Bechamel (Basic White Sauce)
Updated: Oct 16, 2022
Call it a bechamel, a white sauce, or a simple cream gravy, it's a must have in your kitchen arsenal of fundamental recipes. Use your culinary instincts and flavor this sauce as you like. One of my favorite ways to use the bechamel is in lasagna. I think adding a good measure of pepper is important to ground and give some depth to the sauce. I use white pepper (one of my all-time fave spices), but also like to use the more intense black pepper.
Add cheese to this sauce, now it's a mornay sauce, and you have the beginnings of many possibilities, including classic mac and cheese. You can find my smoked gouda mac and cheese recipe here.
For my video on making this perfect bechamel sauce, view here.
Prep Time: 10 minutes Yield: 1 1/4 cup
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 1/3 cup whole milk
salt, to taste
1 teaspoon white or black pepper
Melt the butter, over medium heat, in a heavy bottomed medium size sauce pan. Sprinkle the flour on top of the butter, and begin stirring the mixture with a wooden spoon. Do not let your heat get too high or it will cook too quickly. Continue cooking the roux for 1-2 minutes, until golden in color.
With a whisk, add in half of the milk, whisking well to incorporate the roux into the milk. Add the remaining milk, and allow the sauce to come to a low simmer. It will begin to thicken within 2-3 minutes. Add in the salt and pepper.
Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.