This homemade traditional bread sauce recipe will knock your socks off! Place a jug of bread sauce on the table at a family roast dinner, and watch it disappear in mere minutes!
There’s something so deliciously simple about bread sauce. It’s effortless to assemble and takes no more than 15 minutes. Perfect for a quick and easy sauce for your Sunday lunch!
Why you’ll love this homemade bread sauce recipe
- It’s the perfect accompaniment to roast chicken and turkey, or any meat for that matter
- Goes great with a vegetarian nut roast
- There are very few ingredients and they’re all so easy to get hold of
- Such an easy recipe – anyone can make it!
- Easily adaptable – tweak it to your tastes
Equipment you’ll need
There are a few things you’ll need to get the best out of this delicious bread sauce recipe:
How to make bread sauce
Add the breadcrumbs gradually to the milk. This way, you’ll avoid lumps, and the bread will incorporate with the milk to create a smoother sauce.
What to serve with bread sauce
Serve with a roast dinner
Of course, while bread sauce is traditionally served with roast poultry, it can also complement other roasted meats, such as pork or game birds. It can even be served with vegetarian dishes as a creamy side.
Variations to this recipe
- If you want to add an extra bit of earthy spice, add a pinch of nutmeg. You could also add a splash of white wine for extra flavour. Feel free to experiment with different herbs and spices – rosemary, oregano, tarragon, sage, and parsley would all work well.
- You could also use two bay leaves instead of one for a more herbal flavour.
- Make a vegan bread sauce by using soy milk and vegan butter.
Popular substitutions for this recipe
- You can use white bread without crusts in place of sourdough bread.
- For a healthier alternative, leave out the double cream or replace it with single cream. You should add more breadcrumbs or use less milk to achieve the right consistency.
- Use whole milk for a richer bread sauce
- Add the breadcrumbs a handful at a time, whisking in between. This way, you’ll get a smoother sauce.
What’s bread sauce made of?
It’s a combination of breadcrumbs and milk that has been simmered with an onion, herbs, and spices. The breadcrumbs are whisked into the spiced milk to create a rich, thick sauce that’s full of flavour.
What’s the best bread to use for bread sauce?
Sourdough bread works a charm! Otherwise, any quality white bread will do.
If you’ve got stale bread, don’t throw it away! Bread sauce is the perfect recipe for using up any stale bread.
What does studding an onion mean?
An onion ‘pique’ or an onion ‘cloute’ as it’s sometimes called involves sticking cloves into the onion, which is then placed in a liquid (usually milk) and simmered. The flavour from the onion, as well as the cloves, is imparted into the milk.
What’s the origin of bread sauce?
Traditional bread sauce goes back hundreds of years, to Medieval times in England. Cooks back in the days gone by used stale bread as a method to thicken sauces. Eventually, slightly spiced bread sauce became a very popular accompaniment at Christmas time, served with goose or other domestic fowl.
Eventually, as chicken and turkey became more popular, homemade bread sauce became the go-to sauce at the modern English Christmas table.
Nowadays, it’s not as popular as it used to be. Many people prefer gravy. Personally though, I think it’s time to bring back the bread sauce!
How do you get a smooth bread sauce?
If you prefer a smoother texture, use a blender or food processor to purée the sauce after cooking. This will give you a velvety, smooth consistency.
Straining the infused milk after simmering removes solid bits and ensures a smoother sauce. Use a fine-mesh sieve or cheesecloth for this step.
How thick should bread sauce be?
It should be thick and luscious but pourable.
How do you thicken bread sauce?
Adjust the thickness of the sauce to your liking by adding more milk or cream if it becomes too thick during cooking. Keep in mind that it will continue to thicken slightly as it cools.
What if my bread sauce is too thick?
Add a splash of more milk and stir. Keep adding until you’ve got the right consistency.
What can you do with leftover bread sauce?
If you have leftover bread sauce, consider using it as a creamy topping for mashed potatoes or a dip for roasted vegetables. It’s a versatile sauce with a comforting flavour.
Can you make bread sauce in advance?
Bread sauce can be made in advance and reheated when needed. Store it in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 days.
How do you reheat bread sauce?
When reheating, you may need to add a little extra milk or cream to bring it back to the desired consistency, as it can thicken upon cooling.
When reheating, do so gently over low heat, stirring frequently, to prevent the sauce from sticking to the pan or becoming too thick.
Can this recipe be scaled?
Adjust the quantities based on the number of servings you need. This recipe can easily be doubled for larger gatherings or halved for smaller meals.
Can you freeze bread sauce?
Yes, you can freeze bread sauce for up to six months. Once you’ve made your bread sauce, allow it to cool completely. Then, pour it into a freezer-safe container or freezer bag. Remember to label it with the contents and date of freezing.
More delicious roast sides
Bread sauce is an ideal side for roast meats, at any time of the year. So are these:
Enhance your roast dinners with my classic Bread Sauce recipe. Creamy, spiced, and utterly comforting, it’s the perfect accompaniment.
- 625ml milk
- 60g butter
- 1 onion
- 7 cloves
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 bay leaf
- 3 thyme sprigs
- 110g sourdough breadcrumbs
- 75ml double cream
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Begin by peeling the onion and slicing it in half—stud one of the onion halves with the 7 cloves.
- In a saucepan, pour the milk and add the studded onion, garlic cloves (lightly crushed), bay leaf, and thyme sprigs. Place the saucepan over low heat, and slowly bring the milk to a gentle simmer. Allow it to simmer for about 15 minutes to infuse the flavors.
- Melt the butter in a separate pan over medium-low heat while the milk simmer. Once the butter has melted, add the sourdough breadcrumbs and cook, stirring constantly, for about 5-7 minutes or until the breadcrumbs are golden brown and toasted. Be careful not to burn them. Set the toasted breadcrumbs aside.
- After the milk has simmered and absorbed the flavors, remove it from the heat and strain it into a clean saucepan, discarding the onion, garlic, bay leaf, and thyme sprigs.
- Gradually whisk the toasted breadcrumbs into the infused milk, ensuring no lumps. Place the saucepan over low heat and continue to cook, stirring constantly, for another 5-10 minutes. The sauce will thicken as it cooks.
- Stir in the double cream. Once the sauce reaches your desired consistency (it should be thick but pourable). Continue to cook for 2-3 minutes, allowing the sauce to heat through.
- Season the bread sauce with salt and pepper to taste. Adjust the seasoning as needed.
- Remove the saucepan from the heat and transfer the bread sauce to a serving dish.
- Serve the bread sauce hot alongside your roast poultry or other dishes as desired.
- Make It Ahead: Bread sauce can be made in advance and reheated when needed. Store it in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 days. When reheating, you may need to add a little extra milk or cream to bring it back to the desired consistency, as it can thicken upon cooling.
- Customisation: This basic recipe is a great starting point, but you can customise it to suit your taste. Some people like to add a pinch of nutmeg or a splash of white wine for extra flavor. Feel free to experiment with different herbs and spices.
- Smooth Texture: If you prefer a smoother texture, use a blender or food processor to purée the sauce after cooking. This will give you a velvety, smooth consistency.
- Straining: Straining the infused milk after simmering removes solid bits and ensures a smoother sauce. Use a fine-mesh sieve or cheesecloth for this step.
- Consistency: Adjust the thickness of the sauce to your liking by adding more milk or cream if it becomes too thick during cooking. Keep in mind that it will continue to thicken slightly as it cools.
- Serving Suggestions: Bread sauce is traditionally served with roast poultry, but it can also complement other roasted meats, such as pork or game birds. It can even be served with vegetarian dishes as a creamy side.
- Reheat Gently: When reheating, do so gently over low heat, stirring frequently, to prevent the sauce from sticking to the pan or becoming too thick.
- Leftovers: If you have leftover bread sauce, consider using it as a creamy topping for mashed potatoes or a dip for roasted vegetables. It’s a versatile sauce with a comforting flavor.
- Double or Halve the Recipe: Adjust the quantities based on your needed servings. This recipe can easily be doubled for larger gatherings or halved for smaller meals.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Category: Side Dish
- Method: Boil
- Cuisine: English
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