Béchamel Sauce is a sauce traditionally made from a white roux and milk. French, Italian and Greek Béchamel sauce recipes include salt and nutmeg as a seasoning base. It is one of the “mother sauces” of French cuisine.
Extremely simple, it takes a mere 10 minutes to make and can be used in a variety of dishes! Creamy, dreamy, buttery and nutty – this is a staple sauce you need in your repertoire. It can be used in dishes including pasta, casserole, sauces and pies! My favorite uses for this sauce are in Mac and Cheese, Lasagna, and Alfredo sauce.
Like any sauce, bechamel can be prepared to be thick or thin in consistency. Perhaps you’re making fresh fish and would prefer to keep the bechamel on the thinner side as a light topping. Or, maybe you’re making a pasta dish and looking for a luscious sauce that will graciously coat all the pasta.
The key to determining how thick or thin your bechamel ends up is dependent on 2 factors: what ratio of flour to butter you use, and how long you cook your sauce.
I prefer Julia Child’s method of a 2:1 ratio of flour to butter. For example, for 1 cup of bechamel sauce, I’ll use 2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour to 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter.
This ratio will provide a thicker bechamel than an equal ratio, even if you don’t cook the sauce very long.
Still, cooking time matters. The more you cook your bechamel over the stove, the thicker it will get. Eventually, if you cook it long enough, it will even obtain a melted cheese-like consistency, where it appears as though the sauce can stretch.
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