Béchamel sauce

Béchamel and White Sauce

A recipe from France: The Cookbook

Preparation: 10 minutes

Cooking: 20 minutes

Makes: 500 ml (18 fl oz)


30g (1¼oz) (2 heaping tablespoons) butter

40g (1½oz) (⅓ cup) flour

500 ml (18fl oz) (generous 2 cups) hot water

Salt and pepper

Béchamel sauce

As above but with milk instead of water

Depending on how it is to be used, it is also often flavoured with freshly grated nutmeg.


Melt the butter in a pan. Stir in the flour and cook for 2–3 minutes to form a paste.

Gradually add the hot water or milk, stirring all the time to prevent lumps forming, and simmer for 10 minutes.

Since the absorbency of different flours can vary, it is difficult to specify the exact quantity of liquid needed, so add just enough water or milk to achieve the required consistency.

Season with salt and pepper.