How to make bechamel or white sauce

How to make a white sauce or bechamel sauce.

White sauce, bechamel sauce or the classic white mother sauce are basically the same.

I first learnt how to make bechamel sauce at culinary school in 1976.

We had to make it the traditional french way, melting butter in a heavy-bottom stainless steel pot.

Pot of white sauce

Add and mix the flour, cook it into a blond roux, and then remove the pot from the heat.

Then we added the milk 1/3 at a time and mixed it into the flour or roux mixture.

Adding hot milk to pot

We had to use a wooden spoon and measure everything precisely.

Then add the cloute ( an onion, peeled and studded with clove and bay leaf), then cover the sauce in a

cartouche ( a lightly buttered round of waxed paper ) lid to stop the milk from evaporating.

Simmer the sauce, so it does not burn.

Then place the pot into an oven @150°c / 300°f for 20 minutes.

Then strain the sauce, cover it with melted butter, glad wrap, date it and refrigerate it; it seems like yesterday.

We used a heavy pot to avoid burning the milk as the sauce simmers.

It is against most health department policies to allow wood in a commercial kitchen today.

So here is the modern-day recipe. Video and all.

How to make Bechamel or classic White Sauce

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Bechamel is a Mother Sauce used as a base for other sauces like Mornay or Garlic Cream Sauce
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Youtube Topic #bachamel, #whitesauce
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Author Chef Brendan
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You must check the labels of the ingredients for common food allergens, such as dairy, eggs, gluten & wheat, sesame, sulphites, lupins, soy & soybeans, tree nuts, peanuts, fish, shellfish. While we take steps to minimize risk, manufacturers may change their formulations without our knowledge.

Allergen Contains Dairy, Contains Gluten
Skill Level Cook
Recipe Easy, Sauce
Standard Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Standard Total Time 25 minutes
Cuisine Australian, French
Dollar Range $0.01 – $1.00
Food Cost $0.37 per serving


  • Stainless Steel Pot
  • Rubber Spatula
  • Whisk
  • Digital Scales


  • 100 grams butter salted
  • 100 grams flour plain
  • 1 l milk whole
  • 1 g nutmeg ground
  • 10 ml wine dry white
  • 100 g onion peeled
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 clove
  • 3 g salt

total food cost

Total Ingredient Cost $3.70

Preparation Time Estimate

Minutes 5


Catering for 10 100 ml servings


  • Warm the milk in a stainless steel pot or microwave oven to remove the chill.
    1 l milk
  • Melt butter over low heat in a thick bottom stainless steel pot.
    100 grams butter
  • Mix in flour continuously, stirring with a whisk, rubber spatula or wooden spoon.
    100 grams flour
  • Stop the flour from burning by paying attention and continue to whisk. Remove the pot from the heat for a few minutes.
  • Mix to the consistency of wet sand.
  • This is how you cook the roux. (a mixture for thickening sauces)
  • Add the warm milk 1/3 rd at a time, continue to heat, mixing continuously to remove any lumps.
  • Place the warm pot back on the heat.
  • Bring the bechamel to a slow simmer. Add wine and salt to taste.
    10 ml wine, 3 g salt
  • You may use a whisk if needed to remove lumps.
  • Stud the peeped onion with the clove thru the bay leaf.
    100 g onion, 1 bay leaf, 1 clove
  • Add your cloute (onion studded with a clove and bay leaf), seasoning.
    1 g nutmeg
  • Simmer, covered on low heat for 20 minutes.
  • Strain if needed, cover with glad wrap or melted butter to prevent skinning.
  • Use as needed, add to soups and sauces.
  • Store in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Cover with melted butter to stop skinning.

recipe pictures, prints and downloads

Recipes with Bechamel sauce
Garlic Prawn Tartlet

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Serving: 100mlCalories: 110kcalCarbohydrates: 14gProtein: 5gFat: 4gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.2gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 13mgSodium: 167mgPotassium: 195mgFiber: 0.5gSugar: 6gVitamin A: 185IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 143mgIron: 1mg
Keywords Bachamel Sauce, Milk, Mother Sauce, Sauce
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