Jim Lahey's Bechamel Sauce

2 cups

Instead of typical tomato sauce, spread pizza dough with a creamy white sauce from Jim Lahey's cookbook "My Pizza." Use this for his Ham and Peas Pizza and Broccoli Rabe Pie recipes.


  • 2 cups whole milk

  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces

  • 2 ¼ tablespoon all-purpose flour

  • ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt

  • Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg


  1. Place 2/3 cup milk and butter in a medium saucepan; heat over medium-low heat, stirring, until butter melts. Do not let milk come to a boil.

  2. Meanwhile, place flour in a medium bowl; add remaining milk and whisk until well combined. Ladle some of the warm milk mixture into the bowl and mix until warmed through.

  3. Transfer entire contents of bowl to saucepan and whisk in salt. Cook over medium-low heat, whisking, until thickened and mixture reaches about 180 degrees. Stir in nutmeg and remove from heat; bring to room temperature. Bechamel will thicken as it cools.

Cook's Notes

Bechamel can be used immediately or stored in an airtight container, refrigerated, for up to 5 days. Bring to room temperature before using.

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