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Bechamel Sauce

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Makes: 300 ml
300ml / 10 fl oz of milk
1 bay leaf
6 black peppercorns
slice of onion
mace blade
25g / 1 oz butter
25g / 1 oz plain flour
salt and pepper

Pour the milk into a saucepan and add the bay leaf, peppercorns, onion and mace. Heat gently to just below boiling point. then remove from the heat, cover and leave to infuse for 10 minutes. Sieve the milk into a jug.

Melt the butter in a separate saucepan. Sprinkle in the flour and cook over a low heat, stirring constantly. for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and gradually stir in the milk. Return to the heat and bring to the boil, stirring. Cook, stirring, until thickened and smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

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