A Béchamel sauce or white sauce is a mother sauce in classic French cuisine. It is made with a roux of butter and flour cooked in milk. Using a béchamel sauce is the classic way to create a cheese sauce that is smooth in its consistency while removing the ability for cheese to harden back or become stringy and is the easiest way to get the flavors of more dry cheeses such as parmesan, blue cheese or other aged cheeses into a creamy sauce. Once created successfully a cheese suspended in a béchamel sauce will stay smooth even when cooled. Proportions of ingredients are key as well as the timing of cooking the flour in the butter.
Yeild: 4 ounces
- 1 tablespoon butter (lard or oil)
- 1 teaspoon white flour
- 30g cheese* (about 1 ounce)
- 112g milk (4 ounces)
- Pinch of salt
*Any cheese will work but consider using a cheese with a stronger flavor. Since all cheeses have different stengths of flavor and texture properties you can use less than the 30 grams suggested but don’t use more than 40g as the cheese to liquid ratio will be too high and possibly cause it to become too thick when cooled or burn easily when baked on a pizza.
- In a small stainless steel skillet melt butter or fat over medium heat
- Add white flour and mix continuously over medium heat until a slight change in color (about 2 minutes)
- Add milk and whisk over medium heat until a smooth consistency
- Reduce heat to low, add cheese and a pinch of salt (if using a less salty cheese)
- Whisk mixture continually to avoid burning cheese. Mixture should part and take a few seconds to come back together when finished. The sauce will also thicken slightly as it cools.
Directions in Photos
[Over medium heat in small skillet melt your butter or fat]
[With a whisk or flat spoon keep moving around flour and fat mixture as it heats to ensure even cooking]
[Cook while mixing continually until a light change in color, about 2 minutes on medium heat]
[Add milk and whisk until fully combined]
[Whisk over heat until a smooth consistency]
[Reduce heat to low and mix in cheese until fully melted]
[Continue to whisk to avoid burning cheese]
[Once cheese is fully melted you should have a sauce that slowly comes back together when parted after a few seconds. If too thick add a tablespoon of milk.]