Basic Béchamel sauce

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Serves: 4

By Overmydeadbody

(2 Votes) 2


  • 2 tbsp butter

  • 1/2 pints milk

  • 1 pinch mace

  • 1 bay leaves

  • 1 tbsp white flour heaped


  1. Melt the butter over a very low heat in a heavy-based saucepan. Once melted add the flour and with a wooden spoon or whisk mix the flour bad butter together to form a paste (roux).
  2. Turn the heat up a bit and add the milk a little at a time, stirring continuously. It is a good idea to use a whisk once all the milk is added and whisk continuously for a smooth glossy sauce.
  3. Once all the milk is added, turn the heat down low and cook for 5 to 10 minutes, whisking intermittently, until it no longer tastes floury. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. If using the bay leaf and mace, you need to infuse the milk with this first in a saucepan. To do this, bring the milk up to simmering over a low heat, turn down and simmer for 5 minutes. Strain the milk and cool it down ready to use as above.

Handy Hint

Adding grated cheese once the sauce is cooked makes a cheese sauce. Don't add the cheese and then bring it to the boil or the sauce could split, instead add it at the end and stir it to melt it.

You can make a gluten free version by using cornflour instead of wheat flour.

Additional Information

  • Egg Free

  • Nut Free

  • Vegetarian

  • sauce

  • Kids can help

  • Make Ahead

  • Can Freeze

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Your comments

  • Lilolee 20/01/09 14:48

    You can make this even easier! Put all the ingredients in together, cold, and then stir/whisk constantly over heat until it thickens and is simmering.

  • DustyTv 18/09/08 11:23

    I have used this basic white sauce recipe to make a parsley sauce (as overmydeadbody recommended) for fish. It is very easy and absolutely delish. Even DH ate it and he wont eat fish unless it has been battered and fried. DD ate it with gusto.