How to make bechamel sauce

Are you thinking of making lasagne or cannelloni? We tell you step by step how to make bechamel sauce so that your dishes have a unique and delicious flavour. Discover it.

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31 March 2020

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Bechamel is a delicious sauce used in a multitude of dishes, both in our cuisine in Spain and the gastronomy of neighbouring countries. Its origin is attributed to French or Italian cuisine. It is believed to have been Catalina de Médici’s cooks in the 16th century who took it to France when she married Henry II of France. The recipe for bechamel sauce appears for the first time in a book in Le cuisinerfrançais, a recipe book in which the chef of the court of Louis XIV, François Pierre de la Varenne, left evidence of around 400 recipes from the era. Seemingly, the chef dedicated the sauce to marquis Louis de Béchamel, chief royal steward. That’s where the name comes from. The recipe for bechamel sauce has been kept practically the same throughout the years.

Bechamel is one of the classic sauces par excellence.  To cover cannelloni or lasagne, or as a base for croquettes, bechamel is a very simple and quick sauce to make at home, although you should follow some recommendations to ensure you get the perfect texture and, above all, so there are no lumps.


Ingredients to make homemade bechamel sauce (for 1 litre of sauce)

1 litre of milk
55g of butter
45g of wheat flour
10g of salt
Ground nutmeg 


Method:
1. Place the pan on the hob and add the butter. As soon as it melts, add the flour and stir to make a roux or paste with a wooden spoon.

2. Once the flour and butter are well mixed, add the milk little by little, stirring continuously. At this point, swap the spoon for a whisk.

3. Stir for the whole cooking time. Add the salt and nutmeg and try it, stirring continuously.

4. If you want a thicker bechamel, leave the sauce for longer so the milk evaporates. If you want a finer sauce, keep it on the heat for less time.


Tips to bear in mind for a lump-free bechamel sauce

• The key so that there are no lumps is the roux, in other words, the mixture of flour with the butter. When it comes to adding the flour, you can sieve it to ensure it stays fine.

• Heat the milk in a saucepan so there are no changes of temperature and the mixture integrates better.

• If in the end you haven’t managed to prevent lumps, once you finish making the bechamel, you can put it in a blender to remove them.

It’s better to eat freshly made bechamel sauce, but if you have to store it in the fridge to make croquettes, cover it with clingfilm to prevent a skin from forming. Homemade bechamel sauce should never be kept for more than three days.

How do you make vegan bechamel sauce?

You can make homemade bechamel sauce for a vegan diet or for people who are lactose intolerant. In these cases, substitute the milk for a vegetable drink like soy or any other similar one and swap the butter of olive oil.