French iconic creamy white sauce. you’ll see it’s so quick and easy, you’ll be able to prepare it for many different dishes.
Bechamel is what we call a “mother sauce” in French cuisine (une sauce mère) which means that from this sauce, many other sauces can be prepared just by adding a few more ingredients.
Bechamel is one ok the key ingredients of croque Monsieur. It is also used in many preparations such as gratins (vegetable casseroles)…
The story behind béchamel sauce
The origin of béchamel sauce is attributed to Marquis Louis de Béchameil de Nointel, who was King Louis 14’s maître d’hôtel. The sauce was named after Béchameil but lost an i through ages to become béchamel (even though as sauce is a feminin word, some French mistakes and write it the feminin way béchamelle).
Louis de Béchameil was actually inspired by an older Italian sauce, salsa colla brought from Italy, more precisely from Tuscany, by the cooks of Catherine de Medicis. Salca colla means glue and refer to the action of this sauce as it was used to bind the different ingredients in a dish.
French classic Bechamel white sauce
- 30 gr butter
- 30 gr flour
- 300 ml milk make sure it's cold, 400 ml for a fairly liquid sauce
- Gently melt the butter in a saucepan.
- Add flour and vigurously well with a whisk or a wooden spatula, you will get what is called a roux.
- Pour the cold milk little by little. Whisking constantly to dissolve.
- Bring to a boil, stirring constantly, otherwise it will attach to the bottom of the pan. At the first broth lower the heat and cook for 4 to 5 minutes.
- Check the consistency of the sauce, it is perfect when the trace remains visible when you pass your finger on the spatula (see photos)
- Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg.