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Old 01-24-2005, 02:16 PM   #1
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Bechamel sauce help!

:?:

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Old 01-24-2005, 02:45 PM   #2
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Hi Charlie,

I have never made it so I won't be able to give you any advice, but I am sure someone here can. What seems to go wrong when you make it? What steps do you use? The more we know, the better we will be able to troubleshoot it for you.

I am going to move this to the Sauce section of the board.
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Old 01-24-2005, 02:56 PM   #3
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Thank you. I don’t know what am doing wrong, I fallow the recipe, but sauces is just not my thing. I always have a problem with gravies and other stuff like that. Another problem is I have never had it outside my home. I don’t know how or why but I was just one of those stupid things. How can person not have something as simple as this? It is one of the 5 major sauces. I don’t know, just my luck I guess. Actually on food 911 Tyler was making it once, but of course there was some kind of emergency with kids and I had to run. The only thing that I cut from that show was that he (Tyler) doesn’t like to add nutmeg, well neither do I, just do not like the taste of it. So I am open for suggestions. Any suggestions. But please describe as best as possible the final result for me.

P.S. G.B. Thank you for moving this, for some reason I did not see this forum.
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Old 01-24-2005, 05:04 PM   #4
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GB, bet you have made it, as it's just simple white sauce (like the base for mac and cheese)

Charlie, how exactly are you making it and what is wrong about it?

Basically, it's a 1 to one ratio of butter and flour. Melt the butter over medium heat, stir in the flour and cook it in the butter for a minute or two (some people cook it longer), whisk in hot milk (the amount depends on what you want the consistency of the final product to be), making sure you break up any lumps of flour. Season with salt and pepper (can also use nutmeg or other herbs/spices). Yiou can add cheese and make MORNAY sauce
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Old 01-24-2005, 05:51 PM   #5
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I've never made it, but do remember watching that episode of Food911. I remember Tyler saying that you can mess it up by overheating the sauce. Though I don't remember if he said it would come back together after it cooled down, or if it was completely ruined and you have to start over (sorry).

Maybe some one else can offer more insight.

Charlie, I've found that it helps to post the recipe and list the exact steps that you followed. I've done this in the past and gotten great responses.
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Old 01-24-2005, 06:25 PM   #6
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I'm not sure what you are doing but here is just a basic recipe that should always turn out.

6 tablespoons butter
5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 cups milk
Salt and pepper to taste
Pinch of nutmeg (optional)

Melt the butter in a medium sauce pan over medium heat. Stir in the flour, being sure to combine it with the butter very well, to make a roux. If the roux doesn't appear to be thick enough add 1/2 tsp more flour. If it seems too dry add a small amount of butter, 1/2 TBS or less. Let the roux cook, stirring constantly, for about 3 minutes. Do not let it darken. Gradually add the milk, about 1/2 cup at a time, whisking or stirring vigorously to incorporate. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring often, until thickened and just starting to boil, about 15 to 20 minutes will be required. Add the salt, pepper and nutmeg.

By omitting the nutmeg you have a basic white sauce.

From here you can add your favorite cheeses (about 2 - 2 1/2 cups) - our favorite is Fontina and cheddar. Once cheeses are melted stir in cooked macaroni and eat it with child-like reckless abandon! :oops:
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Old 01-25-2005, 12:50 PM   #7
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Thank you. Like I said, maybe there was nothing wrong whit it, I just never had it before so i do not know what i'm doing. And/or maybe I simply did not like the result. Otherwisw it sounds that i did just what you are describing. Maybe I should try different flavor instead of nutmeg. I'm using this for lasagna.
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Old 01-25-2005, 01:01 PM   #8
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Look at this and see how it compares to your sauce:

SAUCE:

3/4 c. sweet butter
scant 1/2 cup flour
2 c. milk
1 1/2 c. whipping cream
1 c. reserved liquid
1/2 tsp. rosemary, tarragon and beau monde
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 c. fresh Parmesan

Melt butter, blend flour and cook, stirring constantly over medium heat for about 2 minutes. Add milk, cream and reserved liquid, stirring constantly with wire whisk, until thick. Add seasonings. Remove from heat and add cheese.


NOTE: The cooking after you blend the butter/oil and flour is to remove the "flour" taste - just becareful not to brown it - but it won't hurt anything if it's just a tad golden - it's better than tasting the fhour. You will note that in every roux you stir constantly for about 2-3 minutesonce the flour has been added. This is why. If a recipe calls for a dark roux then you stand there and stir it until the flour/butter mixture becomes a caramel color.
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Old 01-25-2005, 02:00 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jennyema
Basically, it's a 1 to one ratio of butter and flour. Melt the butter over medium heat, stir in the flour and cook it in the butter for a minute or two (some people cook it longer), whisk in hot milk (the amount depends on what you want the consistency of the final product to be), making sure you break up any lumps of flour.
Depending on how hot the milk is,

Hot roux + hot milk = major lumping

The rule of thumb for incorporating liquids/roux is

Cool liquid/hot roux
or
Cool roux/hot liquid

Not both. 'Cool' can be translated as anywhere from frozen to warm in this instance. Just not hot/hot.
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Old 01-25-2005, 02:20 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kitchenelf
Gradually add the milk, about 1/2 cup at a time, whisking or stirring vigorously to incorporate. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring often, until thickened and just starting to boil, about 15 to 20 minutes will be required.
You can add all the milk at once - adding it all it at once won't effect the final outcome.

Until the sauce has thickened, it has to be stirred constantly, no matter how low the heat is. This is because the flour particles, until gelatinized, have a tendency to sink to the bottom of the pan/clump. Once the sauce has fully thickened/simmered for about a minute, then less frequent stirring is an option.

The length of time to cook bechamel after it's brought to a simmer/thickened seems to vary widely from chef to chef. Although everyone agrees that bechamel has to be simmered for the starch granules to swell/break down and the texture to be right, the length of time to achieve this is hotly debated. I believe that 5 to 10 minutes is more than enough to break down the starch granules. I've spoken to other chefs who believe that 30 or more minutes are necessary. Not only does 5 to 10 minutes make a perfectly smooth sauce, I find prolonged simmering gives the milk a cooked taste.
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