A question about a recipe: Béchamel Sauce

My wife is gluten-free for celiac. Any advice on what type of gf flour to use?

The Principal Cook


Maria T. February 13, 2012
Hi The Principal Cook, I'm sorry I only got to see your question now. For GF Bechamel sauce use rice flour or cornstarch. But the procedure for the bechamel is different - you skip the roux.
Bring the milk and butter to a boil. In a bowl put the starch and a bit of water to dissolve it completely. Add some hot milk to temper it and then put the starch in the pan. Whisk vigorously over low heat, around 2 minutes should sufice. I'm not sure how much starch is needed for the quantity of milk but start with a tablespoon. You can always repeat the process with more starch and then you know how much the next time. By the way, although I appear as Maria Teresa here, I am also Babette.
SeaJambon January 13, 2012
Devangi - I went overboard with my answer! I LOVE Connie's GF flour mix as my "go-to" but simpler is always better and on reflection, I'd go with your approach (also means there won't be all that leftover). I'd just add that tapioca starch (or cornstarch, if you're not also avoiding corn) is also a very good, no flavor-added, thickener for sauces, puddings, etc.
Devangi R. January 13, 2012
You can use arrowroot starch, amaranth flour also , these are all GF! Great for making roux..
The P. January 13, 2012
Thanks! I think we have most of that at home already, so it shouldn't necessitate too much extra effort on our part. After I posted the question, I found on the "Gluten-free Girl and the Chef" site a 1:1 blend of sorghum flour and rice flour for use in all-purpose roux. So I've got options, certainly. My concern is that some of the GF flours have a different flavor, and I don't want that for a bechamel.
SeaJambon January 12, 2012
I'm very fond of the GF flour mix that Connie Sarros developed and shares in her cookbooks (I've tried a number of other mixes and haven't had the same 1for1 success). Since you are making Bechamel, you will only need a little, so may prefer a prepackaged variety -- haven't done a full sampling of those.

Connie's all-purpose mix: 2-1/2 cups rice flour; 1 cup potato starch flour; 1 cup tapioca flour; 1/4 cup cornstarch; 1/4 cup bean flour (I use Garbonzo); 2 tablespoons xanthan gum. Mix well and keep unused mix (and opened flours) in the fridge.

If your wife is GF, chances are good that this mix will be used quickly.

Good luck!
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