how to make béchamel sauce
Whisking is the name of the game in this recipe. Look at it as a terrific workout for your arms!
- 8 TBSPs (1 stick) unsalted butter
- ½ cup of unbleached white flour
- 4 cups cold whole milk
- 1 teaspoon of freshly-ground nutmeg (optional)
- Sea salt and white pepper (optional) to taste
Place the butter in a heavy saucepan over medium heat and melt it completely without letting it turn brown. Add the flour.
Quickly whisk until the mixture becomes velvety smooth.
Whisking all the while, cook the flour and butter mixture over medium heat for about 5 to 8 minutes. You will notice that it will start to foam slightly as it bubbles.
Continue whisking. Eventually the foaming will subside and the mixture will turn slightly darker and more golden in color.
At this point, pour in ½ a cup or so of the milk and whisk vigorously once again until you’ve loosened the thick flour mixture. Add the rest of the milk, whisking constantly. Within minutes the mixture will start to thicken. Add sea salt and the optional ground white pepper and freshly-grated nutmeg. Taste to make sure the seasoning is to your liking. Makes 2 1/2 cups.