This lovely French culinary delight is one of the five mother sauces of French cuisine. It is a base for many delicious recipes and is very versatile. That is why it is really important to master this all time classic sauce in order to make all the rest of the dishes where béchamel is the key ingredient. Mac and cheese, classic lasagna bolognese, creamy spinach, cheese sauces, you name it they all have béchamel sauce as a quintessential part.
Béchamel is nowhere near as fussy as Hollandaise sauce and is pretty easy to make. Just 5 fundamental ingredients come together to create this timeless sauce. Milk, butter, flour, salt and pepper. You can absolutely jazz up the sauce by adding aromatics like onion and garlic or even parmesan cheese for a more sharp, savory, full-bodied flavor but this recipe is the most basic. I also recommend using white pepper instead of the ground black pepper to make it more aesthetically pleasing. There will be no black speckles in the pristinely white sauce.
This white sauce is simplicity at its best. Creamy, velvety smooth and perfectly balanced. The flavor is delicate and simple but that is how it is intended. It usually serves as a flavor carrier and a thickening textural agent in the more complex dishes.
This recipe is absolutely foolproof and no fail. You are guaranteed to have the perfect béchamel sauce every single time. The secret is using an extra pot to warm up the milk before whisking it with the roux (butter and flour mixture).
Use this wonderful sauce as is or in any of your favorite dishes.