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Real Bread sauce

Delicious served with any roast.

You wouldn't believe how hard it is to find a copyright free photo of bread sauce. Credit: Canva

You wouldn't believe how hard it is to find a copyright free photo of bread sauce. Credit: Canva

Aromatic and with a discernible, yet silky, texture, this traditional British sauce is delicious served with any roast. 

As this is leftover cookery, not a science lesson, there’s no need to measure the bread exactly, or to lose sleep over the exact weight of the onion. If you don’t have any star anise or one of the other spices, leave it out; but not all of them, or it will be blander than even a packet sauce.


600ml milk
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves
1 point from a star anise
1 bay leaf
1 blade of mace
6 black peppercorns, cracked in half
120–150g Real Bread, crusts removed and torn or cut into small (1cm or less) cubes*
1½ tbsp butter
2 tbsp double cream (optional)

*It’s usual to use white Real Bread, but you can use wholemeal or brown, if that’s what you have to hand. You can blitz it in a blender / food processor, if you prefer.


  1. Put the milk, onion and spices into a saucepan, bring almost to the boil and then remove from the heat. Cover the pan and leave the spices to infuse for at least two hours as it cools. You can do this a day or two before and keep in the fridge overnight, if you prefer.
  2. Strain the milk, discarding the spices (but keep, or even freeze, the onion to use in another dish at some point – stuffing, for example).
  3. Pour the infused milk back into the pan over a very low heat, add the bread and simmer until the milk has been absorbed and the bread is breaking down.
  4. Just before serving, stir in the butter and cream, if using. Taste and if you think it needs a little salt, add a pinch at a time until it is to your taste.


If you have any of this leftover dish left over, the author reckons it’s good spread on toast – mmm, carbs on carbs.

Recipe text © Chris Young

Taken from Slow Dough: Real Bread by Chris Young, published by Nourish Books. Hardback, £20.

Reproduction prohibited without written agreement of the copyright holder.

Social sharing

If you make this, please share your photo(s) with the world on social media using #RealBread and other relevant hashtags, linking back to this recipe. Better still if we can see you in the photo, too: #WeAreRealBread!

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Published Tuesday 19 December 2023

Real Bread Campaign: The Real Bread Campaign finds and shares ways to make bread better for us, better for our communities and better for the planet. Whether your interest is local food, community-focussed small enterprises, honest labelling, therapeutic baking, or simply tasty toast, everyone is invited to become a Campaign supporter.

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