My standard Bechamel sauce recipe used to be:
- Stir together flour and oil into a paste
- Fry for a short while
- Add a small amount of milk
- Heat and stir until incorporated
- Repeat steps 3-4 with increasing amounts of milk, until the mixture is a thick liquid
- Add rest of milk and boil until thickened
But recently I've got lazy and been doing it like this:
- Whisk flour with enough cold milk to make a thin paste with no lumps.
- Add to pan of cold milk and stir.
- Bring to boil, stirring occasionally
- Boil until thickened
The roux method requires a lot of care and attention. The second method just requires half an eye on the pan.
But roux is a mainstay of classical cooking. What is its advantage?