Chapter 8 of 16 from Wolfgang Puck

Recipe: Béchamel Sauce


Learn to master one of the five French mother sauces with Wolfgang's recipe for béchamel sauce. Wolfgang shows you how to use the béchamel to make his restaurants’ best-selling macaroni and cheese, and the creamed spinach from his childhood.

Topics include: Béchamel Sauce • Macaroni & Cheese • Creamed Spinach • Fried Egg

Wolfgang Puck

Wolfgang Puck Teaches Cooking

In 16 lessons, learn exclusive recipes and cooking techniques from the chef behind Spago and CUT.

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Class Info


There are a lot of different sauces out there, which you use for many different things. We call them mother sources, I don't know why they don't call them father sauces but they are mother sauces. And one of them is bechamel or a mornay sauce. So it's really easy to do. And in our restaurant, I use it mostly for creamed spinach and macaroni and cheese. All right. Now, let's start with the bechamel. Man Be sure to have the right pot. If you don't have a stainless pot with a very thick, heavy bottom, it becomes very difficult to make a bechamel because a thin pot burns very easily. So it's really important to have a pot with a thick bottom. I'm going to turn it on with a little butter. Melt some butter in here. All right, that should be good. And then I have flour and I have milk here, which is really hot, like a boiling hot milk. All right. So we're going to melt the butter. Now, if you don't like butter, you could use oil or salt. But I used butter for that. OK, be sure it's nice and melted. Then, we're going to add flour to it and I'm going to show you just how much. The butter is melted, you don't want to brown it. Keep it white. Now, we're going to add flour. Now, you know making a roux, this is what's called making a roux. Now, you've got to New Orleans in Cajun or creole cooking, they make a dark roux. They brown it for a long time. This one will stay white. So a little more flour in here. So you can see now, it has about the right consistency. Now you want to cook the flour a little bit with the butter. All right? Be sure to stay next to it because the flour will get toasted and brown and then you will have the brown bechamel. And bechamel is a basic white sauce, it shouldn't be brown. Now, be sure to have the milk boiling right next to you. Bring it to a boil but when it gets hot, watch it because you all know, the milk goes over. So then, you will have a mess in your kitchen. So that should be it. About right now, you can see it's bubbling but not browning. All right. Now, we're going to add milk to it. So first we're going to add maybe two ladles. It's really hot and stir it vigorously. OK, maybe a little more. Right away. OK. So add the milk little by little because you don't want the bechamel to get too liquid. Then, you have to make another roux. Get right into the corner with your whisk. Now, you can see this is really thick. So we're going to add just more milk. But if you do it that way, you don't get lumps in there. If you add the milk all at once, you will have lumps in there. All right. Now, we're going to add more milk. So you don't want to add cold milk to it because if you are cold milk, what will happen is, it takes so long to bring it to a boil and it might burn it. Especially in the corner and especially if...

Become fearless in the kitchen

Legend has it Wolfgang Puck came up with his famous smoked salmon pizza when his restaurant ran out of bagels—and ended up changing the way America cooks. In his MasterClass, the five-time James Beard Award-winning chef behind more than 100 restaurants brings you into his kitchen. You’ll learn not only how to master starters, mains, sides, and cocktails, but also how to take risks to create memorable recipes of your own.

Join Wolfgang Puck in his test kitchen as he shows you his process for creating dishes, from pizza to dessert.

A downloadable workbook accompanies the class with lesson recaps, assignments, and supplemental material.

Upload videos to get feedback from the class. Wolfgang will also answer select student questions.


Wolfgang Puck

Wolfgang Puck Teaches Cooking