Bread sauce is a simple classic British side served on Christmas Day next to roast turkey slices. Similar to stuffing or dressing, bread sauce is made with stale bread and milk that is cooked with onion and spice to infuse.
If you’re British or live in the UK, then you know that Christmas dinner isn’t complete without bread sauce! I mean, you might think that bread sauce is kinda weird, but trust me it’s delicious!
This bread sauce is SO good, your gran will never have to make her famous cranberry sauce ever again. (Sorry gran!) In fact, once you taste this bread sauce, you’ll want to put it on everything.
What is Bread Sauce?
Bread sauce is a classic British dish that dates back to medieval times. Back then, people would use bread to thicken their sauces, hence the name. Making bread sauce from scratch is very easy and comes together in less than 30 minutes (not to mention it tastes a million times better than any of the pre-made bread sauce mixes). It also uses simple everyday ingredients such as milk, butter, and seasonings sitting in your cupboard.
How to Serve Bread Sauce?
Bread sauce can accompany any kind of poultry (e.g. chicken, goose, etc.), but I prefer pouring this rich and creamy sauce over my roasted turkey. While it’s best served warm, it also tastes fabulous cold on a turkey sandwich the next day, that is if you have any bread sauce leftovers.
How to Make Breadcrumbs?
As the name suggests, bread sauce uses bread – but not sliced bread. Bread sauce is made with fresh breadcrumbs, which is what gives it its thick texture.
You can always buy pre-made breadcrumbs at the store, but making your own breadcrumbs is very easy and less expensive (and everyone can use a little extra money in their pockets around the holidays). It’s also a great way to use up old bread. To make your own breadcrumbs, cut up the bread and leave it out to air dry overnight. Before making the sauce, add the now stale bread to a food processor and pulse until you have coarse breadcrumbs.
If you forget to leave your bread out overnight, you can always cut the bread into chunks and bake it in the oven for 20-30 minutes at 250°F/120°C. After the bread is lightly toasted but not browned, transfer it to a food processor and pulse until you have coarse breadcrumbs.
This bread sauce is incredibly versatile and can easily be adjusted to suit your family’s taste preferences. For example, if you want a stronger onion flavor, slice the onion before adding it to the milk. Adding garlic is optional as well but gives a lovely flavor to your bread sauce.
Make Ahead: Another reason I love this recipe: it can be prepared up to three days in advance, which means more time to spend with family and friends and less time in the kitchen. That’s what the holidays are about, right? When you’re ready to serve, reheat the bread sauce in the microwave or on the hob. Enjoy!
- 2 cups (500ml) (2 ¼ cups) whole milk
- 2 tablespoons (¾ oz) unsalted butter
- 1 medium (1) yellow onion whole, peeled
- 2 medium cloves (2) garlic
- 9 (9) cloves
- 2 (2) bay leaves
- 1½ cups (100g) (1 cup) fresh breadcrumbs
- ¼ teaspoon (¼ tsp) ground nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon (½ tsp) salt
- Stud the onion all over with cloves.
- In a saucepan, over low-medium heat, simmer milk with butter, onion with cloves, garlic, and bay leaves for 15 minutes.
- Using a sieve or a slotted spoon, remove the onion and aromatics and strain the liquid and return the liquid to the saucepan. Adjust the heat to low.
- Add breadcrumbs and stir for a few more minutes. Season with nutmeg and salt and serve.
- Make Ahead: This recipe can be made 3 days in advance, and can be reheated either in the microwave or on the stovetop.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.
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