Bechamel or white sauce is one of the most used sauces in the kitchen thanks to its versatility, we can use it in many recipes and elaborations. Light bechamel sauce to serve with tortellinis, more flavorful and creamy fillings and gratin, croquettes,… The taste or thickness we give will depend on the recipe in which we want to use it, so today I teach you the perfect basic Bechamel or white sauce recipe and how to adapt it to your different recipes.
Cooking white sauce at home is very easy and quite fast, however there are many people who don’t dare to make it, because it if it isn’t cooked correctly it can form some lumps. That is why today I will teach you all the tricks to cook bechamel sauce without lumps, and I will also tell you how to eliminate it in case there are formed.
In addition to the basic recipe, we will see how to adapt it to the dish that we want to make, both in their consistency as in the flavor. I even give you the keys to make it healthier or vegan white sauce or bechamel sauce.
Ingredients for bechamel sauce:
- 500 ml milk
- 50 g butter
- 50 g flour
- Freshly ground black pepper
How to make white sauce:
First, heat the milk in a saucepan (not let it boil) and remove it from the fire.
While the milk is heating, put the butter in another saucepan and, once it has melted, add the flour. We remove it well with a wooden spoon until they integrate to perfection. Let toasting 1 or 2 minutes, stirring occasionally, to eliminate the flavor of raw flour.
Without stopping whisk, add the milk little by little. Mix well before adding more milk.
If you add milk at the same time as you whisk, you will see how gradually bechamel sauce is smooth and homogeneous. Add, salt, pepper and a pinch of nutmeg. Continue stirring for about 5 minutes.
Tips and tricks for a perfect bechamel sauce:
- If you want the most white sauce, use white pepper instead of black and don’t use nutmeg, since both gives some colour.
- When the bechamel has cooled it will thicken, so leave it slightly more liquid than you want it.
- This recipe have the perfect consistency for lasagna, cannelloni, gratin vegetables,… It is a very creamy bechamel sauce, because we using the same amount of butter and flour (50 g x 500 ml milk).
- To have a lightest bechamel to serve with a pasta dish (like tortellini) add more milk or reduce the amount of flour.
- If do you want to have a bechamel for croquettes increase the amount of flour: 50 g of butter, 75 g of flour and 500 ml of milk.
- You can use animal or vegetable milk and substitute butter for olive oil for a healthier or vegan alternative.
- To make bechamel we will always use hot milk, adding it bit by bit while we are stirring. In this way we will avoid the formation of lumps in bechamel sauce.
How to remove lumps from béchamel sauce:
If we follow these steps you will have a perfect bechamel, however if for any reason your sauce have lumps you can grind it with the mixer untill have a smooth sauce.
How to make bechamel sauce of flavors:
If we want to make a bechamel of vegetables it’s as simple as cook the vegetable, season to taste, make it puree and mix with de white sauce. The amount of mashed vegetables goes to the taste of each one, but remember adding a lot of puree will affect the density of the bechamel.
To make bechamel with cheese, add the grated or chopped cheese in the white sauce and cook it until the cheese is melted. Some cheeses are harder to melt than others, so you can help it grinding the bechamel. My favorite is with blue cheese or goat cheese.