Classic Bechamel: White Sauce

Total Time:
25 min
Cook:
25 min

Yield:
2 cups

Ingredients
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • Pinch salt and white pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
Directions

In a small saucepan, heat the milk and 1 bay leaf to a gentle simmer, stirring so it doesn't scorch the bottom of the pan. Keep the milk on low heat.

Make a white roux by melting butter over low-medium heat in a thick-bottomed saucepan. Just as the foam subsides, add the flour, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon or whisk to prevent lumps. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes to coat the flour and remove the starchy taste. Do not allow to brown. 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. Check seasoning; add salt, white pepper, garlic and the remaining bay leaf.

To prevent a skin from forming as the sauce cools, lay a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface.

Serve with fish, shellfish, vegetables or egg dishes.


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