Bechamel is a classic white sauce made with butter and flour (roux) and milk. I learned to make this when I was at college and have adapted the recipe to make a great gluten free sauce. It is an important sauce to master and has many uses and particularly for one of the UK’s most popular dishes – Lasagne. I will be posting my Lasagne recipe tomorrow and thus the reason for this sauce recipe today. As well as being used in Lasagne, bechamel sauce has many other uses and particular as a cheese sauce for cauliflower cheese and macaroni cheese.
400ml full fat milk
2 bay leaves
sprig of thyme
1 small onion studded with 6 cloves
50g unsalted butter
60g gluten free plain flour
salt and ground black pepper.
Heat the milk in a sauce pan with the bay leaves, sprig of thyme and the onion studded with the cloves. Slowly bring to a simmer and remove from the heat and cover. Leave for 30 minutes for the flavours to infuse and then strain out the bits reserving the milk for the sauce
Gently melt the butter in a pan with a good base. Once melted take off the heat and stir in the flour. It will become a thick paste called a roux. Slowly add the warm milk stiring well to blend into the roux. Put back on a low heat and slowly heat stiring all the time to prevent it burning or going lumpy. Cook for about 3 – 5 minutes or until it comes to a simmer and remove from the heat. Whisk with a balloon whisk to a creamy consistency. Add more milk if it is too thick and if it goes lumpy give it a wizz with a hand held blended. It should be like a thick custard consistency. Season with salt and pepper. Cover with greasproof paper to prevent a skin forming.