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Jan 7, 2009 04:15 PM

Bechamel, does it really have eggs?

Wondering about whether one of the mother sauces, Bechamel, really is classically made with eggs? Michel Roux says so by showing a recipe for this sauce in his book Eggs. However most recipes I have seen do not have eggs.

Does anyone know what Escoffier said about the sauce?

EDIT: OOPS! I meant Mornay. So sorry. His Bechamel does not contain eggs, but his Mornay does. Does Mornay classically contain eggs? And btw he mixes the eggs into the Bechamel, along with cream, and cooks it for a minute on a medium - high heat. So in the end it's not raw eggs from what I can tell.

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  1. Béchamel absolutely does NOT contain eggs...the only classic mother sauce that does is Hollandaise.

    2 Replies
    1. re: goodhealthgourmet


      adding an egg makes SOME sort of sauce, but NOT a Bechamel!

      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

        I had this discussion over the weekend with some Chowfriends who knew Bechamel doesn't contain eggs.

        The 'Bechamel' used to top Moussaka and Pastitso often calls for egg yolks. I grew up calling white sauce 'white sauce', and used the term 'Bechamel' for the thick, yolk-added version that tops Moussaka and Pastitso. While I've now learned Bechamel with yolks added is not pure laine Bechamel, and seems to be a Greek variation (sometimes cheese is even added, the horror!), and adding eggs to Bechamel and calling it Bechamel will get some Chowhounds' knickers in a knot, it is what some people of Greek origin call and/or consider to be a Bechamel,even if other people of other origins might call the Greek take on Bechamel a custard.

        I've been avoiding making Bechamel for years because I thought it was complicated, and didn't realize it was basically French for white sauce. Which means I'll finally be attempting one of those lasagnas with bechamel.

      2. When my mother makes it she's basically making a cream sauce then takes it off the stove when it's thick and cracks few eggs in then quickly whisks it (this is for topping pasta casseroles and baking)
        I don't know if it's authentic but it's so good!

        1. For me bechamel= flour, butter, milk and stock. That's it. But adding an egg at the end does sound mighty good.... Adam

          1. No and no.

            Bechamel is flour, butter, and liquid. Mornay is bechamel and cheese.

            Mornay is classically served ON eggs, among other things, but it does not contain them.

            1. From WiKI "A Mornay sauce is a Béchamel sauce with shredded or grated cheese added. Usually, it is half Gruyère and half Parmesan, though some variations use different combinations of Gruyère, Emmental cheese, or white cheddar."

              Morney = cheese not eggs.

              Only Hollandaise has an egg in it's base. No other classic (Mother) sauce that I recall does.