Béchamel—Basic White Sauce

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Béchamel is one of the sauces of French classic cuisine. It is a basic white sauce that has many uses, including forming the base of macaroni and cheese

Difficulty: Easy

Hands-on: 30 minutesTotal: 45 minutes

Serves: 6

Ingredients

  • 2 whole cloves
  • ¼ medium onion, peeled
  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ⅛ tsp. ground black pepper

Directions

  • Poke the cloves into the quarter onion.
  • Put the milk in a saucepan with the onion and bay leaf, heat to scalding (not quite boiling), and then turn off the heat. Let the mixture steep for 15 minutes. Remove onion and bay leaf.
  • Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and cook, stirring, for a few minutes. Gradually add the hot milk, whisking to smooth out lumps. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer, and simmer until thickened, 10–20 minutes. Stir frequently during simmering to prevent sticking and burning on the bottom.
  • Season with salt and pepper. Strain finished sauce to remove any lumps.

Recipe Information

Serves: 6

Ingredients

  • 2 whole cloves
  • ¼ medium onion, peeled
  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ⅛ tsp. ground black pepper

Directions

  • Poke the cloves into the quarter onion.
  • Put the milk in a saucepan with the onion and bay leaf, heat to scalding (not quite boiling), and then turn off the heat. Let the mixture steep for 15 minutes. Remove onion and bay leaf.
  • Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and cook, stirring, for a few minutes. Gradually add the hot milk, whisking to smooth out lumps. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer, and simmer until thickened, 10–20 minutes. Stir frequently during simmering to prevent sticking and burning on the bottom.
  • Season with salt and pepper. Strain finished sauce to remove any lumps.

Nutrition Information

Nutrition Information
Amount per serving
Calories150
Total Fat9g
Saturated Fat6g
Cholesterol25mg
Sodium170mg
Total Carbohydrate10g
Dietary Fiber0g
Sugars8g
Protein6g