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Several of the recipes I will be posting in the coming months call for Béschamel Sauce, one of the French Mother Sauces made of flour, butter and milk. This recipe –as well as the comments below–are taken directly from Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child, Louisette Bertholle and Simone Beck, the ultimate in French culinary goddesses.

 beschamel, french sauce, sauces, white sauce, julia child, mother sauce


2 TBS Butter

3 TBS Flour

2 cups Milk

1/4 tsp Salt


1.) In a small pan, combine milk and salt and heat to a boil.

At the same time…

2.) In a saucepan, melt the butter over low heat. Blend in the flour, and cook slowly, stirring, until the butter and flour froth together for 2 minutes without coloring. This is now a white roux.

2.) Remove roux from heat. As soon as roux has stopped bubbling, pour in all the hot liquid at once. Immediately beat vigorously with a wire whip to blend liquid and roux, gathering in all bits of roux from the inside edges of the pan.

3.) Set saucepan over moderately high heat and stir with the wire whip until the sauce comes to the boil. Boil for 1 minute, stirring.

4.) Remove from heat, and eat I salt and pepper to taste. Sauce is now ready for final flavorings or additions.

(*) If not used immediately, clean sauce off inside edges of pan with a rubber scraper. To prevent a skin from forming on its surface, float a thin film of milk, stock or melted butter on top. Set aside uncovered, keep it hot over simmering water, refrigerate or freeze it.

“The thickness of a sauce is in direct relation to the proportion of flour you use per cup of liquid. The following table is based on American all-purpose hard-wheat flour. All flour measurements are for level tablespoons or fractions.   — Mastering the Art of French Cooking, page 56

Thin sauce or soup: 1 TBS flour per cup of liquid

Medium, General-Purpose Sauce: 1 1/2 TBS flour per cup of liquid

Thick Sauce: 2 TBS flour per cup of liquid

Soufflé Base: 3 TBS flour per cup of liquid

buon appetito!


-ciao for now-




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