One of the mother sauces, Bechamel Sauce or White Sauce is a basic sauce that is perfect for pasta, lasagna, mac and cheese or pizza. Learn how to make this easy and simple sauce at home.
About This Recipe
Béchamel Sauce is a French sauce which is also one of the mother sauces of French cuisine. Also called as white sauce, this sauce is a simple and basic medium-thick sauce which uses all-purpose flour, butter, and milk as its main ingredients.
You can add bay leaf and black peppercorn while boiling the milk so that it gets that mild flavour from the spices and gives the sauce more flavour and aroma. Salt and Black pepper powder are also added at the end.
It can be served on its own or can be used as the base to make other sauces too, just like another popular sauce, Mornay sauce, which is Béchamel with cheese.
Milk – Milk is the key ingredient of this sauce which makes it rich, creamy and delicious. Always use full fat milk for the creamy texture in the sauce.
Butter – Do not compromise on butter, it makes this sauce even more delicious. Use the unsalted one for this sauce.
All Purpose Flour – To make the sauce nice and thick, all purpose flour is roasted in butter and then mixed with milk.
Bay Leaf and Peppercorn – To give that slight hint of flavor, these two whole spices are added in the all purpose flour and milk mixture.
Salt and Black Pepper – At the end, salt and black pepper are added to the sauce to enhance the taste even more.
For extra flavour, you can even add cooked onions, parsley or thyme in this sauce.
Step by Step Recipe
Heat milk in a pan.
Add bay leaf and peppercorns and cook the milk on low heat for 10-15 minutes.
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.
Frequently Asked Questions
The five Mother Sauces include Béchamel Sauce, Veloute Sauce, Tomato Sauce, Brown or Espagnole Sauce, and Hollandaise Sauce. It is said that any other sauce can be made by modifying these sauces.
To make the Gluten-Free Bechamel Sauce, you can substitute All Purpose Flour with Gluten-Free Flour or you can use the combination of Corn Flour and Rice Flour to make the sauce.
If you are looking for Vegan White Sauce, then you can use Almond Milk or Coconut Milk instead of Dairy Milk. Also use olive oil to roast the all purpose flour, instead of butter.
There is no difference between Bechamel and White Sauce. Bechamel Sauce is also called White Sauce which is made from all-purpose flour, butter, and milk.
But Béchamel Sauce is different from Cheese Sauce, as grated cheese is added to the Béchamel Sauce to make Cheese Sauce. Check out my Parmesan Cheese Sauce.
No, Bechamel Sauce is not as same as Alfredo Sauce.
While Béchamel Sauce is a simple white sauce and uses only all-purpose flour, milk and butter, Alfredo Sauce is made using Heavy whipping cream, butter, garlic, and parmesan cheese or cream cheese and milk are used in the place of heavy whipping cream.
You can also add eggs in your Béchamel Sauce. Once your sauce is ready, switch off the gas and add in the Egg Yolk one at a time and whisk well. Next, put the sauce back on the heat and whisk until everything is well blended. Once it is blended, switch off the gas and keep it aside for later use.
To make your sauce smooth, make sure that you use hot milk into the Roux, which is a mixture of melted butter and all-purpose flour. If the milk is hot enough, you will get that perfectly smooth consistency.
Also, switch off the heat while mixing milk with the flour and butter and use a wire whisk in vigorous motion for this process.
You can store this sauce in the fridge for about 5 days in an airtight container and gently heat it again when you want to use it next.
If you do not have any immediate use of the Bechamel Sauce, you can stash the sauce in the freezer for later use in airtight containers or food bags.
You can use this as a base to make various dishes such as Gratin, Lasagna Bolognese, Mac and Cheese, Oven Fried Croquettes, Baked Ziti, Fried Mozzarella Sandwiches, Chicken Pie, Moussaka, Roast Chicken, Grilled Salmon, Grilled Chicken Breast, Mushroom Lasagna, Penne With Roasted Butternut Squash, Cauliflower Cheese, etc.
You can also use this Sauce to make Continental gravy dishes.
So what are you waiting for? Make this homemade Bechamel Sauce and let us know how you used it in your recipes.
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Bechamel Sauce Recipe
- 4 tbsp Unsalted Butter
- 4 tbsp All purpose flour
- 750 ml Full fat milk (Hot)
- 2 Bay leaf
- 3-4 Black peppercorns
- Salt to taste
- ½ tsp Freshly ground black pepper
- Heat milk in a pan.
- Add bay leaf and peppercorns and cook the milk on low heat for 10-15 minutes.
- 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.