Mary Berry Bread Sauce Recipe - British Recipes Book (2024)

Yields:1 ServingDifficulty: EasyPrep Time: 5 MinsCook Time:15 MinsTotal Time:20 Mins

Bread sauce is one of those dishes that you either love or hate. Some people think it’s bland and boring, while others can’t imagine a roast dinner without it. But if you’re a fan of bread sauce, you’ll love this recipe from Mary Berry, the queen of British baking and cooking.

Mary Berry is a renowned food writer and TV presenter, who has published over 70 cookbooks and hosted several popular shows, such as The Great British Bake Off and Mary Berry’s Simple Comforts. She is known for her classic and elegant recipes, that are easy to follow and delicious to eat.

In this article, I’ll show you how to make Mary Berry’s bread sauce recipe, which is creamy, rich, and full of flavor. You’ll learn what ingredients you need, how to prepare them, how to cook the sauce, and how to serve it. I’ll also share some tips and tricks to make your bread sauce even better.

What is Mary Berry Bread Sauce?

Mary Berry’s bread sauce recipe is based on the classic bread sauce recipe, but it has some modifications that make it more tasty and creamy. Mary Berry uses stale white bread instead of fresh bread, which gives the sauce more body and texture. She also adds cream or mascarpone cheese at the end, which makes the sauce richer and smoother. She also seasons the sauce with nutmeg, salt, and pepper to enhance the flavor.

Mary Berry’s bread sauce recipe is very easy to make and it only takes about 30 minutes from start to finish. You just need to simmer the milk with the onion, cloves, bay leaf, and nutmeg for 15 minutes, then strain the liquid and add the bread crumbs. Simmer for another 10 minutes until the bread absorbs the milk and the sauce thickens. Then stir in the butter and cream or mascarpone cheese. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

Why You Love this Recipe

There are many reasons to love this bread sauce recipe by Mary Berry. Here are some of them:

  • It is a classic and traditional sauce that goes well with any roast meat, especially turkey or chicken.
  • It is easy and quick to make with simple ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry.
  • It is creamy and smooth with a delicate flavor that enhances the meat without overpowering it.
  • It can be made ahead of time and reheated when needed, which saves you time and hassle on busy days.
  • It can be customized with different variations to suit your preferences and tastes.

What is Bread Sauce?

Bread sauce is a traditional British sauce that is made with bread crumbs, milk, butter, onion, cloves, bay leaf, nutmeg, salt, and pepper. It has a thick and smooth texture, and a mild and savory taste.

Bread sauce is usually served as an accompaniment for roast turkey or chicken, especially during Christmas or other festive occasions. It adds moisture and richness to the meat, and complements the other side dishes, such as stuffing, cranberry sauce, roast potatoes, and vegetables.

Bread sauce is believed to date back to the medieval times, when it was used as a way to thicken sauces and soups, and to use up stale bread. It became more popular in the 18th and 19th centuries, when it was considered a delicacy among the upper classes.

What Ingredients Do You Need for Mary Berry Bread Sauce?

To make Mary Berry’s bread sauce recipe, you’ll need the following ingredients:

  • 1 large onion, peeled and cut into quarters
  • 12 cloves, for studding the onion
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 600 ml (1 pint) whole milk
  • 50 g (2 oz) butter
  • 100 g (4 oz) fresh white bread crumbs
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • A pinch of freshly grated nutmeg

You can use any type of white bread for making the bread crumbs, such as sliced bread, baguette, or ciabatta. You can also use stale bread, as it will absorb more liquid and make the sauce thicker.

You can make your own bread crumbs by tearing or cutting the bread into small pieces, and then pulsing them in a food processor until they are finely ground. Alternatively, you can buy ready-made bread crumbs from the supermarket.

How to Make Mary Berry Bread Sauce – Step by Step

Making Mary Berry’s bread sauce recipe is very easy and straightforward. It only takes about 30 minutes from start to finish. Here are the steps you need to follow:

Step 1: Stud the Onion with Cloves

The first step is to stud the onion with cloves. This will infuse the milk with a lovely aroma and flavor.

To do this, simply push the pointed end of each clove into the onion quarters, spacing them evenly around. You should have about three cloves per quarter.

Step 2: Simmer the Milk with Onion, Bay Leaf, Butter, Salt, and Pepper

The next step is to simmer the milk with the onion quarters, bay leaf, butter, salt, and pepper in a large saucepan over low-medium heat.

Bring the milk to a gentle boil, then lower the heat and simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. The onion should be soft and the milk should be fragrant.

Step 3: Strain the Milk and Discard the Onion, Cloves, and Bay Leaf

After simmering the milk for 15 minutes, strain it through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl or a jug. Discard the onion quarters, cloves, and bay leaf.

You should have about 500 ml (18 fl oz) of flavored milk left. If you have more or less than that amount adjust accordingly.

Step 4: Return the Milk to the Saucepan and Add the Bread Crumbs and Nutmeg

Return the strained milk to the same saucepan and bring it back to a simmer over low-medium heat. Add the bread crumbs and nutmeg, and stir well to combine.

Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until the sauce is thick and smooth. If the sauce is too thick, you can add a little more milk to thin it out. If the sauce is too thin, you can add a little more bread crumbs to thicken it up.

Step 5: Season with More Salt and Pepper if Needed and Serve

The final step is to season the bread sauce with more salt and pepper if needed, according to your taste. You can also add more nutmeg if you like.

Transfer the bread sauce to a serving bowl or a gravy boat, and serve hot or warm with your roast turkey or chicken. Enjoy!

What Do I Serve With Mary Berry Bread Sauce?

Bread sauce is a versatile sauce that can be served with various dishes. Here are some suggestions:

  • Roast turkey or chicken: This is the most common and traditional pairing for bread sauce. The sauce adds moisture and flavor to the dry meat and creates a delicious contrast of textures.
  • Roast beef or lamb: Bread sauce can also go well with other types of roast meat, such as beef or lamb. The sauce adds a creamy and mild touch to the savory and rich meat.
  • Roast vegetables: Bread sauce can also be served as a dip or a dressing for roasted vegetables, such as carrots, parsnips, potatoes, or Brussels sprouts. The sauce adds a creamy and smooth element to the crunchy and earthy vegetables.
  • Sausages: Bread sauce can also be served with sausages, either grilled or fried. The sauce adds a moist and flavorful coating to the juicy and spicy sausages.

Pro Tips to Make Perfect Mary Berry Bread Sauce

To make the perfect bread sauce by Mary Berry, follow these pro tips:

  • Use stale white bread: Stale white bread works better than fresh bread for making bread sauce because it has less moisture and more texture. It will absorb the milk better and create a thicker and smoother sauce.
  • Use full-fat milk: Full-fat milk will give your bread sauce more richness and creaminess than low-fat or skimmed milk. It will also help prevent the sauce from curdling or separating.
  • Infuse the milk: Infusing the milk with onion, cloves, bay leaf, and nutmeg will give your bread sauce more flavor and aroma than plain milk. Let the milk simmer for 15 minutes before straining it to extract all the flavors from the spices.
  • Blend the sauce: Blending the sauce with a blender or an immersion blender will make your bread sauce smoother and creamier than stirring it with a spoon or a whisk. It will also break down any lumps or chunks of bread that might remain in the sauce.
  • Add cream or mascarpone cheese: Adding cream or mascarpone cheese at the end will make your bread sauce richer and smoother than butter alone. It will also add some tanginess and sweetness to balance out the savory flavor of the sauce.
  • Season well: Seasoning your bread sauce with salt, pepper, and nutmeg will enhance its flavor and make it more tasty. Adjust the seasoning according to your taste buds.

Variations of Mary Berry Bread Sauce

You can also try some variations of Mary Berry’s bread sauce recipe to make it more interesting and different. Here are some ideas:

  • Add cheese: You can add some grated cheese, such as cheddar, parmesan, or gruyere, to your bread sauce to make it more cheesy and gooey. The cheese will also add some saltiness and nuttiness to the sauce.
  • Add herbs: You can add some fresh or dried herbs, such as parsley, thyme, rosemary, or sage, to your bread sauce to make it more fragrant and herbal. Herbs will also add some color and freshness to the sauce.
  • Add garlic: You can add some minced or roasted garlic to your bread sauce to make it more garlicky and pungent. Garlic will also add some spiciness and depth to the sauce.
  • Add mustard: You can add some mustard, such as Dijon, wholegrain, or honey mustard, to your bread sauce to make it more tangy and zesty. Mustard will also add some heat and sweetness to the sauce.

Mary Berry Bread Sauce Recipe - British Recipes Book (1)

How do I store Mary Berry Bread Sauce?

You can store your leftover bread sauce in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Make sure to let the sauce cool completely before storing it.

How do I reheat Mary Berry Bread Sauce?

You can reheat your bread sauce in a saucepan over low heat on the stove or in a microwave-safe bowl in the microwave. Stir the sauce occasionally and add some more milk if it is too thick. Reheat until hot and bubbly.

Nutrition value per serving (based on 8 servings):

  • Calories: 141 kcal
  • Fat: 5 g
  • Saturated fat: 5 g
  • Carbs: 14 g
  • Protein: 4 g
  • Salt: 0.43 mg

Other Mary Berry Recipes

  • Mary Berry Orange Sauce for Duck
  • Mary Berry Boulangere Potatoes
  • Mary Berry Bavette Steak


Can I make the bread sauce in advance?

Yes, you can make the bread sauce in advance and store it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. You can reheat it on the stove or in the microwave before serving. You may need to add some more milk if the sauce is too thick.

Can I use skimmed milk instead of whole milk for this recipe?

You can use skimmed milk instead of whole milk for this recipe, but the sauce will be less creamy and rich. You may also need to add some more butter or cream to prevent the sauce from curdling or separating.

What Type Of Bread Is Best For Making Bread Sauce?

The best type of bread for making bread sauce is plain white bread, preferably stale. Stale white bread works better than fresh bread because it has less moisture and more texture. It will absorb the milk better and create a thicker and smoother sauce.

Is Bread Sauce Suitable For Vegetarians?

Bread sauce can be suitable for vegetarians if it is made with vegetable or microbial rennet instead of animal-derived rennet. Rennet is an enzyme that is used to make cheese, which is one of the ingredients in bread sauce. Some cheeses, such as Parmesan, Gorgonzola, and Grana Padano, are never suitable for vegetarians because they always use animal-derived rennet.However, there are many vegetarian-friendly cheeses that use vegetable or microbial rennet, such as cheddar, parmesan, or gruyere.You can also make bread sauce with plant milk instead of cow’s milk to make it vegan-friendly.

Final Words

Bread sauce is a delicious and easy sauce that you can make with simple ingredients and minimal effort. It is a perfect accompaniment for any roast dish, especially turkey or chicken. It is creamy and smooth with a delicate flavor that complements the meat. You can also customize it with different variations to suit your taste buds.

Mary Berry’s bread sauce recipe is a great way to make this classic sauce with some tips and tricks that will make it more flavorful and rich. You can also make it ahead of time and reheat it when needed. Try this recipe for your next roast meal and enjoy the taste of tradition.

Famous Mary Berry Recipes

  • Mary Berry Marzipan
  • Coronation Chicken Mary Berry
  • Mary Berry Vegetarian Lasagne
  • Mary Berry Cheese And Onion Pie
  • Mary Berry Cheese Straws
Mary Berry Bread Sauce Recipe - British Recipes Book (2024)


Where does bread sauce originate from in England? ›

Instead of using animal fat or eggs to thicken sauces as we might in contemporary recipes, the people of medieval England would use leftover stale breadcrumbs as they were cheaper and more accessible.

What does bread sauce taste like? ›

For the uninitiated, proper bread sauce contains nothing but bread, butter, milk and cream, an onion and some spices. It should look a little like porridge and taste creamy and mild and ever so slightly fragrant.

What bread mixture is typically eaten with turkey for Christmas dinner? ›

A bread sauce is a British warm or cold sauce made with milk, which is thickened with bread crumbs, typically eaten with roast chicken or turkey.

Why do we have bread sauce at Christmas? ›

It's actually a culinary relic of the Middle Ages, one of the few remaining examples of the bread-thickened sauces, stews and soups that were once served at Christmas feasts, and other celebration dinners, across medieval Europe.

What is the most famous British sauce? ›

8 Iconic British Condiments You'll Want to Dollop on Your Lunch
  1. HP Sauce. ...
  2. Colman's Mustard. ...
  3. Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce. ...
  4. Branston Pickle. ...
  5. Colman's Mint sauce. ...
  6. Marmite. ...
  7. Bisto gravy. ...
  8. Reggae Reggae Sauce.
Apr 11, 2022

What is England's signature sauce? ›

Worcestershire sauce is better know as Worcester sauce and it's a fermented liquid condiment of a pretty complicated mixture that was originally created by the Worcester chemists John Wheeley Lea and William Henry Perrins, who went on to form the company Lea & Perrins.

Why is bread sauce so good? ›

When well-made, this sauce turns into a velvety, creamy concoction of milk and breadcrumbs delicately flavoured with bay leaf, nutmeg or cloves.

What do Italians call dipping bread in sauce? ›

Bread is the solution and there is a method – there's even a word for it: scarpetta. Scarpetta means “l*ttle shoe” in Italian.

Can you refreeze bread sauce? ›

You can safely refreeze frozen food that has thawed—raw or cooked, although there may be a loss of quality due to the moisture lost through thawing. To safely refreeze, the thawed product must have been kept cold at 40 degrees or below for no more than 3-4 days.

What did Victorians eat at Christmas? ›

Like the roast meats, a traditional Twelfth Night cake, Christmas pudding, mince pies and wassail punch were still served to the Victorians. They also enjoyed gingerbread, figgy pudding, sugar plums, and nesselrode pudding, a moulded ice pudding made from pureed chestnuts.

What do Germans cook for Christmas dinner? ›

Treat guests to a traditional German Christmas dinner with classic dishes like roasted goose legs, braised red cabbage. and dumplings, and don't forget the mulled wine and platter of gorgeous, festive cookies.

What is the most famous tradition when it comes to eating at Christmas? ›

Traditional Christmas dinner features turkey with stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce, and vegetables. Other types of poultry, roast beef, or ham, are also used.

Why do we eat mashed potatoes on Christmas? ›

Mashed potatoes hold a special place during Christmas for their comforting and versatile appeal. As a timeless comfort food, they evoke a sense of tradition and togetherness, making them ideal for festive family gatherings.

Do they have cranberry sauce in the UK? ›

Cranberry sauce is often eaten in conjunction with turkey for Christmas in the United Kingdom and Canada or Thanksgiving in the United States and Canada, and it is only rarely eaten or served in other contexts there.

What is traditional bread in England? ›

Pikelets and manchets, bannocks and farls, co*cklebreads and rowies, tatties and scufflers, they're just some of the traditional breads that make the nation great. It's no surprise there are so many of them, with mixed-grain bread arriving in the British Isles such a long time ago, around 3700BC.

What bread is England known for? ›

Popular breads in Britain include muffins (known as English Muffins in the US) and crumpets. Muffins and crumpets are both soft breads with open structures, perfect for a tea time snack or breakfast. In the UK, muffins and crumpets are typically made with bread flour, referred to as “strong flour” in the UK.

What is bread called in England? ›

Other variations are 'batch', which turned up with most regularity in Coventry and Liverpool; the Lancashire 'barm'; and the West Yorkshire 'teacake'. Oldham got in on the action with 'muffin', while 'bun' and 'cob' are more generally used in north-east England and the Midlands respectively.

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