Making the perfect béchamel: all the do’s and don’ts

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On the croque monsieur or in the lasagna: béchamel sauce is always a good idea. But how is it that what seems like such a simple sauce with only a few ingredients, has so many pitfalls? Here’s a boost for your béchamel confidence: all the do’s and don’ts for the perfect béchamel.

Perfect béchamel

As simple as it may seem, this sauce requires the utmost concentration. Since we are a big proponent of Béchamel, we have listed the biggest pitfalls for you.

First things first : you can find the recipe here . But even with a recipe, a lot can go wrong unfortunately. Looking for exercise material? Try this mac ‘n cheese , or this version , or of course a lasagna or croque monsieur 

The dos

  • Always cook the roux briefly. When the butter and flour are mixed, a roux is formed . It is essential that this dough is baked for a few more minutes. This cooks the flour, which affects the taste and structure. Also, don’t bake it too long, that will have a negative influence on taste and color.
  • Use a pan with a thicker bottom that is not too small or too large. If the bottom is too thin, things will bake too quickly, and a pan that is too large will make mixing the ingredients a bit more difficult.
  • Add seasonings. Delicious, that béchamel sauce is pure natural, but it is really a lot more impressive with a little salt and pepper. Grate in some fresh nutmeg for the classic version.
basic lasagna recipe

the don’ts

  • Don’t mess around (too much) with the quantities. A little more or less milk is still doable, but skewed proportions really throw a spanner in the works.
  • Probably the most common mistake: adding the milk to the roux all at once. The result: risk of lumps. So add the milk little by little to get a consistent texture. Also useful here: a whisk.
  • Too high a heat causes chaos: pieces of roux can burn on the bottom. So lower the heat when you add the milk.
  • We love beurre noisette , but rather not in the béchamel. So do not brown the butter.
  • Misunderstanding: béchamel is not a cheese sauce. If you still feel like something cheesy, add some grated Gruyère or older cheese when the sauce is ready and warm. A little, not too much.
  • Don’t take out the trash when the process is in full swing. What we mean: eyes on the pan . There are plenty of pitfalls as you hear, so stay sharp and keep an eye on things.

Source: Culy by
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