How to Make Bechamel Sauce
This white sauce is one of the most basic of the five mother sauces. It is very simple to make and doesn’t take too much time either.
Ingredients you will need:
- 4 oz. white roux (recipe and thickening agent explanation can be found here)
- 1 qt. milk
- 1/4 onion with the skin peeled off
- 1 whole clove
- 1 whole bay leaf
- Salt, white pepper, nutmeg to taste
Prepare the roux in a sauce pan. Set that aside. Heat milk to simmer in a separate pan.
Add the roux to the simmering milk. Whisk roux and milk together. Make sure the mixture does not get too hot. Add the bayleaf, onion, and clove. Let the sauce simmer for about 30 minutes.
The sauce should be at least thick enough to easily coat the spoon. If you think it is too thick, you can thin the sauce out by adding more milk. If it isn’t thick enough, just let it continue to simmer. You can also add your own preference of spices to the mixture. Strain.
This sauce is a great base for biscuits and gravy. Adding cheese to the sauce makes for a great cheddar cheese sauce, as well.
Fun facts about Bechamel:
- Bechamel is a French word meaning “white sauce”. It is supposedly named after a man that worked for the French King Louis XIV, who first invented the sauce.
- It looks like a complicated word to pronounce, but it is actually pretty easy to say: bay/shah/mehl.
- Also, this white sauce was an ingredient in the original recipe for lasagna.
Check out the other mother sauce recipes here:
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Non-Scratch Cooking Spoon – a great tool to use when stirring sauces
French Chef – use this knife to mince any solid ingredients like vegetables or herbs
Handi-Stir – use this utensil to whisk sauces together
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Check it out!
Watch the video to learn how to make this Bechamel mother sauce. Chef Blake has some cooking tips that will be a lot of help to you!
Start Video Transcript:
The first of our mother sauces we’re going to make is our béchamel. We’re going to add bayleaf and a little bit of nutmeg to the milk and thicken it up and make the base of béchamel.
We’ll start by adding butter to our pan and melting it down. Once it’s melted, add the flour. You want to cook the flour out otherwise it will make it taste like flour. Once we’ve cooked the flour, take it out and set it aside. Bring our milk over and bring up the temperature. Add our roux. Use the Handi-Stir, incorporate that. Bring it to a boil. Add our bayleaf. A smidge of nutmeg, seasoning. Let that simmer for just a little bit. The texture you’re looking for should coat the spoon. If it isn’t thick enough, let it simmer down a bit. It will give it a nice thickness. One good thing about this sauce is that it can be a base to biscuits and gravy. You could do a cheddar cheese sauce just by adding cheddar.
This is our first of several mother sauces. We’re going to do all five, so stay tuned. Thanks for watching.
End of Video Transcript