Take your next roast dinner to another level with our classic bread sauce. Super easy to make, this sauce is rich & jam packed full of flavour!

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classic bread sauce

If you’ve never tried bread sauce before, you’re in for a treat! This traditional English sauce is a fantastic addition to a roast dinner (especially at Christmas!) & is incredibly easy to make. It might not look very exciting but trust me, it’s jam packed full of flavour & is sure to take your next roast dinner to another level!

For more festive recipes, take a look at our Christmas section. We’ve got recipes for all the classic side dishes, as well as impressive starters, desserts. Or if you’re after a festive baking recipe, we’ve got plenty of those as well!

What Is Bread Sauce?

Bread sauce is a classic English sauce, which is often served as part of a roast dinner, either with turkey at Christmas or with chicken throughout the rest of the year. This sauce is made by thickening infused milk with stale white bread & is often flavoured with fresh herbs, nutmeg, cloves & onion.

What You’ll Need

  • Bread
    A good quality white bread is best for bread sauce. It should be slightly stale & the crust should be removed.
  • Milk
    For the richest bread sauce, I’d recommend using whole milk but semi skimmed will work as well.
  • Double Cream
    Adding a small amount of double/heavy cream adds even more richness to our sauce.
  • Butter
    Finishing our bread sauce with butter adds extra flavour. I used unsalted butter for this recipe but salted would work as well (make sure to adjust the amount of seasoning accordingly).
  • Onion
    Adding a white onion studded with cloves to the milk is the classic way to make this sauce.
  • Herbs
    To keep things traditional, we’re using a bay leaf, fresh rosemary & thyme to infuse our milk.
  • Aromatics
    The milk is also infused with nutmeg, cloves & black peppercorns.
A well infused milk is the secret to making proper bread sauce!

How To Make Bread Sauce

The full, printable recipe card for this bread sauce can be found at the bottom of this post!

Step 1 – Infusing The Milk

The key to making the best tasting bread sauce is properly infusing the milk.

To do this, we place whole milk & double cream into a saucepan then add in fresh rosemary, thyme, a bay leaf, black peppercorns, grated nutmeg & a white onion, studded with cloves.

We then gently heat the milk on the stove, until steaming hot then take off the heat, cover & leave to infuse for an hour.

Step 2 – Prepping The Bread

For our bread sauce, it’s best to use a loaf of good quality, white (slightly stale) bread. Before adding this to the infused milk, we need to cut it into small pieces. You can either cut/tear the bread by hand or blitz it in a food processor, to make chunky breadcrumbs.

bread for bread sauce

Step 3 – Cooking The Sauce

To cook the sauce, we first pass the infused milk into a jug through a sieve then place it back into the saucepan. The chunks of bread are added in then we place the pan over a low heat.

Now we need to cook the sauce until it is nice & thick, which will take around 10 minutes. It’s important to stir the sauce regularly so that it doesn’t catch on the bottom of the pan.

Once the sauce has thickened, we stir in butter then season with salt & pepper. To serve, transfer the sauce to a bowl then grate over some fresh nutmeg.

classic bread sauce

What To Serve Classic Bread Sauce With

Traditionally, bread sauce is served with roasted poultry. Whether it’s turkey at Christmas or chicken throughout the rest of the year. For some non traditional options, you could also serve your bread sauce with a homemade pie or even in a sandwich!

How To Reheat Bread Sauce

Bread sauce will keep for up to 3 days in the fridge & will need to be reheated before serving. To do this, add your bread sauce to a saucepan with a splash of milk then place over a low heat. Cook gently until the sauce is hot, making sure to stir regularly so that it doesn’t catch on the bottom of the pan.

Cooking Bread Sauce On An Aga

With all of my recipes, I include cooking instructions for gas and electric stoves & Agas.

To cook the bread sauce on the Aga, use the simmering plate for both the infusing of the milk & the cooking of the sauce. Reheat bread sauce using the simmering plate as well.

Equipment Used

Please note that these are affiliate links & I may make a small commission if you make a purchase using these links, at no extra cost to you. For more information, click here.

More Christmas Recipes To Try!

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Classic Bread Sauce

Take your next roast dinner to another level with our classic bread sauce. Super easy to make, this sauce is rich & jam packed full of flavour!
Prep Time40 minutes
Cook Time10 minutes
Total Time50 minutes
Course: Sauces, Side Dish
Cuisine: English
Servings: 8 People
Author: Ben Racey


  • Large Saucepan
  • Sieve


  • 600 ml Whole Milk
  • 150 ml Double Cream
  • 6 Sprigs Rosemary
  • 6 Sprigs Thyme
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 6 Black Peppercorns
  • Nutmeg To Taste
  • 1 White Onion Peeled & Cut In Half
  • 6 Cloves
  • 200 g White Bread Sliced
  • 50 g Butter


  • Place the milk & cream into a saucepan with the rosemary, thyme, bay leaf, peppercorns & nutmeg. Stud the onion with the cloves then add into the milk as well.
  • Season the milk with salt & pepper then place over a low heat & cook until steaming hot. Take the pan off the heat, cover with a lid then leave to infuse for an hour.
  • In the meantime, cut the crusts off the bread, cut/tear into small chunks then set aside.
    Alternatively, blitz the bread into coarse breadcrumbs with a food processor.
  • Once the milk had infused, pass it into a jug, through a sieve. Give the saucepan a quick wash then pour the milk back in.
  • Add the bread to the milk then place over a low heat & cook for 10-15 minutes, or until thick. Make sure to stir the sauce regularly.
  • Next, add the butter into the bread sauce then stir to melt. Give the sauce a taste to check the seasoning, adding more salt & pepper if necessary then take off the heat.
  • Pour the sauce into a bowl then grate nutmeg over the top & serve immediately.


1. Cooking On An Aga – Use the simmering plate for both the infusing of the milk & cooking of the sauce.
2. Bread – White bread works best for bread sauce. A good quality loaf that has gone slightly stale is ideal.
3. Storage – If not serving straight away, the bread sauce should be kept in the fridge & be eaten within 3 days.
4. Reheating – To reheat bread sauce, cook it in a pan over a low heat until hot. You might need to add in a splash of milk as well.

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