Easy bechamel sauce for lasagne
Bechamel is just a fancy name for white sauce. It is a formula, not a recipe. For a very thick sauce use 1 C. milk or cream or milk and wine etc. to 3 Tbs.each flour and butter. For medium 1 C. liquid to 2 Tbs. each flour and butter, for thin 1 C. liquic to 1 Tbs. each flour and butter.
Melt the butter add the flour and cook stirring. Heat the milk and add it to the flour and butter whisking until smooth. Cook whisking until it just comes to the boil to get rid of the raw flour taste. You can now add seasoning and cheese for your lasagne. freshly grated parmesan and some mozzerella would be good. I would use the medium thick formula for this.
You can mince some onion and sautee it in the butter before adding the flour then proceed and use sharp cheddar to make a good sauce for mac and cheese. You could crumble a fry some bulk breakfast sausage, drain off most of the fat before adding the flour and cooking and then adding half anf half to make a lucious sausage gravy to pour over split biscuits for a great breakfast. The possibilities are endless
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I would add that cooking the flour in the butter while stirring over med heat is what gets rid of the floury taste, so make sure you do that for a few minutes. You should notice the floury smell become just a little toasty. Do not brown the flour. Bringing it to a simmer is when the thickening occurs.
Also, for a bechamel for lasagna, I would add grated parmesan but not mozzarella to the sauce. Also a tinch of nutmeg and some salt. This is also a good bechamel for moussaka.
I was told that the way to ensure the flour is fully encorporated with no lumps is after you've melted your butter with the flour, put a little milk in, stir it until it becomes one incorporated pasty goop, put a little more milk in, stir until one slightly bigger goop, repeat until you have sauce.
Towards the end you can start increasing the amount of milk you put in at one time: the point is to slowly and evenly loosen up the flour. It will look as if it's gone from shortcrust pastry, to scone batter to crepe batter and then finally to sauce. This way you can be certain there will be no frantic whisking to eliminate flour lumps, and no chance of any uncooked flour, because it cooks thoroughly well before the last lot of milk goes in.
I never heat the milk beforehand this way, as I tend to think the small amounts that are going in will heat very quickly. But there may be a reason to heat the milk that I don't know about.
Sometimes I add the tiniest bit of boullion cube to the stuff, if I'm concerned the dish I'm making may be a bit bland. But I don't think you'd need to do this for lasagne.