Bechamel Sauce
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How to make the perfect Béchamel Sauce

Last updated on May 24th, 2022 at 10:06 am

Béchamel sauce is a simple basic sauce made with butter, flour, and warm milk. Also called white sauce, it is often flavored with nutmeg, black pepper, white pepper, or mustard.

This sauce is used in many cuisines and is often used in baked macaroni and savory soufflés. Add your favorite grated cheese, and you will end up with a sensational sauce packed with flavors.

There are many recipes available, and each is a bit different. This recipe is a no-fail recipe and will yield about 3 cups, just enough to make a savory and moist baked macaroni.

In many Haitian homes, a classic Béchamel is used to make Macaroni au Gratin, also called Baked Macaroni and Cheese. This traditional sauce is considered the cornerstone of many recipes requiring cheese in many cuisines.

Bechamel Sauce
Bechamel Sauce

What is Bechamel Sauce?

Bechamel Sauce is a creamy sauce made with butter, flour, and warm milk. It is a base sauce primarily used in gratins, casseroles, and savory soufflés.

Ingredients needed to make the sauce

I usually use unsalted butter and always add a dash of freshly grated nutmeg for flavor. Salt is added if desired. If you are adding pepper, typically, white pepper is recommended because of its distinctive taste, but black pepper will do as well.

  • Butter: salted or unsalted
  • All-Purpose Flour
  • Milk: whole milk is better.
  • Nutmeg: it elevates the taste of the butter and flour
  • Salt: use in moderation especially if using a salty cheese
  • Pepper: usually white pepper is recommended, but black ground pepper is fine.
  • Optional addons: ground mustard or dijon mustard, cayenne pepper.

There are many versions of Béchamel Sauce. The version differs in the amount of butter, flour, and milk.

How to make the sauce

  • To start sauce, in a saucepan under low heat, heat up the milk and bring it to a gentle simmer.
  • In another saucepan, under low heat, melt butter and add flour. With a wooden spoon gently stir butter into flour until well blended. Do not burn or brown the flour mixture.
  • Remove from the heat and whisk a couple of ladles of heated milk into flour and butter mixture. Make sure that everything is well incorporated.
  • Put saucepan back on stove over medium heat and add remaining milk and keep whisking the mixture.
  • Let the mixture come up to a slight boil and continue whisking until the sauce starts to thickens, add nutmeg, stir and remove from heat.
  • Do not let mixture get too thick. The sauce must be a creamy consistency.

Tips for making the best Bechamel Sauce

  1. Use a good saucepan for the sauce. Never use a thin bottom pan or the butter and flour mixture will burn quickly.
  2. It is best to use a wooden spoon when stirring the butter and the flour mixture. It also helps to scrape the bottom of the pan.
  3. A whisk is a must to use. It helps the milky sauce get smooth and silky.
  4. Add enough butter to coat the flour to prevent lumps from forming. Do not use too much butter or the milk will separate from the fat mixture.
  5. Always use warm milk. This will prevent lumps from forming and you are not disturbing the cooking process.
  6. Season the sauce at the end of cooking.
  7. If you end up with a lumpy sauce, either pour the mixture in a blender or use a hand blender to make it smooth.
  8. Storage: stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days and reheat over low heat on the stovetop.
  9. Always keep an eye on the sauce so it does not thicken quickly.
  10. The consistency of this sauce must be creamy. Use in recipes requiring Béchamel Sauce.
  11. Use the sauce to bake (make gratins) vegetables such as kale, carrots, and corn.
Bechamel Sauce
Bechamel Sauce

Tools you need to make the best Bechamel Sauce.

How to make the perfect Bechamel Sauce

This Classic Béchamel Sauce is very basic. It is made with equal quantities of butter and flour, salt pepper and a dash of freshly grated nutmeg.
No ratings yet
Course Condiment
Servings 3 cups

Ingredients
  

  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 4 1/2 cup milk heated
  • Dash of fresh grated nutmeg optional
  • salt and white pepper to taste

Instructions
 

  • In a saucepan under low heat, heat the milk and bring it to a gentle simmer to start the sauce.
  • In another saucepan, under low heat, melt butter and add flour.
  • With a wooden spoon, gently stir butter into the flour until well blended. Do not burn or brown the flour mixture.
  • Remove from the heat and whisk a couple of spoons of heated milk into flour and butter mixture. Make sure that everything is well incorporated. Put the saucepan back on the stove over medium heat, add the remaining milk, and keep whisking the mixture.
  • Let the mixture come up to a slight boil and continue whisking until the sauce thickens, add nutmeg, stir and remove from heat. Do not let the mixture get too thick.
  • The sauce must be a creamy consistency.

Video

How to make Bechamel Sauce HD 720p
How to make Bechamel Sauce HD 720p

Notes

  1. Use a good saucepan for the sauce.
  2. Never use a thin bottom pan, or the butter and flour mixture will burn quickly.
  3. It is best to use a wooden spoon when stirring the butter and flour mixture. It also helps to scrape the bottom of the pan.
  4. A whisk is a must to help the milky sauce get smooth and silky.
  5. Add enough butter to coat the flour to prevent lumps from forming. Do not use too much butter, or the milk will separate from the fat mixture.
  6. Always use warm milk. This will prevent lumps from forming, and you are not disturbing the cooking process.
  7. Season the sauce at the end of cooking.
  8. If you end up with a lumpy sauce, pour the mixture in a blender or use a hand blender to make it smooth.
  9. Storage: stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days and reheat over low heat on the stovetop.
  10. Always keep an eye on the sauce so it does not thicken quickly.
  11. The consistency of this sauce must be creamy.
  12. Use in recipes requiring Béchamel Sauce. Use the sauce for baking (make gratins) vegetables such as kale, carrots, and corn.

Please keep in mind that nutritional information is a rough estimate and can vary greatly based on the products used.

Keyword bechamel sauce, white sauce
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Nutrition info is automatically generated and provided as a courtesy and as an estimate only.

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Originally published August 12, 2016. More content has been added.

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