How To

How to make a classic béchamel sauce

Master this classic sauce and use it in everything.
béchamel sauce
1 Cup

Béchamel is one of the five mother sauces of French cuisine – the other four being hollandaise, espagnole, tomat, and velouté – and is perfect in lasagne, or to make a creamy cauliflower gratin.

Start by making a roux; that’s an equal quantity flour to butter.

Melt butter in a medium saucepan on a medium heat, then stir in one tablespoon of flour.

Cook it very gently, until it just starts to colour (for about a minute). Remove the roux from the heat and gradually add one cup of milk, stirring between each addition. This will ensure a smooth sauce with no lumps.

Place back over medium heat; the sauce will soon start to thicken as the starch and water bind.

Keep stirring the sauce til comes to the boil and thickens, then keep boiling for another three minutes.

Season your sauce with a pinch of salt and pepper to taste, before adding some flavouring: grated cheese, chopped herbs or ground spices.

Then it’s time to get cooking! Try tasty tuna croquettes, classic beef lasagne or a gooey gruyere souffle.

Our favourite though? Has to be good old macaroni cheese.


Béchamel sauce


Béchamel sauce


Melt butter in medium saucepan, add flour; cook, stirring, until mixture bubbles and thickens.


Gradually add milk, stirring, until mixture boils and thickens. Stir in nutmeg.

Béchamel is one of the “mother” or base sauces of classic French cooking and probably the one sauce that most people learn to cook before leaving home, often with the addition of cheese.


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