Béchamel Sauce

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Yield:

    1 gal

Appears in

Professional Cooking

Professional Cooking

By Wayne Gisslen

Published 2014

  • About


U.S. Metric Ingredients
8 oz 250 g Clarified butter
8 oz 250 g Bread flour
1 gal 4 L Milk
1 1 Bay leaf, small
1 1 Small whole onion, peeled
1 1 Whole clove
to taste to taste Salt
to taste to taste Nutmeg
to taste to taste White pepper



  1. Review instructions for making and incorporating roux.
  2. Heat the butter in a heavy saucepot over low heat. Add the flour and make a white roux. Cool roux slightly.
  3. Gradually add the milk to the roux, beating constantly.
  4. Bring the sauce to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to a simmer.
  5. Stick the bay leaf to the onion with clove and add to sauce. Simmer at least 15 minutes or, if possible, 30 minutes or more. Stir occasionally while cooking.
  6. Adjust consistency with more hot milk, if necessary.
  7. Season very lightly with salt, nutmeg, and white pepper. Spice flavors should not dominate.
  8. Strain the sauce through a chinois or through a china cap lined with cheesecloth. Cover or spread melted butter on surface to prevent skin formation. Keep hot in a bain-marie, or cool in a cold-water bath for later use.
  9. Evaluate the finished sauce.

Per 1 fl oz (29.57 mL): Calories, 40; Protein, 1 g; Fat, 3 g (63% cal.); Cholesterol, 10 mg; Carbohydrates, 3 g; Fiber 0 g; Sodium, 30 mg


Light Béchamel

Use 12 oz (375 g) roux.

Heavy Béchamel

Use lb (750 g) roux.

Small Sauces

For each of the following sauces, add the ingredients indicated to 1 qt (1 l) béchamel sauce. Season to taste.

Cream Sauce

4–8 fl oz (125–250 mL) heavy cream, heated or tempered

Mornay Sauce

4 oz (125 g) grated Gruyère cheese and 2 oz (60 g) Parmesan, stirred in until just melted. Finish, off heat, with 2 oz (60 g) raw butter. Thin out with a little hot milk, if necessary, or use a stock or broth appropriate for the dish being prepared.

Mornay Sauce for Glazing or Gratinéeing

Finish Mornay Sauce with liaison of 2 egg yolks and 2 fl oz (60 mL) heavy cream.

Cheddar Cheese Sauce

8 oz (250 g) cheddar cheese, ½ tsp (2 mL) dry mustard, 2 tsp (10 mL) Worcestershire sauce

Mustard Sauce

4 oz (125 g) prepared mustard

Soubise Sauce

1 lb (500 g) onions, finely diced, cooked slowly in 2 oz (60 g) butter without browning. Simmer with sauce 15 minutes and force through a fine sieve.

Tomatoed Soubise Sauce

Add 1 pt (500 mL) thick tomato purée to 1 qt (1 L) soubise sauce.

Nantua Sauce

6 oz (175 g) Shrimp Butter, 4 fl oz (125 mL) heavy cream

(Note: Classic Nantua sauce is made with crayfish, not readily available in many regions.)