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Old 01-25-2005, 02:21 PM   #11
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Hmmmmm...

I've been doing it this way for almost 40 years* and never had lumping once ...? Sometimes I do use cold milk, but hot or cold I've never once had a problem.

I did once make it with confectioner's sugar by mistake ... that WAS a BIG problem!



* it was one of the first things my mom taught me how to cook ... as a very small child ...
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Old 01-25-2005, 02:46 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kitchenelf
... to remove the "flour" taste ...
I take it this is the key to the whole thing, isn't it? So how exactly do i do that?
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Old 01-25-2005, 03:01 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlieD
Quote:
Originally Posted by kitchenelf
... to remove the "flour" taste ...
I take it this is the key to the whole thing, isn't it? So how exactly do i do that?
It's just a matter of cooking it long enough so that it doesn't taste like raw flour. It's a distinct taste. Try taking a small taste of flour straight from the bag to familiarize yourself with it. Then taste the sauce several times as you cook it. You'll be able to clearly taste the flour at first, and the flavor will lesson and blend as you cook.

Just like most recipes, it's a struggle to find the fine line between not cooking enough and cooking too much!
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Old 01-26-2005, 08:38 AM   #14
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Well, shame on me. Yesterday made the sauce it came out even worse than ever before. First of all the were clumps all over and then I managed to burn the bottom so I had bunch of burnt pieces swimming around. I don’t know, I am just not good when it comes to any sauce.
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Old 01-26-2005, 03:50 PM   #15
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Charlie, sorry to hear about your continued struggle with bechamel sauce. I have done many many such disasters because I am bad at following any recipe down to T and I used to love to experiment as a child and even now as an adult I can't break my bad habit :-)

I can tell you that there are 3 things that are very important in any roux based sauces :

The fat medium - ensure you have enough of it
The cooking temperature - Go low and slow. Add the fat and once it's slightly hot add the flour and toast it on low for atleast 10 - 15 minutes if not more. At any point don't stop stirring.
Add liquid slowly and in little amounts. The best way to prevent lumps is to first add a 1/4 cup of milk (cold) and stir to incorporate the flour with the milk and break lumps. The mixture will be a thick paste and that's O.K.. Add a little more milk and stir it in to combine, keep adding more milk until desired thickness.
I like to use a whisk when I combine the flour with the milk and I continue to use the whisk to mix everything together.
Now let it cook on low until the flour has an opportunity to absorb the milk and get creamy.
Add herbs, seasonings and grated cheese if you desire and it's ready


Don't give up. Experiment a few more times before throwing in the towel. Goodluck.
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Old 01-26-2005, 09:42 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jennyema
Hmmmmm...

I've been doing it this way for almost 40 years* and never had lumping once ...? Sometimes I do use cold milk, but hot or cold I've never once had a problem.
Two things:

1. I'm sure, with your experience, you understand 'hot' not to mean 'boiling.' For a person starting out, though, they could add boiling milk to a roux and have a mess on their hands.

2. If one were to add boiling milk to hot roux, it wouldn't be completely unsalvageable. Anyone proficient with a whisk could work out the lumps with some effort. Again, though, for the beginner - it's best to follow the hot/cold or cold/hot rule.
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Old 01-26-2005, 09:57 PM   #17
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Charlie, there is nothing better on this planet than a good gravy. Bechamel is up there too. If you don't learn how to master these, you will be seriously deprived. A life without gravy is not a life worth living. I kid you not.

So far all I've heard you do is say "I can't do it/this went wrong." You have yet to describe the process you followed. We can conjecture until now until the cows come home, but until you take this seriously enough to describe each step you take... there's very little we can do.

If you want to 'wing' something, make tomato sauce. Bechamel requires precision. If you follow the right steps, victory will be yours. Just tell us what you're doing.
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Old 01-26-2005, 11:52 PM   #18
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I can't add anything to the technique that hasn't already been said. The roux is simply 1 part flour, and 1 part fat (usually butter). Cook just long enough over medium-low heat to remove the raw flour flavor. Add milk, or cream, slowly, stirring vigorusly to incorporate until you reach the desired thickness. Cook slowly for about ten minutes more, stirring frequently.

The Bechemel sause is one of the mother sauces and is used for making literally hundreds of small sauces and gravies. It is used as a base for cream ed soups, for soufle's, for blonde sauce, Mornay Sauce, and to make parmegiano sauces. You can add bacon, ham, lemon, taragon, pepper, or virtually any herb or spice flavor you want, depending on the dish. It can also be used to bind soups such as spit pea, or lentil soup. It can be used with chipped beaf, or fresh peas and served over toast.

And the basic roux can be liquified using milk, meat stocks, or broths, veggie broths, or even the liquid from soups.

The roux , when used with stocks, makes supremely creamy gravy.

You must learn this most basic sauce. Once you have made it successfully once, you will be amazed at how easy it is to make.

Seeeeeeya; Goodweed of the North
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Old 01-27-2005, 12:30 PM   #19
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Scott,

I agree that your rules are best for someone who is trying to master Bechemel sauce.

Hot to me = still able to put a finger in comfortably, more like very warm. Certainly not boiling. Maybe that's why I haven't seen the lumpiness.

A good whisking usually addresses most lumpiness!
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Old 03-26-2006, 06:29 PM   #20
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Okay, y'all, I'm learning far more about cooking in detail then I thought I would ever. Learning about the mother sauces right now, but not finding explanation into a said ingredient for bechamel, that ingredient being onion piquet. Here's the recipe:

Onion Piquet
Milk
Flour
Clarified butter
Salt & White pepper
nutmeg

I saw something about onion, bay leaf and clove, but I couldn't find detail.

I'm needing this as a recipe I am going to try for company this coming Saturday calls for it. I'm making Beef Stuffed Cannelloni, or what us unknowing Americans call Mannicoti.

Much obliged for your assistance!
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