Bread Sauce

Bread sauce is an absolute British classic! Infused with bay leaves & cloves then finished with cream & butter, this is the type of sauce you could eat with a spoon! – Hungry now?ย  Jump to Recipeย 

And in all serious that’s usually how I end up eating it. Bread sauce is one of those sauces that absolutely make a meal and quick frankly a roast dinner ain’t a roast dinner without it!

Bread Sauce Recipe in a jug with butter

For those of you who are wondering what the heck bread sauce is, it’s essentially exactly what it says on the tin – a sauce made from bread and milk.

Sounds pretty lame right? It gets better (promise). With just a few little tips and tricks you actually end up with a really delicious and flavoursome sauce.

Infusing the milk

  1. Quarter a large white onion and stick 4 cloves in.
  2. Place in a saucepan with 2 bay leaves and milk.
  3. Bring to a boil then quickly reduce to a simmer before it boils over.

Now, you have two options. First is pop the lid on and leave it on a very gentle simmer for 20mins OR pop the lid on, take it off the heat and leave it somewhere warm(ish) for 1+ hours to infuse.

Strain away onion, cloves and bay leaves when done.

How to infused bread sauce with cloves, onion and bay leaves

What bread to use for bread sauce?

Wholemeal/seeded bread doesn’t taste great as a sauce so most types of white bread will do the trick. For the best result you actually want it a little bit stale too. Using bread that’s a couple of days old will gives a better texture and is less likely to dissolve into complete mush. I’ve added a little note in the recipe for how to replicate stale bread.

The only other ingredients you need is nutmeg for some gorgeous flavour, and cream & butter just because why the heck not.

How to make bread sauce on the hob

  1. Tear your bread into tiny chunks, or pulse into crumbs and gradually stir into your milk until your desired texture.
  2. Keeping the heat on low, grate in nutmeg and add seasoning to taste.
  3. Stir through a knob of butter and a few tbsp of cream.

Voila! Easy as that.

How to make bread sauce - step by step

Can you freeze bread sauce?

You absolutely can. Just let it cool and pop in an airtight container. To serve, allow it to come to room temperature either in the fridge overnight or on the kitchen top for a few hours. Pop back in the saucepan and gently warm through, using milk to thin out as necessary.

What’s the best way to make bread sauce ahead of time?

I recommend just infusing the milk and tearing the bread, that way everything’s ready to just heat up and mix. You can make it and pop it in the fridge, but just like I mentioned above have some milk on hand to thin out as necessary; bread sauce does thicken as it sits.

What to serve with bread sauce?

Typically it is served at a roast dinner with turkey, but it pairs nicely with most meats. Below I served it with some crispy chicken thighs, carrots and green beans.

bread sauce with chicken thighs and veg

And there we have it! A traditional British bread sauce recipe ready and waiting ๐Ÿ™‚

How to make Bread Sauce (Full Recipe & Video)

5 from 5 votes
Homemade Bread Sauce in a jug
Bread Sauce
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
40 mins

Bread sauce is an absolute British classic! Infused with bay leaves & cloves then finished with a cream & butter, this is the type of sauce you could eat by the spoon!

Course: Sauce, Side Dish
Cuisine: British
Keyword: Bread Sauce
Servings: 6
Calories: 159 kcal
Author: Chris
  • 200g / 7oz Stale Bread, torn into very small chunks or pulsed into crumbs
  • 500ml / 2 cups Milk
  • 1 White Onion, peeled & quartered
  • 4 Cloves
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 1/2 Whole Nutmeg, or to preference
  • 1 tbsp Butter
  • 2-3 tbsp Cream
  • generous amounts of Salt and Black Pepper
  1. Pierce your onion with cloves (see video) and pop in a saucepan with your bay leaves and milk. Bring to a boil and quickly reduce to a simmer before it boils over.

  2. To infuse, you can either pop on the lid and reduce to a very gentle simmer for 20mins or turn off the heat completely and leave in a warm place for 1+ hours.

  3. Once infused, strain out the onion/cloves and put on a very low heat. Gradually add your bread, until you have your desired consistency. It's likely you won't need all the breadcrumbs.

  4. Grate in your nutmeg and add your seasoning to taste. Stir in your butter and cream. Serve hot!

Watch how to make it!

Recipe Notes
a) Can you freeze bread sauce?

Yup, just defrost at room temp or overnight in the fridge and warm back up in the hob. Thin out with milk as needed.


b) Make ahead bread sauce

You can either have the milk ready and infused, or make the whole thing and pop in the fridge/freezer until needed. Same as above, as the sauce continues to thicken once it's left the hob just make sure you have milk on hand to thin out as needed.


c) Stale bread for bread sauce

Stale bread gives the sauce more texture, but you can just use fresh bread. A tip to make your bread 'stale' is pop it in the oven at a very low heat until it firms up.ย 


d) Calories

Based on sharing between 6 people.

Nutrition Facts
Bread Sauce
Amount Per Serving
Calories 159 Calories from Fat 53
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 5.91g 9%
Saturated Fat 3.27g 16%
Trans Fat 0.156g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.711g
Monounsaturated Fat 1.507g
Cholesterol 16mg 5%
Sodium 204mg 9%
Potassium 165mg 5%
Total Carbohydrates 20.7g 7%
Dietary Fiber 0.9g 4%
Sugars 6.24g
Protein 5.83g 12%
Vitamin A 11%
Calcium 15%
Iron 7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

For another must have recipe for your roast dinner, check out my Goose Fat Roast Potatoes!

Goose Fat Roast Potatoes - final serving

If you loved this Bread Sauce Recipe then be sure to Pin it for later! Already made it or got a burning question? Give me a shout in the comments and pick up your free ecookbook along the way!

Bread sauce is an absolute British classic! Infused with bay leaves & cloves then finished with cream & butter, this is the type of sauce you could eat with a spoon! #breadsauce #roastdinner #sauce #british |


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  • Reply
    Lauren Vavala @ DeliciousLittleBites
    October 7, 2018 at 10:59 pm

    I have never heard of bread sauce before! I feel like this is one of those discoveries that now I know about it, I need to make up for lost time- sounds delish!

    • Reply
      October 8, 2018 at 10:49 am

      You’re absolutely right! It’s so so good ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    Allison - Celebrating Sweets
    October 8, 2018 at 1:15 am

    I have never heard of this before. I am intrigued! I can’t wait to try it.

    • Reply
      October 8, 2018 at 10:49 am

      Enjoy!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    October 8, 2018 at 4:44 am

    This is brilliant! Also, I love your photos- so crisp and clean!

    • Reply
      October 8, 2018 at 10:49 am

      That’s very kind! Thanks Katie ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    October 8, 2018 at 6:18 am

    I’ve never heard of bread sauce, but I’m happy to have discovered it. Thanks for sharing!

    • Reply
      October 8, 2018 at 10:50 am

      It’s so yum, you gotta try!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    Brian Jones
    October 8, 2018 at 7:37 am

    Bread sauce was my nemesis as a child but I love it now, the infusion of flavours in the milk is such an important step that I often see skipped for some bizarre reason.

    • Reply
      October 8, 2018 at 10:50 am

      I’m totally the same! As a child I always dreaded it, but now can’t get enough of the stuff!!

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