Today I share some simple instructions on how to do the Bechamel sauce or White Sauce step by step.
Bechamel (white) sauce is a very versatile sauce. I use this white sauce for lasagna, meat pies, cheesecakes, vegetables, and in many other recipes.
Bechamel sauce is really easy to make at home with everyday ingredients. I use a roux base (butter and flour) and then add milk, nutmeg, a pinch of salt and pepper. Some recipes also add onion, garlic, cloves or bay leaves that are removed before serving. However, I find it a bit overwhelming, as the sauce has a delicate salty taste, so I prefer not to.
There are also quite a few recipes that recommend leaving the garlic cloves and bay leaves in the milk to infuse for a while before making the sauce. I don't bother with this step. I find that the time it takes to cook the bechamel sauce is long enough for the flavor to infuse and skipping this step means the sauce will be done much quicker.
What is the difference between bechamel sauce (wikipedia) and white sauce?
If you have read some of my previous recipes you will know that I worry a little when I try to name my dishes. I'm paranoid that I'm going to say that a dish is one thing only to find out later that I'm wrong and that I've done something completely different.
Before writing a "classic" recipe I always do a little research to see if what I think I have done is actually what I have done.
My concern with this recipe is that I really wasn't sure if it was a white sauce or a béchamel sauce. Turns out they are the same (well, at least Wikipedia says they are).
I'm a bit reluctant to believe Wikipedia in this case, but my mother actually agrees with Wikipedia, so maybe it's just me who thinks differently.
To double check I looked up both terms in an online dictionary. They both came back with "a sauce made with butter, flour and milk." So instead of choosing between them, I have put them both in the title.
From now on I'm going to call it white sauce, since it's easier to write and that means I don't have to keep looking.
Bechamel sauce (white sauce)
I share some simple instructions on how to do the Bechamel sauce o White Sauce, a very versatile sauce that is used in lasagna, meat, cheese and vegetable cakes and in many other recipes.
- 25 butter g
- 25 g of wheat flour
- 250 ml of milk (I use whole milk)
- A pinch of nutmeg
- In a saucepan place the butter (25g) and cook over low heat until the butter has melted.
- Add the flour (25g).
- Stir until fully incorporated.
- Once the butter has melted and mixed with the flour, the milk (250 ml) is added little by little. Stir until incorporated before adding more milk.
- Once all the milk has been added to the skillet, add the nutmeg, salt, and pepper.
- Stir continuously until the sauce has thickened and reached the desired consistency. The point I like is when dipping a spoon into the sauce leaves a layer on the back when removed.
If you are making the sauce in advance for later use then put the sauce in a bowl and cover with cling film, making sure it is in contact with the sauce to prevent a film from forming.
An extra recipe: If you add ¾ cup of grated Parmesan cheese to this bechamel sauce, you will have a delicious Parmesan sauce.