Bechamel sauce

bechamel sauce or sauce béchamel, a very common French

Sauce béchamel

 

Bechamel sauce is a very common sauce in French cooking. It’s quite easy to prepare and require very few limited ingredients: milk, butter, wheat flour, nutmeg… Anyway, it requires attention otherwised the sauce can burn or get lumps.

That bechamel sauce is used in different recipes: Croque-Monsieur (grilled cheese sandwich), gratins, lasagna, stuffed vegetables, savoury tarts…

Another version of that sauce exist without milk. In that case we call it: “sauce blanche” and we use another liquid: in general it’s water, broth, cooking water of mussels, fish fumet, veal stock…

The bechamel sauce easy recipe

 

For 2 cups (50 cl)

Timing

  • Preparation: 10 minutes
  • Cooking: 15 minutes
  • Total: 25 minutes

 

Ingredients

  • 0.88 oz (25g) wheat flour
  • 0.88 oz (25g) unsalted butter
  • 2 cups (50 cl) milk
  • Salt, pepper
  • Nut meg

Comment: you can add more or less milk depending on the consistency you would like to get: more or less liquid

Instructions

  • Prepare and weight all the ingredients
  • Slice the butter and melt it a saucepan at medium heat
  • Add the flour and mix well till you get an homogeneous and smooth texture
  • Continue mixing with a wood spoon or a spatula and cooking at low heat for about 3 minutes. In France we call that preparation a “roux blanc”. It’s the basis of many different sauces…
  • Remove from heat and let cool down
  • In the meantime, boil the milk (keep an eye!)
  • Off the heat, add 1/4 of milk in the butter-flour preparation and whisk well (use a kitchen whisk) till you get an homogeneous and smooth and lump free texture
  • Then add another 1/4 of the milk and whisk well
  • Continue adding progressively the milk keeping whisking constantly
  • Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg
  • Slowly bring to a low boil (at low heat) and cook for about 5 to 6 minutes. Very important: keep whisking constantly
  • If you have lumps, pass the sauce through a sieve

 

Comment: the tricky part for preparing bechamel sauce consist in avoidind lumps. The only way is to cook at low heat and keep whisking constantly. My tips is to use a Thermomix. It stirs for me 😜