Do you need a simple white sauce, but don’t have a recipe? Here you will find my recipe for a béchamel sauce. It is one of the basic sauces and a real all-rounder! In English, people also like to simply say white sauce.
But where does the Béchamel sauce actually come from?
There are a lot of different theories as to how this basic recipe came about. My favorite version is that Catherine de’ Medici brought them from Italy to the French royal court in the 16th century. But there is also the variant that Francois Pierre de La Varenne, the well-known chef at the court of Louis XIV, invented it. And that it was a preference of Luis de Béchamel, a wealthy banker who bought the title of steward at the court of Louis XIV and was therefore the namesake.
But how do you actually make a béchamel?
It’s actually not that difficult—the important thing here is that you have all the ingredients ready before you start. So please get the butter, flour, milk, and your whisk ready. Because with a good béchamel you have to stir, stir and stir. And if you don’t have your ingredients ready, you won’t have time for it.
First you make a roux, which means that the butter is melted in a saucepan over a low heat and then mixed with the flour. But please without burning or getting colour. If you see that the sauce is getting brown, please quickly move your pot from the heat.
Then the milk is gradually added. And always mix all well with the whisk. Reduce the heat and simply let it simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, then the flour taste will disappear.
However, if you do get a few small lumps of flour, you can push them through a fine sieve after cooking. All the little lumps of flour should disappear.
My tips for a good béchamel sauce:
- With the whisk, stir, stir, stir
- use a big pot
- let them simmer a little
- A little broth or white wine gives the sauce a little more flavour
Variations of the béchamel:
Add some broth, horseradish, and applesauce, and you get a sensational sauce for boiled beef, Tafelspitz.
Add some grated cheese like Emmental or cheddar, and you have a cheese sauce (Sauce Mornay), which is perfect with pasta (I am thinking Mac and cheese obviously)or as a gratin. Or you can use it to spice up your lasagna. Or for the classic Lasagna, just use the béchamel sauce as it is.
As you can see, this basic sauce is everything but not boring 😉 and super versatile!
love, sabrina x
A great white sauce recipesimple
- 5 minutes
- 10 minutes
- 10 minutes
- 25 minutes
|20||grams of flour|
|1||pinch of salt|
|1||tsp lemon juice|
Steps of preparation
- Melt the butter in a saucepan.
- Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly, until the paste is cooked and bubbling a little, but do not let it brown.
- Gradually add 1/3 of the milk, stirring constantly as the sauce thickens.
- Add another third of the milk and continue beating.
- Add the last third of the milk and bring to the boil.
- Season to taste with salt, pepper, lemon juice and nutmeg.
- Lower the heat and stir occasionally
- Then season with a little wine or broth, depending on what you need the béchamel for.
add a bit of cheese if you want a creamy cheese sauce.