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Old 09-18-2008, 02:13 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by berlinerca View Post
Hi,

I have a question concerning Béchamel or basic white sauce.

First, I am not a trained chef but I do work as a cook in a kitchen here in Berlin, Germany. I find that I use very often basic white sauce and have been having trouble lately with the thickness i.e. it often is not thick enough.

My basic recipe is as follows: I heat 4 l milk and water mixed (my boss insists that I mix milk & water for cost purposes). While the liquid is heating I melt 250g butter and stir in enough white flour to form a thick paste, the consistency of a dough i.e. you could make a ball of this and it would not flow or fall apart. I keep this on the stove stirring constantly to cook the flour, usually for about 5 mins. Then I ad slowly, whisking constantly, the hot milk/water mixture. I then leave it on the stove at a low heat for at least 45 mins. stirring often and trying not to scrape the pan bottom as it always burns a bit on the bottom-I am working on a large industrial stove and the gas burners are large and hot.

Now sometimes this thickens up nicely and sometimes not. I am trying to achieve a fairly thick sauce, about the consistency of a syrup.

So any tips on how to get a consistently thick sauce would be very much appreciated.
I have not used a milk/water mixture. I have heard of using arrowroot or cornstarch & water (slurry) as a thickening agent. That, along with adding nutmeg, may also help with a flour-y taste. Just a suggestion. Here's one of Mario's recipes. Hope this helps.

Recipes : Bechamel Sauce : Food Network
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Old 09-18-2008, 03:06 PM   #12
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I love nutmeg in my gravies!!! I chime in with everyone else's suggestions........if you can get Wondra flour it's great.......it's a light flour but makes great gravies without turning them to sludge or superglue.........(my biggest problem) hope that you find a good solution
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Old 09-23-2008, 02:07 PM   #13
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Hey-Thanks for all the response. It took a while for me to get back here as I have been working 12 hr. shifts these past days and barely had time to open my computer.

Lots of good info here. And I have been doing a bit of research/experimenting for my own. What I have found is that the watered milk is a big issue here. Seems to work much better when I don't add water to the milk. Now I just have to convince "the boss" to open up his his cash box a bit and use more milk less water.

As for the taste/quality of the white sauce-well-I am in Germany and the German
palette (sp?) is generally not that refined. Not to insult the Germans or anything. Just an observation from cooking for lots of Germans.

Once again-thanks for all the response.
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Old 09-23-2008, 02:59 PM   #14
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the longer you cook the flour and butter, the thinner the bechamel will be. Try cooking it for four minutes then 3 1/2. You should get a thicker sauce. (Less than 3 minutes and the taste is wrong.)
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Old 09-24-2008, 11:30 AM   #15
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Today we amped up the cheapness factor. I got to work and there was a big bag of potato starch waiting for me. so the recipe became-Milk/water heated to just off the boil and then a couple of big spoons of potato starch and water mixed. A couple of minutes of whisking and it thickened up nicely. I then added s&p & nutmeg, which I always use.

Quick easy, tasted like s**t IMO.

But the boss was happy.

I also found that it had a slightly unpleasant slippery feel in the mouth.

I need a new job...
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Old 09-24-2008, 12:09 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by berlinerca View Post

Quick easy, tasted like s**t IMO.

But the boss was happy.

I also found that it had a slightly unpleasant slippery feel in the mouth.

I need a new job...
Sounds like what you really need is a new boss
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Old 09-24-2008, 12:47 PM   #17
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Sounds like what you really need is a new boss
LOL - he wouldn't last a week in Jersey cooking that garbage.

You seem like you care about what you cook, and your so-called boss could give a rat's behind.

I agree, find a new job. Let him run his own self into the ground.
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