Bechamel Mother Suace

By: Ulisses and Erick

Bechamel sauce

History of the sauce:

Béchamel was a financier who held the honorary post of chief steward to King Louis XIV. The sauce under its familiar name first appeared in Le Cuisinier François, published in 1651 by François Pierre La Varenne (1615–1678), chef de cuisine to Nicolas Chalon du Blé, marquis d'Uxelles. The foundation of French cuisine, the Cuisinier François ran through some thirty editions in seventy-five years.

How to make a bechamel sauce.

What You Need

50 grams (about 6 tablespoons) unsalted butter
50 grams (3 1/2 tablespoons) flour
2 cups (about 480 grams) milk

Wooden spoon
Heavy-duty whisk


1. Measure out the butter, flour, and milk. (Note: There is quite a lot of room for adjustment in the quantity of milk. For a very thick, sticky béchamel use about 1 1/2 cups. For a much looser, more liquid sauce, use 2 1/2 cups or even more, to get the consistency you want. Also, the more fat in the milk, the thicker the sauce will be.)

Warm the milk in a separate saucepan or in the microwave and set aside.

2. Place the butter in a heavy saucepan over medium heat and melt it completely, but do not let it brown.

3. Dump in the flour and stir it quickly into the butter.

4. As you can see in the photo, the butter and flour will be a mixture of wet scrambled eggs at first.

5. Cook and stir the flour-butter mixture over medium heat for about 5 to 8 minutes. The butter and flour will dry out slightly, and turn just a bit darker to a more golden color. Do not let it brown or darken; we are creating a "blond" or golden roux, where the flour has just been cooked.

6. Pour in just a few tablespoons of the hot milk, just enough to moisten the flour and butter mixture. Stir thoroughly to loosen up the thick flour mixture.

7. Now grab the whisk and gradually add the rest of the milk to the loosened flour mixture, whisking constantly. Whisk vigorously!

8. You will be left with a thick, warm, creamy mix of flour, butter, and milk. From here you can add cheese, salt, and pepper to create a sauce for mac 'n' cheese, or the base for a soufflé.

Do you have any additional tips for making a béchamel? Any favorite recipes that include a white sauce?

Additional Tips
• If you use stock (vegetable, chicken, beef, veal, or shellfish) instead of milk as the primary liquid in this sauce, you will have another classic mother sauce: a velouté. We really love using this easy sauce for lower-fat, extra-tasty pasta sauces

Other sauce derived from the mother sauce

The Alfredo sauce

ketchup sauce