When I first tried making Bechamel sauce from scratch, it almost always turned out to be a big sloppy mess. It was either too lumpy, too yellow or just not cooked well. I had a hard time achieving that perfect white creamy mixture that Bechamel sauce is known for. Well after researching online on exactly how to make it PLUS having several trial and errors, I think I can safely say that I can make a pretty decent one. This post is all about mistakes that I learned to correct and regrets and lessons learned while making the sauce. Hope this post helps all those out there who are frustrated with making this delicious and basic sauce!
Ingredients: 2 tbsps of butter, 2 tbsps of flour, 1 cup of milk, nutmeg
---> this is the ideal measurements for a basic bechamel sauce. The flour and butter usually have the same measurements. Two tbps of each is to one cup of milk. It would also be great to use fresh nutmeg, but if you can't find any then the ground up ones will do.
Tip#1: I've discovered that making the sauce in a smaller pan is so much more ideal than a bigger pan. With a bigger pan it's harder to incorporate all the ingredients together and I find that I always end up with a lumpy mess. If you're cooking using the measurements above, then the small pan is better. Unless you're planning to make a really huge batch, a big pan isn't necessary.
Step1: Put the butter on the pan.
Tip#2: Do not wait for the pan to heat up. Put the butter right when you put the pan on the stove and right when you turn on the heat. Trust me, I've tried this before. I would heat up the pan first (because my electric stove takes quite a while to heat up) and I would end up burning the butter. Just be patient, butter melts up reaaaally quick.
Step 2: Melt the butter until there are no lumps.
Step3: Add in the flour little by little and whisk with the butter. Do not dump the flour all at once.
Tip#3: To avoid a lumpy texture, you must whisk the flour and butter together really fast. If you don't, you could end up with big yellow lumps.
---> If you see the outer part of the mixture, it has a smooth yellow texture. That's how the butter and flour mixture should look like.
---> This is how it looks when it gets too lumpy and if you do not mix properly.
Step4: Add in the milk. Ideally you should heat the milk first. Whisk it with the butter and flour mixture.
---> You must not also dump in all the milk at once. Add it in batches.
Tip#4: If in the butter and flour mixture, you mix it fast, then when adding the milk you must whisk it slowly. If you mix it in too fast it becomes lumpy again like in the photo above.
---> The mixture should have a really smooth and creamy texture.The reason why you don't put in all the milk at once is that the texture might become to watery and liquid. Add in the milk slowly. If you feel that the mixture is getting to be more fluid and less creamy, then you don't have to finish the whole cup of milk.
Step#5: Grate some nutmeg all over and stir in.
That's it! I hope you found all my tips helpful. Bechamel sauce is great for croque monsieurs, gratins and pasta. If you have previously found the sauce challenging to make, then I really hope this post helped you out in some way and that you will go and make some delicious recipes that involve this.
Have a fabulous week ahead!
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