Bechamel sauce

Bechamel sauce - inevidimka bechamel sauce 2eae85c0 67f3 49dc b4b2 0d41cef6525d

Béchamel sauce, a pillar of French cuisine, is one of the five mother sauces from which many other sauces are derived. Its origins are a bit murky, with some attributing its creation to the 17th-century French court of Louis XIV, while others believe it dates back to the Renaissance in Italy before being brought to France. Béchamel is a white sauce, made from a roux of butter and flour cooked together, then slowly whisked with milk. It’s the base for numerous dishes, including lasagna, moussaka, and gratins. When cheese is added to béchamel, it becomes a Mornay sauce, expanding its versatility to dishes like macaroni and cheese.

Serves: +10
  • Butter 50 g
  • All-purpose flour 50 g
  • Milk 500 ml
  • Salt 5 g
  • Ground nutmeg 2 g
  • Ground white pepper 2 g
60 minsPrint
  • Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour and stir constantly for about 2 minutes, without letting it brown, to cook off the raw flour taste.
  • Gradually add the warmed milk to the roux, whisking constantly to prevent any lumps from forming. The gradual addition ensures a smooth béchamel.
  • Continue to cook over medium heat, whisking frequently, until the sauce thickens and begins to gently simmer. This usually takes about 8-10 minutes.
  • Add the salt, nutmeg, and white pepper to the sauce, adjusting the amounts to your taste. Nutmeg adds a classic warmth to the sauce, while white pepper keeps the sauce looking pristine.
  • If the sauce is too thick, adjust the consistency by whisking in a little more milk until you achieve the desired thickness.

Storage Tips

Béchamel sauce can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. To prevent a skin from forming on top, place a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the sauce. Reheat the sauce over low heat, stirring constantly; add a little milk if the sauce is too thick.

Useful Properties of the Main Ingredient

Milk, the main liquid component of béchamel, is rich in calcium and vitamin D, essential for bone health. It also provides protein, potassium, and various B vitamins. Using whole milk will give the sauce a rich flavor and creamy texture, but lower-fat milks can be used for a lighter version.

Interesting Facts

  • Béchamel sauce was popularized in France by Louis de Béchameil, a 17th-century financier and steward to Louis XIV, although he likely did not invent it.
  • This sauce is the foundation for many classic French dishes and has been adapted into various cuisines around the world, demonstrating its universal appeal.
  • The simplicity and neutral flavor of béchamel make it an ideal base for adding other ingredients, such as cheeses, herbs, and spices, to create a variety of sauces suitable for countless dishes.

Béchamel sauce’s creamy texture and subtle flavor make it a versatile and indispensable component in the culinary world. Whether used as a base for other sauces or as a simple topping, béchamel enhances the dishes it accompanies, showcasing the elegance of simplicity in cooking.

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