White Sauce

This basic white, or bechamel, sauce recipe can be used as the base for cheese, parsley or other savoury sauces, or add a teaspoon of caster sugar for a sweet sauce to have with dessert.

There are two different methods here – making a roux using normal flour or using cornflour dissolved into the milk.

Difficulty: 👍👍👍👍

Cost: £££

Serves 4 people


Roux method
30g/1 oz butter
30g/1 oz plain flour
600ml/1 pint milk

Cornflour method
600ml/1 pint milk
2 tablespoons cornflour

Roux method

  1. Melt the butter over a low heat in a heavy based saucepan. Add the flour and, using a wooden spoon, stir to a sandy paste. Cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly to ensure it doesn’t burn.
  2. Add a little hot milk to the paste (“roux”). Using your wooden spoon, stir till smooth and lump-free over a low heat. Then add a little more milk and repeat. Continue to add milk, beating well after each addition, until it is all used up. Let it come to a gentle boil, stirring all the time over a low heat as it thickens again.

Cornflour method

  1. Pour 4 tablespoons of milk into a small bowl. Heat the remainder in a saucepan. Add the cornflour to the small bowl then mix the cold milk and cornflour to a smooth cream. Pour on some of the hot milk, mix well, then pour into the milk pan and bring to the boil
  2. Stir all the time over a low heat to avoid lumps and prevent burning, it will thicken as it cooks.

Method

Roux method

  1. Melt the butter over a low heat in a heavy based saucepan. Add the flour and, using a wooden spoon, stir to a sandy paste. Cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly to ensure it doesn’t burn.
  2. Add a little hot milk to the paste (“roux”). Using your wooden spoon, stir till smooth and lump-free over a low heat. Then add a little more milk and repeat. Continue to add milk, beating well after each addition, until it is all used up. Let it come to a gentle boil, stirring all the time over a low heat as it thickens again.

Cornflour method

  1. Pour 4 tablespoons of milk into a small bowl. Heat the remainder in a saucepan. Add the cornflour to the small bowl then mix the cold milk and cornflour to a smooth cream. Pour on some of the hot milk, mix well, then pour into the milk pan and bring to the boil
  2. Stir all the time over a low heat to avoid lumps and prevent burning, it will thicken as it cooks.

Ingredients

Roux method
30g/1 oz butter
30g/1 oz plain flour
600ml/1 pint milk

Cornflour method
600ml/1 pint milk
2 tablespoons cornflour

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