Bechamel Sauce Recipe
Learn how to make this roux based bechamel sauce recipe and add it to lasagne or other recipes. Bechamel sauce is likely named after Louis Béchamiel, the marquis of Nointel, who worked for King Louis XIV more than 300 years ago. History is not clear if he was the actual inventor of the sauce or if he was simply
being honored by having a sauce named after him. What is clear however is the importance of this sauce making technique in French cooking.
How to Make Bechamel Sauce
You can make the bechamel sauce recipe and its variants ahead of time and store them in the refrigerator overnight or freeze it. Having the sauce made ahead of time is particularly useful if you are going to incorporate it into another recipe.
The trick to making Bechamel is to add the milk slowly to the roux (melted butter and flour), fully incorporating the liquid before adding more. Some recipes recommend heating the milk before adding it to the roux, but I find this unnecessary, provided you add the milk slowly.
Once you have got the basic sauce mastered, take it for a ride. Try adding any of the following (but not all at once of course): garlic, onion, curry, paprika, mustard, or ketchup. You can also gently heat the milk with thyme or another herb to infuse the sauce with that flavor.
By adding cheese to bechamel you make sauce mornay (cheese sauce recipe), and by adding onions you make sauce soubise (onion sauce recipe).
Now that you have mastered this basic, versatile sauce, be sure to try another and keep building up your repertoire.