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Béchamel (a mother sauce)

Updated on August 4, 2012
Cast your vote for Bechamel Sauce

The purpose of a good sauce is to: add or enhance flavor, richness, color, moisture and shine or gloss. A mother sauce is a core sauce that many other small sauces can be made from. B├ęchamel is a mother sauce made from milk and white roux.

Cook Time

Prep time: 5 min
Cook time: 45 min
Ready in: 50 min
Yields: Aprox. 1/2 gal of Sauce

Tools you will need

  1. Two heavy bottomed sauce pots. The thicker the bottom of is, the less chance you have at burning your sauce.
  2. One wire whisk or whip for making and incorporating roux.
  3. One knife to chop the onion. (I use a chefs knife)
  4. One fine mesh strainer to strain the sauce.

Roux being made
Roux being made


  • 1 Gal milk, whole or vitamin d
  • 8 oz butter
  • 8 oz all purpose flour
  • 1 onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 clove, whole
  • 2 Bay leaves, whole
  • to taste salt
  • to taste black pepper
  • to taste Nutmeg


  1. Heat butter in a sauce pot over low heat and add in the flower to make a roux. Stir constantly with your wire whisk over the flame until the roux is frothy and has a somewhat gritty appearance. (do not brown the roux
  2. Get your other sauce pan and add in the milk. Scald the milk at a low temperature. Next gradually begin to combine the roux with the milk, stirring constantly with the wire whisk
  3. Once the roux is completely incorporated, bring the sauce to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Remember to keep stirring!
  4. Stick the bay leaves to one of the onion pieces with the clove and add it to the sauce along with salt, nutmeg and pepper to your liking.
  5. Allow the sauce to simmer for at least 30 minutes for the best flavor development. (you can add more milk if necessary if the sauce gets too thick.)
  6. Strain the sauce through your fine mesh strainer. Then you can stir in a small piece of butter while its still hot. (this helps the sauce to not form a skin)
  7. Now your ready to serve a delicious, creamy Bechamel sauce with any of your favorite dishes. Or perhaps you could use the Bechamel to create your own small sauce!


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    • SkySlave profile image

      Skyler DeCristoforo 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      It is very simple as long as you follow all of the steps. Its great tasting on its own and theres allot of sauces you can make out of it. For example if you add Parmesan and Gruyere cheeses to your bechamel, you've created Mornay sauce.

    • shiningirisheyes profile image

      Shining Irish Eyes 5 years ago from Upstate, New York

      Until I read through, I thought it was going to be a typical tomato based sauce. This sounds devine and seems a rather easy process.

      Thanks for sharing. Voting up.