Basic White Sauce

January 7, 2017 Carol No comments exist

This used to be one of the first lessons in home economics classes; invariably white and pasty, it coated many a bland dish. When well made, however, it has a proper place in homey, creamed dishes, often making leftovers stretch or giving cooked foods new life. And it is important as a base for soufflés. The French term for this medium-thick white sauce is béchamel. The foolproof way to attain a perfectly smooth sauce is to have the milk hot when added to the butter and flour. It uses an extra pot, but as you become more proficient, this cautionary measure may not be necessary. —

Basic White Sauce

white sauce

Basic White Sauce

January 7, 2017

white sauce


Heat the milk. This can be done either on the stovetop or in the microwave.

Make a roux. Melt the butter over low-medium heat in a thick-bottomed saucepan. Add the flour, stirring constantly with a whisk to prevent lumps. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes to coat the flour.

Remove from heat, then gradually add a bit of the warm milk to the roux and whisk vigorously.

Return the saucepan to the heat and bring up to a low simmer, continuing to add more milk and whisk.

Cook for 5 minutes until sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.

Season with salt and white pepper.


4 tablespoons butter

4 tablespoons flour

2 cups milk

salt and white pepper


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