Béchamel Sauce (white sauce)

Béchamel Sauce

Ingredient About 5 cups About 1200cc
butter 7½ Tbsp. 100g (7½ Tbsp.)
flour ¾ cup (6.5 oz.) 100g
whole milk 5½ cups 5½ cups
heavy cream ⅓ cup ⅓ cup
bay leaf 1 1

This basic Béchamel sauce (sometimes called white sauce) forms the foundation for a variety of dishes, from lasagna to gratins.


  1. Warm the milk and bay leaf in a saucepan; stop just before it boils.


  1. Make a roux of the flour and butter.
    In a saucepan melt the butter over low heat. Add the flour and stir constantly with a wooden spoon being careful not to burn the roux. Continue stirring over low heat for three minutes or so; properly cooking the butter and flour will help keep the sauce from becoming lumpy or having a gritty texture.
  2. Gradually mix in milk.
    Pour the heated milk into the roux a little at a time, stirring well with a wooden spoon until completely mixed each time; discard the bay leaf. When all the milk is mixed in, continue stirring over low heat until it begins to thicken.
  3. Add heavy cream.
    Stir in the heavy cream. Continue to cook stirring constantly until thickened, about 15-20 minutes.


  • Leftover sauce freezes well.
  • The heavy cream can be replaced with milk for a lighter sauce.
  • If you are using the sauce for gratin or doria, add salt and white pepper.
  • When making cream stew, simmer the vegetables and meat in an amount of broth equivalent to the amount of milk used.
  • Béchamel Sauce can also be used as the base for cream croquettes, but must be adjusted to be thicker: 6 Tbsp. butter, 1¼ cups milk, ¾ cup broth, and 2 egg yolks; flour and cream are the same. Add the milk first, then cream, broth, and finally egg yolks.