Logo (since 1999)
Food Articles, News & Features Section



Chef working

  You are here > 

HomeFood ArticlesCooking Methods, Specific >  * Bechamel Sauce



From Amateur & Basic Cooking Classes to Professional Chef Training & Degrees - More than 1,000 schools & classes listed for all 50 States, Online and Worldwide



See also: Grand Sauce Article; Sauce Recipes

Béchamel Recipe

Named after the French aristocrat Louis de Bechameil, this sauce was first published in 1651 by the esteemed chef François Pierre La Varenne.  There is debate over whether Bechameil actually invented the sauce or was merely its namesake.  It is made with milk, yet the final product is thick and rich and more reminiscent of heavy cream.  Béchamel can be slathered over vegetables, fish or poultry.  In Italy it is traditionally combined wih tomato sauce and poured over baked pastas.


    · 2 oz. salted butter
    · 4 oz. chopped onion
    · 2 oz. all purpose flour
    · 1 quart cold milk
    · Salt and white pepper to taste
    · 6 cloves
    · Pinch of nutmeg


Melt the butter over medium-low heat in a saucepan or ideally, a saucier, (a sauce pan with sloping sides which prevents food from getting trapped and burning in the corners).  Add the onion and some salt and pepper.  Sweat, do not saute the onion until soft.  Add the flour and stir constantly for no more than two minutes.  Gradually add the cold milk while constantly whisking.  When all of the milk has been incorporated add the cloves and a little more salt and pepper.  Simmer the sauce on low heat for 30 minutes, frequently whisking and assessing for extra seasoning as the sauce thickens.  Strain the sauce thorugh a chinois or fine sieve and finish with the nutmeg. 
The thickness of béchamel can be altered by adjusting the amount of roux.  The above recipe will produce a béchamel of medium viscosity.  For a light béchamel use three oz. of roux per quart of milk and for a heavier sauce employ five.

When the béchamel is done, whisk in cheese until it melts for a Mornay sauce; ideal for macaroni and cheese.


  Home   |   About & Contact Us   |   Chef James Bio   |   Website Bibliography   |   Recipe Contests   |   Food Links  

Please feel free to link to any pages of from your website.
For permission to use any of this content please E-mail:
All contents are copyright © 1990 - 2015 James T. Ehler and unless otherwise noted.  All rights reserved.
You may copy and use portions of this website for non-commercial, personal use only.
Any other use of these materials without prior written authorization is not very nice and violates the copyright.
Please take the time to request permission.