What makes Won­dra flour dif­fer­ent from all-pur­pose flour?

— Georgie Cole, Charleston, SC

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Won­dra is ac­tu­ally a spe­cific brand of in­stant or quick-mix­ing flour, but it’s so read­ily avail­able, recipes al­most al­ways just call for it by its trade­marked name. A finely ground, low-pro­tein flour, Won­dra is es­pe­cially for­mu­lated to dis­solve quickly in liq­uid. It’s pre­heated with very hot water or steam, then dried out, in a process called prege­la­tiniza­tion.

Won­dra’s baby pow­der-like tex­ture and abil­ity to dis­solve in­stantly in hot liq­uids make it an ideal, lump-free, thick­ener for sauces and other cooked mix­tures. In­deed, that’s the use it’s best known for, but it’s great for other uses, too.

Ju­lia Child rec­om­mended in­stant flour (like Won­dra) for crêpes, be­cause it only needs a brief 10-minute rest­ing pe­riod, rather than an hour or more. Give it a try the next time you make crêpes or need to thicken a sauce.

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