How to make the perfect Bechamel sauce
Updated: Aug 22
The Bechamel sauce is not one of the easiest sauces if you don't know the trick, but if you learn how to make it you'll use it often in a variety of recipes! And it takes only 10 minutes :-)
200 gr butter
200 gr flour (cream flour, not self raising)
2 litres milk
a pinch of salt
a pinch of nutmeg
(if you need less than 1.5 litres of sauce reduce the quantities but maintain the proportions - here the quantities are adjusted so that the final results will be sufficient for making lasagne).
Start by bringing your milk almost to the boil; once it’s very hot, place it on a hob next to your pot, put a ladle in it and keep it on a medium heat to maintain the temperature.
You’ll now make the “roux”: (this is where this method it’s much quicker compared to the traditional Italian method, plus you'll get no lumps!) put the butter into a pot on medium heat and let it melt completely - don't let it go brown. At this point take the pot off the heat and add the flour in one single go – start mixing well until the flour has absorbed fully the butter (have a look at the photo below).
Return the pot back on the hob on a medium heat and cook it fully for at least 4 minutes, stirring continuously. Make sure that the roux does not go brown on you!
The difficult part starts now: take the pot off the heat and add the hot milk two ladle-spoons at a time and stir the roux immediately (and continuously); go on for another 2 ladles-spoons of milk and then again; at this point the roux would have absorbed all the milk and have become a little soft. Place the pot back onto the hob at a very low heat, then continue adding the milk one ladle-spoon at a time, waiting until at each stage the milk is well absorbed by the roux. Note that the first few ladles will be absorbed right away so be really ready to continue adding the milk.
Continue to add ladle-spoons until you finish all the milk or the sauce has reached the right consistency. The trick consists in always stirring and always ensuring that the previous milk has been absorbed fully before adding the next.
At the end of the process you will find yourself with a great Bechamel sauce with no lumps and of a good thick consistency so that it will flow from your spoon as a ribbon (have a look at the photo above).
Once it’s ready, dress it with a couple of pinches of salt and then a pinch of grated nutmeg.