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By Nigella Lawson

Published 1998

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Béarnaise may be my favourite sauce, but béchamel is unquestionably the most useful.

All it is is a roux, which is to say a mixture of equal amounts of butter and flour (although I sometimes use a little more butter), cooked for a few minutes, to which you add, gradually, milk and then cook until thickened.

I always use Italian 00 flour, which is relatively easy to come by now, at supermarkets as well as delicatessens. The difference lies in the milling; these flours are fin