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Sep 21, 2012 05:12 PM

bechamel sauce to flour tasting

I've Googled and looked in Chowhound to find something to help me avoid Bechamel sauce that is not too floury..but all I can find are recipes for Bechamel sauce
can you tell me how to avoid flour-tasting Bechamel sauce without having to turn it into a Mornay?
Just a plain white sauce...I think I follow the procedure/ingredients to the letter but obviously doing something to anger the sauce god
It hasn't been too bad, but I think it could be better...

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  1. You have to cook the flour in the butter for about 5 minutes or more. It's also better if you let it sit over a very low heat for about 20 mins once the milk is in and the sauce is thickened.

    1 Reply
    1. Mornay has cheese in it. Bechamel does not.

      By definition, bechamel is a roux thickened cream sauce, so the use of flour is unavoidable. If you are cooking the flour and fat together for a bit before adding the cream there should not be a flour taste, or at least not IME. Is there a specific recipe you've used that you are unhappy with?

      Don't be shy with the salt and pepper. My trick is to add a few drops of lemon juice to wake up the flavor. The best quality cream you can buy is a boon as well. Look for one that's not ultra pasteurized and that does not have carrageenan in it.

      5 Replies
      1. re: splatgirl

        splatgirl, lemon juince sounds like a clever idea and I'll use better quality ingredients, thanks

        i was just using the basic recipe, but using whole milk and not cream

        yep, i am aware the difference between the two sauces

        thanks again will take your tips

        1. re: sylvan

          buttertart is right - cooking your roux longer will solve your problem. There's no need to use better or more expensive ingredients. You can use the cheapest regular ol' milk and still turn out a fantastic bechamel. Heavy or even light cream will be too fatty for most applications. I'd stick with milk. I always use whole milk.

          1. re: 1POINT21GW

            but you don't want to cook the roux so long that it browns. Letting the sauce cook longer (e.g. up to 20 minutes) should take care of any residual raw flour taste. If necessary thin with more milk (or water). Also season adequately with salt and pepper.

            1. re: paulj

              Certainly. You're absolutely right. (Although I suspect that sylvan knows to keep his roux light in color.)

              sylvan, cooking the sauce over low heat (after it's been brought to a boil) for an extended period of time isn't necessary to eliminate the raw flour taste - that should be taken care of in the cooking of the roux stage. However, cooking the sauce over low heat for an extended period of time does make for a smoother textured sauce.

              1. re: 1POINT21GW

                Yes of course you need to cook the roux over low heat and not brown it for this sauce. I would never put lemon juice in a dairy-based sauce myself, I think you should be very careful doing so for fear of curdling (a few drops to freshen the taste at the end might be ok). And milk is the correct dairy product to be used, not heavy cream. The longer simmer is something I picked up from Jane Grigson's books, and it does improve the taste, but it isn't necessary if the roux is completely cooked.

      2. As everybody else has mentioned, the roux probably needs to be cooked longer. Be sure to keep the heat low, and so you can identify when it has cooked enough take a good whiff when you first add the flour to the fat. Notice the raw flour smell. Cook for several minutes, stirring all the while, and take another good whiff. When the raw flour smell has disappeared and been replaced by a buttery-nutty aroma, the roux is sufficiently cooked.

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