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How to Make the Perfect Bechamel Sauce

Dress your favorite veggies in a bechamel sauce for added flavor and fun!

Dress your favorite veggies in a bechamel sauce for added flavor and fun!

A bechamel sauce, or white sauce, is the base to a fair number of delectable creamy dishes and once mastered, there is no stopping you! Add freshly grated cheese and turn your bechamel sauce into a mornay sauce, which can be used in a homemade macaroni and cheese or drizzle on top of broccoli for a kid friendly parent approved side dish.

Learning how to make a bechamel sauce was one of my greatest culinary feats.

At first I was so intimidated. While frantically stirring and juggling the flour, the pan, the whisk, the… I felt as if I either needed a third arm or for the whole process to slow down. To top it off, the recipes were all so precise, which can be challenging when you are a cook and not a baker. What is a measuring cup?

But with a little bit of practice, I mastered my own rhythm and you can too – I promise it is not that hard!  Below I will share with you a few of my secrets on how to make a perfect bechamel sauce every time.

I love making and eating this sauce almost as much as I love saying it. BEH shah mell Cooking is about feeding the body and the soul. It has to be fun.

 

BECHAMEL SAUCE

Total Time: ~15 minutes   Yield: 1 cup

ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon of all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon of butter
  • A dash of nutmeg
  • 1 tsp of mustard powder
  • 1 tsp of horseradish
  • 1 cup of milk at room temperature
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Required Cooking Tools:  1 medium sauce pan, a whisk, a fine mesh colander

As you play around with the methods and the recipe you may find you prefer using different tools.

directions

  • To make a bechamel sauce, you begin by making a roux. Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a saucepan over medium heat.
Melt butter of medium heat.

Melt butter of medium heat.

  • While the butter is melting, over a bowl to minimize mess, place one tablespoon of flour  into the fine mesh colander. You will lose some to the bowl, but that is okay.
  • Once the butter is melted, bring the colander to the pan and tap it a few times – try and cover the bottom of the pan in a thin layer of flour. This method evenly distributes the flour and breaks apart clumps.
Use a fine-mesh colander to sift flour.

Use a fine-mesh colander to sift flour.

  • Return the colander back in the bowl and whisk the flour and butter together . Repeat this until there is no more flour in the colander and the flour butter mixture in the pan has created a solid mass. If you need to add more or less flour.
Allow the roux to toast - creating a nutty flavor.

Allow the roux to toast – creating a nutty flavor.

  • Let the roux toast for a minute or until golden brown.  Now it is time to make the bechamel sauce.
  • Add two tablespoons of milk to the pan and whisk. The flour will initially absorb the milk and do the opposite of what you are expecting – that is okay. Add another two tablespoons and whisk again.
Slowly add the milk and whisk!

Slowly add the milk and whisk!

  • You should begin to see the roux thinning. Continue to do this until the roux has been dissolved into the milk. Now you can add the rest of the milk.
  • Let it simmer for a minute, stir.
  • Add in the mustard powder, horseradish, nutmeg, and salt and pepper to taste.
  • If you want to make a mornay, or cheese sauce, now is when you can add the cheese. Cook until cheese is melted. Enjoy!