Bechamel Sauce
  1. Affix bay leaf to outside of onion piece with cloves. Melt butter in a medium saucepot over medium-low flame until bubbly. Add flour to fat, stirring well. Shake out to level; stir to prevent from scorching. Cook the roux one minute. Stop cooking before it browns, but when the aroma of raw flour has been replaced by a rich, nutty smell. Remove from heat.
  2. Rub the inside of a large, heavy pot with whole butter. Heat one quart of milk in this pot until fine bubbles begin to burst along the edge. Laddle some hot milk into the cooled roux and beat into a smooth paste. Then, whisking vigorously, add the paste to the scalded milk. Bring the sauce to a boil, stirring constantly. Add the onion with the bay leaf nailed on by the clove.
  3. Move pot halfway off the burner to and simmer very slowly for thirty minutes. Stir occassionally while cooking, and remove what little scum accumulates. The sauce should be a medium consistency, with a smooth, even texture, a nice shine and excellent body. Remove from heat and add one tablespoon of whole butter. Strain through a wire mesh lined with cheesecloth. Season lightly with salt, nutmeg and white pepper.
Source: W.C.I.