Last Updated on January 22, 2022 by Zara R.
We are often asked, “What can I make with flour, water, and sugar?”. There is actually a ton of options to choose from that are very easy!
You can make savory items like flatbreads, pasta, or even tempura batter. The key is creating the right ratio and serving it alongside flavorful accompaniments. When it comes to sweet dishes, you can make pancakes, flapjacks, crepes, or churros. They are all very easy and very quick to make.
Flour, Sugar, Water – Functions In Recipes
Believe it or not, but just these three ingredients can create a base for thousands of sweet recipes and savory snacks, and baked goods (like bread). And, if you are wondering how it is possible, well, it is all thanks to how they function when used!
Functions of Flour
Flour acts as the staple ingredient in recipes – it creates the volume and acts as the building blocks of an item. Even if you have a hundred ingredients in a cake recipe, if one of them isn’t flour (or an ingredient that functions in a similar way as flour does), the cake will have no volume and will just be dense and rubbery.
Secondly, flour also helps create texture in recipes. As an example; when making cakes or pastries, flour gets sifted at least once but potentially up to three times. This is to help create an airy texture for your product by incorporating air. But, for pasta, the flour is used as is to create a dense dough.
Another extremely important function of flour is its gluten-forming abilities. This also contributes to the texture and internal structure of the item you are making. In bread, you need a lot of gluten to help create and support an open crumb. However, for pound cake recipes you want as little gluten as possible to create a tight crumb and dense cake.
Functions of Water
Water doesn’t have many functions. Mainly it helps bind ingredients (especially flour) and add moisture to products.
By adding moisture, it does aid in the formation of gluten in the flour. This is important to remember when thinking about what you can make using only flour, water, sugar, and maybe salt.
Functions of Sugar
Sugar has many functions in cooking and baking. But, specifically, when it comes to recipes that only use flour, sugar, and water, it only has a few functions.
For these recipes, sugar helps add flavor and color. The sugar caramelizes when exposed to heat. This creates that beautiful golden brown color you see in bread, cakes, and other baked goods.
In some cases, sugar can also help bind the ingredients together. When sugar is heated, it obviously becomes runny. As the product cools, the sugar crystals harden again and create a more stable structure for the rest of the ingredients – Italian meringue is a very good example of how this function works.
Learn more about Liquid How To Fix Chocolate Bloom – 3 Best and Most Effective Methods
What Can I Make With Flour, Water, And Sugar?
So, finally, we get to the question, “what can I make with flour, water, and sugar?”. You can go either a savory route or a sweet route.
The most common and easiest item to make with only flour, sugar, and water will have to be bread, specifically flatbreads.
Flatbreads are usually made with more ingredients, however, you can make sort of a cheat flatbread with only these three. We would highly recommend adding salt to help enhance the flavor and balance it out, but, it is optional. You can add salt in the filling or topping that you serve alongside the bread.
Some popular flatbreads that can be made using only these ingredients include naan, tortillas (wraps), pita, Focaccia, Roti, or Paratha.
To make flatbreads, just combine the ingredients in a mixer and mix until a dough ball has been formed. Knead until the dough is completely smooth, about 10-15 minutes. Then, you can rest the dough to help relax the gluten strands, but this is optional.
Once the dough has rested (or not), shape it into the bread you want and cook it as you traditionally would. For example, naan bread should be cooked dry in a very hot cast iron pan, whereas wraps can be cooked on a non-stick pan with some oil.
While pasta is traditionally made with eggs, you can also make a quick cheat dough using only flour, water, and a little dash of sugar and salt. And, making it is much easier compared to traditional pasta.
Add the flour to a bowl and add a tiny bit of water until you have a good consistency for pasta dough. It will be much denser compared to bread dough.
Knead the pasta dough until it is smooth and roll it through the pasta machine. You can make linguine, lasagna sheets, tagliatelle, and much more!
You can make an easy tempura batter using only flour, sugar, water, and seasoning ingredients. A tempura batter can be used to cover fresh ingredients like vegetables, fruits, and even meats.
Whisk together the ingredients until you have a runny mixture. You can bake the tempura-covered items or deep-fry them in hot oil.
You can make a wide variety of sweet dishes as well! Now, naturally, most of these will be served with accompaniments, but the bases of the dish can be made only using water, flour, and sugar.
Pancakes / Crepes / Flapjacks
Now, naturally, thick pancakes or flapjacks won’t be as fluffy because they don’t contain any baking powder. You can look at our whole wheat blueberry pancake recipe to get an idea of what more traditional recipes look like.
However, you can sift the flour three times to help incorporate some air and still get a somewhat fluffy product.
Thin versions and products like crepes don’t require a leavening agent and can be made without alternations. Always make sure that your batter is lump-free and well-combined. You can even let it rest for a while to ensure there aren’t any lumps forming.
Traditionally, churros are made using choux pastry which contains butter and eggs. But again, you can create a cheat churros batter coat the fried pieces in cinnamon sugar. Serve it alongside some chocolate sauce.
What Can I Make With Flour, Sugar, And Water With Additional Ingredients?
Okay, so naturally if you are going to add additional ingredients you have more options to work with, can create better products (in terms of the texture or flavor), and make a wider variety of items. It all comes down to what additional ingredients you have available and what you want to use.
We always recommend adding salt to your mixture, regardless of whether it is sweet or savory. Salt is a flavor enhancer and without it, your products will taste bland.
Other additions that can be added depending on what you are trying to make include baking powder (to help leaven products), butter (to enrich items), and eggs (to add structure, volume, and richness).
As you can see, you are not limited to only sugar, flour, and water! There is still a ton of items you can make that can be delicious and filling if done correctly. Let us know some of the ways you use these ingredients to create delicious items!