Creamy Béchemel, Gluten Free

by Jenn on December 21, 2009

in Dips and Sauces,Gluten Free


French cooking has 4 basic “mother sauces” – béchemel, allemande, velouté, and espagnole (though sometimes hollandaise is on the list too), and this one takes what I consider the richest of them and makes it richer.  I found this recipe in my mom’s 40+ year old Gourmet cookbook and oh is this good.  I don’t think I need to make traditional gravy ever again, I will just make a creamy béchemel and be in heaven.  Complete heaven.  What makes this different from a standard béchemel is the addition of reduced cream to the sauce (and of course, making it gluten free).

What can one put this on?  Well roast, steamed veggies, mashed potatoes, and pretty much any other food you can come up with.  And the best part?  It is SO easy to make!  Some French sauces require a little finesse getting the timing/consistency right, but this one is pretty hard to mess up.  Just watch it, stir constantly, and you’ll be fine.

To make this gluten free, I used millet flour.  Millet seems to be really flexible when it comes to cooking, and as long as I am cooking (not baking), I tend use millet almost exclusively because it does such a good job emulating the texture of regular flour and does not impart a strong flavor.  This sauce is no exception to the versatility of millet flour!

A little warning though, this is very rich! You definitely don’t need much!


Adopted from Gourmet

4 tbs. minced onion (yes, you can put onion through your garlic press)
4 oz. butter
1/2 c. millet flour
4 c. milk, heated to point of simmering
1 c. heavy cream
salt, white pepper

1.  Make a béchemel sauce.   Saute the minced onion in a hot pan with the butter until softened.  Whisk in the flour and then gradually add the heated milk until incorporated smoothly.  Keep on a low simmer for about 15 minutes, whisking often.
2. Meanwhile, heat up heavy cream in a small pan and bring to a simmer.  Stir occasionally and let reduce to half volume.  Add in a cup of the béchemel sauce, season with salt and pepper to taste, and strain (to get the onion and any remaining lumps out).
3. Pour over EVERYTHING.


{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Erin December 21, 2009 at 7:05 pm

I’m a big fan of millet flour too! I’ve used it in all sorts of dishes when cooking. I’ll have to try it with bechemel sauce! This looks so rich and delicious!


Lauren December 21, 2009 at 8:11 pm

Good to know! I’ve used some sorghum in the past or my mom will use a mix, and I’ve heard of some people using sweet rice, but millet sounds just wonderful! I love the looks of this sauce Jenn – Bechemel is one of my favourites =D.


bake in paris December 22, 2009 at 3:52 am

This creamy bechemel sounds and looks delicious. Will be on my Christmas menu list, thank for sharing! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year1

I have something for you at my blog:

Sawadee from Bangkok,


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