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Bread sauce

A bread sauce is a warm or cold sauce made with milk, which is thickened with bread crumbs,[1] typically eaten with roast chicken or turkey.[2][3][4]



The basic recipe calls for milk and onion with breadcrumbs and butter added as thickeners, seasoned with nutmeg, clove, bay leaf, pepper, and salt.[5][6]


A survivor of the medieval bread-thickened sauces, the traditional British bread sauce is made with milk, butter or cream, and bread crumbs, flavoured with onion, salt, cloves, mace, pepper, and bay leaf, with the fat from roasting often added as well. It typically accompanies domestic fowl such as turkey or chicken. The use of slightly stale bread is optimal, making it an economical way of using up leftover bread. The sauce is easy to make and uses readily available ingredients.

Bread sauce can be traced back to at least as early as the medieval period, when cooks used bread as a thickening agent for sauces. The utilisation of bread in this way probably comes from cooks wanting to use up their stale bread who discovered that it could be incorporated within sauces to make them thicker.[7][8][9][10][11]

Turkish cuisine also features a cold sauce made from breadcrumbs mixed with pounded walnuts or hazelnuts and served with chick pea salads and, most famously, with chicken or duck as Circassian chicken.

Usage in mediaEdit

James Acaster mentioned bread sauce in his stand-up comedy series, Repertoire, in the context of reverse fondue.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Definition of bread sauce in English". Oxford Dictionaries.
  2. ^ Lawson, Nigella. "My Mother's Bread Sauce".
  3. ^ Blumenthal, Heston. "Heston's Bread Sauce".
  4. ^ Oliver, Jamie. "Bread Sauce".
  5. ^ Smith, Delia (9 November 2015). "Traditional Bread Sauce".
  6. ^ "How to make bread sauce".
  7. ^ "In praise of bread sauce". Spectator. 21 December 2017.
  8. ^ "The Kitchen Thinker: Bread sauce". The Telegraph. Retrieved 16 February 2015.
  9. ^ "Eat Ye Bread Sauce While Ye May: Brits Go Medieval On Christmas Day".
  10. ^ "Bread Sauce".
  11. ^ Walker, Harlan (28 December 2017). "Milk: Beyond the Dairy : Proceedings of the Oxford Symposium on Food and Cookery 1999". Oxford Symposium – via Google Books.