Bechamel Sauce is a white sauce made from flour, butter and milk. It is one of the main sauces of French cuisine, often used as a base for other sauces, including the Mornay Sauce which is bechamel sauce with cheese. It is one of the five mother sauces which are used to make variety of different sauces.
The sauce is named after a person, but now has become synonymous with authentic French fare and the base for Croquettes, Roast Chicken and Mushroom Lasagna, Penne with Roasted Butternut Squash, and Cauliflower Cheese. It can also be a base for other kinds of gravy dishes. Here is how to make it.
Recipe to make Bechamel Sauce
Bechamel Sauce / White Sauce
- Butter - 4 tbsp
- All purpose flour - 4 tbsp
- Full cream milk - 750 ml Hot
- Bay leaf - 2
- Black peppercorns - 3-4
- Salt to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper 1/2 tsp
- Heat milk in a pan.
- Add bay leaf and peppercorns and cook the milk on low heat for 10-15 minutes.
- Strain the milk and discard the bay leaf and peppercorns.
- Heat butter in a pan.
- Add flour once the butter is melted and mix until it forms a smooth glossy paste.
- This is called Roux.
- Do not over cook the butter and flour mixture or the Roux.
- Keep stirring continuously.
- Add hot milk slowly and whisk continuously.
- Add salt and pepper and cook the sauce on low heat until it starts to coat the back of the ladle.
- Remove the pan from heat and cover it with cling film to avoid formation of skin over the sauce.
- Store the sauce in an airtight container in refrigerator for up to 5 days.
- Use the sauce as and when required.