things. Also of course adding xanthum gum which binds liquid to itself (usually used to thicken things but used instead in gf to help with the binding).

    Just wondered whether that would apply therefore for the roasted flour?

  • http://www.inolongerlikechocolates.com Kathie

    The Fannie Farmer Cookbook has had a simple cookie recipe employing hard-boiled egg yolks for close to half a century (at least)! I wonder if it too might be good with browned flour.

    NORWEGIAN BUTTER COOKIES

    INGREDIENTS:
    2 hard-boiled egg yolks, cooled
    ½ cup (= 1 stick) butter, softened
    ¼ cup sugar
    1 cup flour
    ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract

    DIRECTIONS (in my own words):
    Cream butter and sugar; add vanilla. With a fork, crumble yolks thoroughly, then beat in well with spoon or electric mixer. Beat in flour. Following directions for cookie-press, pack dough into tube, squeeze out cookies onto UNgreased baking sheet. Bake @ 375°F for 10 minutes, or till lightly golden color. Remove sheet from oven IMMEDIATELY, then with spatula gently lift off each cookie onto wire cooling racks (otherwise they will continue to darken on the hot baking sheets).

    COMMENTS (mine):
    Experiment with various cookie- press disks (for different shapes) and thicknesses till you find what you like best. These aren’t as sweet as most cookies. They store well in a covered container. In fact, the flavor of the butter in them actually seems to improve after a day!

    RE LEFTOVER HARD-BOILED EGG WHITES: Mix with 2 whole hard-boiled eggs (whites plus yolks), as basis of egg-salad for sandwiches.

  • http://www.dessertfortwo.com DessertForTwo

    Did you cook right away with your roasted flour? I can’t imagine it would have the same flavor once stored. Anyway, what an interesting post! Thanks for sharing!

  • http://mysmallworldsescape.blogspot.com/ Stephke

    Looks delicious!

  • Isin

    There is a type of cookie in Turkey (particularly in Edirne and İstanbul) which we call Kavala or Greek cookies. It uses flour roasted not in oven, but “on” it by stirring constantly until it slightly changes color. I believe these traditional cookies are common in eastern Thrace. Any Greek followers of your blog could may be clarify ?

  • http://nom-nomnom.blogspot.com Reuben

    Wow, thanks so much for bringing up this idea! Very interesting…

  • http://www.sideofsneakers.com Heather @ Side of Sneakers

    What a unique idea- roasting certainly brings out the flavor of other foods, why not flour?! I’m going to need to try a recipe with this technique!

  • http://www.latestrecipes.net Olive

    Hi Clotilde :)

    I am from the Philippines and we have delicacies that uses roasted flour…we have espasol, made of roasted glutinous rice flour, coconut milk and sugar. Then there’s polvoron, it’s basically roasted flour, milk, melted butter and some ground nuts, mix together and shape with a mold, sounds like your recipe here but it’s not baked. I think you will like it :) Have a nice day! :)

  • http://habeasbrulee.com/ Danielle

    I just made these, and they were great! With my oven, and making a big batch of flour, I toasted it for closer to half an hour. And with the cookies, I chopped up some chocolate chunks and threw them in. YUM.

  • http://enchantedfig.blogspot.com/ Amanda

    Ah! The roasted flour cookies! I have been thinking off and on about making those cookies since your first posted this–a testament to just how behind I am on the list of fabulous things to bake. Now that you have reminded me though, it seems I just must make them. Looking forward to it.

  • http://www.tobiascooks.com tobias cooks!

    truly a unique way of shaling them!

  • http://www.bountifully.blogspot.com tracey

    Hi, thanks for putting these up again! I am preparing a dinner party for my husbands birthday tonight and thought, while the oven was going to be on all day anyway I would give this a try.
    Oh my, my, my! these are so wowing! I am going to serve them with coffee tonight. I am thinking of putting flour in to roast regularly, when the oven is on, so I will always have some at hand.

  • http://frenchcookingfordummies.com French Cooking for Dummies

    wow, that’s interesting! Can’t wait to try it out ;)

  • http://tastycolours.blogspot.com Magdalena

    Hello Clotilde!
    This is very interesting idea, and I will try it this summer. I love when my kitchen smells like the favorite bakery shop.
    OT: I was watching yesterday some programs on French cuisine TV, and by accident saw you in one of programs, presenting some Parisian places (close to Montmartre), then baking little tarts with onions and cumin. You speak the same way as you write – full of positive energy. This is not the empty “compliment”.
    Take care, I hope I will have more occasions to see what (and how) you cook. Have a good and tasty day.

  • http://kidscooking.about.com Stephanie

    Thank you so much for posting this recipe again. Amazing – and you’re an amazing writer, too. It’s a pleasure to read your blog.

  • Meloo

    Try using gluten free cookie recipes with the browned flour. All gluten free recipes have to take into account that loss of gluten that comes from browning the regular flour or using non-wheat based flours such as rice flour.

  • http://www.chicsetera.com Chicsetera Paris

    These look absolutely delicious! And they must be very cathartic to make! ;-)

    xoxo

  • sharon

    I love the simplicity of this recipe and plan to make it today! Did you use French butter or American? Roasting flour…Wow. Who would have thought.

  • http://averyfoodlydiary.wordpress.com Hannah

    Roasting flour is such a simple & fantastic idea. I can’t wait to try this for myself. Thanks for the inspiration, Clotilde!

    H :)

  • http://jackiskitchen.blogspot.com Jacki

    Very interesting! I have to cook/bake gluten-free, so I am really wondering how this would turn out with gluten-free flours. Time to experiment! These cookies would be great with tea and coffee, and perfect for my daughter’s lunch box. I think she would enjoy squeezing the dough.

  • http://www.caitlinesque.blogspot.com CaitiJo

    This is so yummy! I tried making these this week and they turned out perfect!

  • Nailah

    When i tried to make these delicious sounding cookies, I was thoroughly astounded when they came unlike anything you described – they came out like madeleines instead? Any ideas on how to fix that?

    • http://chocolateandzucchini.com clotilde

      I really don’t know how they could turn out like madeleines, as this dough is very different from a madeleine batter. Perhaps they were underbaked, which made them feel cakey?

  • ruthie

    I think they look like seashells, like the back of a conch shell. Slugs don’t have ridges. ;)

    I wonder if roasting the flour makes it usable for gluten intolerant folks.

  • dmdaniel

    Great way to make a shortbread cookie, my favorite, practically gluten-free. Would love to know if anyone has a bit more research to know if roasting the flour allows it to be categorized as a gluten-free product.

    • http://chocolateandzucchini.com clotilde

      I hasten to note that roasting wheat flour does not make it gluten free! It changes the structure of the gluten, but does not remove it, and therefore does NOT make these cookies safe for people who can’t have gluten.

  • Dan

    Thanks for a really interesting post Clotilde. I’m more a bread baker than cookie baker, but I’m definitely going to give these ago. A propos of this idea, I believe Raymond Blanc is also a big fan of roasting flour. There’s a recipe for Coq au vin on his website that uses roasted flour – as well as being more tasty than regular flour, he suggests the roasting also makes it more digestible.

  • http://poppyspatisserie.com Poppy

    This sounds fascinating, I’m going to try roasting flour. The cookies look like seashells!

  • Susan P

    Ok, I tried this and it was alright, but where the toasted flour taste REALLY shined is when I used it in a no-egg raw cookie dough recipe (- you are supposed to eat the dough, not cook it). It was actually reading that recipe that gave the idea of toasting flour, which led me to this site. I have now tried both recipes, and the freezer cookie dough recipe wins hands down! If you try it I recommend reducing the salt to 1/2 tsp or even 1/4.

  • cassandra

    Here is a 16th century recipe calling for what seems to be an Elizabethan equivalent for roasted flour or “flower”. Spellings were NOT standardized in those days!

    “Searce” = sieve.

    To make fine Cakes. Take a quantity of fine wheate Flower, and put it in an earthen pot. Stop it close and set it in an Oven, and bake it as long as you would a Pasty of Venison, and when it is baked it will be full of clods. Then searce your flower through a fine sercer. Then take clouted Creame or sweet butter, but Creame is best: then take sugar, cloves, Mace, saffron and yolks of eggs, so much as wil seeme to season your flower. Then put these things into the Creame, temper all together. Then put thereto your flower. So make your cakes. The paste will be very short; therefore make them very little. Lay paper under them. (From The Widowes Treasury by John Partridge, 1585.)

    • http://chocolateandzucchini.com clotilde

      Wonderful, thanks so much for sharing!

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