Prep 20 mins
Cook 5 mins
Formula for making a thin, medium and thick white sauce.
- 2 cups milk
- 1 slice onion, large
- 1 bay leaf
- 1⁄2 teaspoon peppercorn
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 1 pinch nutmeg
- white pepper
- Scald the milk with the onion, bay leaf and peppercorns.
- Cover and let infuse off heat for 10-15 minutes.
- In a heavy based saucepan, melt butter, whisk in flour and cook, stirring, until the flour is foaming but not browned- about 1 minute.
- Off heat, strain in the hot milk.
- Whisk well, then bring to a boil, whisking constantly until the sauce thickens.
- season with salt, pepper and nutmeg and leave to simmer slowly for 1-2 minutes.
- NOTE: This make what is called a "MEDIUM" Bechamel.
- For a "THIN" Bechamel use 2 tbs. butter and 2 tbs. flour.
- For a "THICK" Bechamel use 4 tbs. butter and 4 tbs. flour.
thanks for the proportions. I used the recipe to make 4.5 cups of condensed mushroom soup for a broccoli bake. I found that 8 tbls of flour and 8 of butter were perfect with one cup of sauteed mushrooms. I will always used this quantity for my 3.2L baking dish with. Before it was guess work and I was always nervous, but now I am confident of my sauce being thick enough and the right quantity to cover the veggies. Thanks a lot.
Fabulous and foolproof ... the nutmeg is what I most remember when I used to make this a HUNDRED years ago. Don't be afraid of using the nutmeg I always use freshly grated and it brings this basic sauce to another level. Thank you for posting.
Delicious! I love the infusion of onions and bay leaf (I didn't use peppercorns because I didn't have them) and I added one garlic clove to the infusion. Great flavor. I skipped the nutmeg and I used this sauce on a pizza and I am going to make this again to serve on pasta. Thanks for sharing this recipe.