This is for people who are able to make bechamel (white) sauce without lumps, but are still concerned about the floury taste or smell; for those who still taste or smell it, even though they cook the flour.
Spread the flour out evenly in a microwave-safe container. Microwave, uncovered, for a bit less than a minute at 500w. Mix, using a cutting motion.
Put the butter in a heavy-bottom pan. It will foam up. When you think that the foam can't get any finer, add the flour from step 1.
Mix well and keep cooking until the butter and flour blend together. I recommend using a whisk. Lift the pan up occasionally to prevent any burning.
Add just a little cold milk, and mix well. Really mix well here.
When the milk is incorporated, add a bit more milk and mix. Mix well.
Add a bit more milk and mix. Keep stirring well.
Add a bit more milk and mix well.
You can no longer see the pattern the whisk makes in the sauce at this point. Up to this point 100 ml of milk (about a third of the total) has been added in batches.
Add the rest of the milk 100 ml at a time. Turn the heat up a little bit, and mix and simmer until the sauce has thickened.
When the sauce has thickened, simmer over low heat until it's smooth. When the sauce is smooth and shiny, it's done.
◎The surface dries out and forms a film in no time. If you are concerned about that, skewer a piece of butter with a fork and spread the butter over the surface of the sauce.
◎If this sauce is for a gratin (especially macaroni gratin), make it thinner.
◎If the sauce is for cream croquettes, make it thicker. (Use a 1:1:4 or 1:1:5 ratio of flour, butter and milk).
◎Use the sauce with meat sauce and eggplant for a lasagna style dish. See Okaachan's Showa-retro style meat sauce recipe. Recipe ID: 1038828.
Story Behind this Recipe
I thought that if I eliminated as much of the moisture as possible from the flour even before cooking it,that it would be even less likely to lump up! And so I tried it out. It was really easy to make the sauce this way. But, I was amazed that it also eliminated any floury smell or taste too. Even though I didn't cook the flour for a long time as cookbooks say you should.
If you are making a lot of sauce, increase the microwaving time in step 1. Add 10 seconds at a time while observing the flour, and take it out and mix it up. This way it's less likely to cook unevenly. Add the milk, a little at a time, and mix well between additions. This way you can make the sauce quite quickly. It's less likely to form lumps, too.