5 mistakes when making béchamel for moussaka and pastitsio

bechamel, moussaka, mousaka

Béchamel is used in many Greek dishes and is usually put in the oven. Its creamy texture goes well with moussaka, pastitsio, papoutsakia and many other recipes, such as crepes and some cheese pie.

Although its preparation is relatively easy, the homemade béchamel has a few secrets to make it even more delicious, or minor mistakes can ruin it.

Wrong proportions

bechamel ingredients

Often in our recipes, we add the ingredients by eye, but this practice does not work well in béchamel. You must follow the basic recipe for Bechamel to get the best possible result. 8 tablespoons of butter, 8 tablespoons all-purpose flour, 1 ½ litres of milk, three egg yolks and 1/2 cup grated cheese.

Preparing the roux incorrectly

bechamel roux

Roux is the base of béchamel, and its preparation has some technical details. Special attention should be paid to the cooking times, as we will know when it is ready by eye.

Two steps are enough to make a roux but secrets are the whole point.

The main thing is that you have to keep stirring. It may burn or lump so it requires your full attention.

The secret is to add the milk at the right moment when the flour has dissolved. It's all a matter of trial and error but if you get it right you'll find it elevates all your recipes – in whatever sauce you use it.

Using cold milk

milk

You can make béchamel with cold milk, but it will take much longer to cook. Heat milk for one to two minutes in the microwave oven.

Adding all the milk together

milk bechamel

Adding all the milk at once will cause our mixture to clump, especially if we use cold milk. Add about a quarter of the warm milk and stir vigorously to break up any lumps before slowly adding the rest of the milk.

We don't cook as much as we should

bechamel

Béchamel requires more than just cooking and some steady whisking before it reaches the right texture. In general, it is better to cook very slowly because with the heat the flour molecules harden and do not mix easily with the liquid, resulting in the sauce not binding properly.

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