This is one of those base recipe I use quite often in my cooking: in Italy you can buy bechamel at supermarkets, here not so much. My brother, who also leaves abroad, has called me a couple of times to get a crash course in bechamel, so I am happy to post this recipe for him!
On the bright side making bechamel from scratch is quite easy. And if you warm up the milk before adding it to the roux you shouldn’t even have any lumpiness problem. Even then, in the unfortunate case your bechmel turns lumpy, don’t despair! A quick trick is to use a hand mixer to make it smooth again. It might not be Julia Child approved, but it works like a charm!
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 tbsp flour
- 1-2 cups milk depending on how thick you want your bechamel
- First melt butter in a pot. Meanwhile, warm your milk in the microwave or in a pot to almost boiling hot. When the butter is all melted, add the flour to make a smooth paste (the roux). When the flour mixture starts , add the hot milk and start mixing. Quite soon the sauce starts thickening up, it should take no more than 5 minutes to have a smooth thick bechamel. Season with salt and a pinch of nutmeg and use for your recipes.
- As I mentioned, using hot milk should be enough to get a smooth sauce, but if it doesn’t work, blend your lumpy bechamel with a hand mixer or a blender and you will save your lumpy bechamel!