Basic white sauce

27 May 2016 / Posted in Vegetables & sides Be FoodWise
Basic white sauce

The secret to a good white sauce is equal quantities of butter to flour, and then the addition of milk. The amount of butter and flour is dependent on the thickness of the sauce that you want. Then you can always add more milk to thin the sauce, but if a sauce needs to thicken further, don't simply add more flour – it will form lumps. Instead mix equal quantities of butter and flour to form a paste, and stir the paste into the hot sauce. Use the following standard measurements and double the quantities to prepare 500 ml of the sauce when required. And great to remember is that white sauce freezes very well.

Basic white sauce

Basic white sauce

Makes 250 ml

Thin pouring sauces and soups
15 g (15 ml) butter
15 ml cake flour
250 ml milk

Medium coating sauces
25 g (25 ml) butter
25 ml cake flour
250 ml milk

Think binding sauces
40 g (40 ml) butter
40 ml cake flour 
250 ml milk


  1. Place butter in an AMC 16 cm Gourmet Low or Gourmet High and heat over a medium temperature. Allow butter to melt, stir in flour to form a paste or ball and cook for 1 minute before adding milk. 
  2. Gradually add small quantities of milk at a time and stir continuously with a whisk or wooden spoon until all the milk is absorbed, before more milk is added.
  3. Repeat with rest of milk to form a smooth sauce. Simmer for 3 - 5 minutes until the sauce thickens and is cooked. Season with salt, freshly ground black pepper and a pinch of nutmeg or cayenne pepper. Worcestershire sauce and 2,5 ml dry mustard powder are also ideal for seasoning. 
  • To keep and re-heat a white sauce, cover with a piece of wax paper to prevent a skin from forming. Remove paper and reheat at a low temperature while stirring. An AMC Dome placed over simmering water can also be used to re-heat the sauce gently. 
  • Frozen sauce should be thawed completely before being re-heated. 
  • If lumps form, whisk sauce vigorously or rub through a sieve.