Good Product: Wondra Flour

Many people already use easily-dissolving Wondra Instant Flour for lump-free gravies and sauces. This wheat flour has been pre-cooked and then dried (much like instant rice), so it dissolves without seizing up when stirred into a hot liquid.

But its low-protein content and baby-powder-like consistency also make it great for other uses. It's one of those little secrets to keep in your back pocket.

• If your summer plans include fish fries, pan fries, or breading and frying other meats and vegetables, instant flour makes a light and crispy crust. Try it in this recipe: Moist and Tender Chicken Breasts

• Julia Child recommended instant flour for crepes. Because the flour dissolves so easily, you'll only need a ten-minute resting period rather than the hour or so required for crepes made with all-purpose flour.

• When making pies, many professional chefs use pastry flour. But pastry flour isn't readily available on supermarket shelves. Since Wondra is low-protein, but not bleached like cake flour, it makes a good substitute. (We've read that Wondra is even more low-protein than pastry flour, but haven't been able to confirm this) Recipe for Basic Pie Crust

• If you butter and flour your cake pans, instant flour evenly covers the pan, without clumping in the corners. Another tip: Grease and Sweeten Cake Pans

Wondra is the most readily-available brand of instant flour; it includes a small amount of malted barley flour which helps with browning and caramelization. Pillsbury also makes an instant flour called Shake & Blend, but we've never seen it on our supermarket shelves.

How do you use instant flour?

Related: What's the Difference Between Cake Flour and Pastry Flour

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