Classic white sauce - or bechamel - really is not as difficult to make as most people think.
This white sauce is used in hundreds of recipes, and you can add an unlimited range of ingredients to make a different sauce; cheese, parsley, onion, etc.
600ml / 1 pt milk
50g / 2 oz butter or margarine
50g / 2 oz plain flour
Put the butter or margarine into a thick bottomed saucepan. Let it melt over a medium heat, then add the flour. Stir continuously with a wooden spoon and until you have a smooth, slightly grainy paste. This is called a roux.
Take off the heat for a few moments and add a tiny amount of the milk at a time, whisking continuously.
Return to the heat after a few moments and continue adding the milk into the roux at a a tiny amount time - stirring continuously.
Reduce the heat to low and continue cooking the sauce for 4-5 minutes, until thickened, stirring occasionally.
Taste, season, and make sure there is no hint of flour.
The secret is to add the milk just a little a time, while stirring constantly, if the sauce does go lumpy, rub through a sieve and whisk well again and the sauce can be rescued easily.
I have also heard than warming the milk helps.
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