The amount of roux per given amount of milk depends on the use of the sauce. Thick versions, used as the base thickener in traditional soufflé recipes, often call for as much as
|seasonings (salt, pepper, nutmeg; optional)||to taste||to taste|
Use a pretreated flour such as Wondra. Simply mix the Wondra (the same amount as flour called for in the traditional recipe) in cold water until smooth (make a slurry). Bring the milk to a simmer. Whisk in the slurry. Simmer until the sauce thickens. It should be smooth, but just in case, work it through a chinois.
While béchamel is a fairly stable sauce, there are times (especially if the flour is old) when it will break. To avoid this, blend hydrocolloids into the finished sauce. Lambda carrageenan lends an authentic dairy-like mouthfeel to the sauce and is easy to use. Start by adding 1% lambda carrageenan to the sauce and build up as needed to get the thickness you want.
Copyright © 2017 by James Peterson. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.