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Smoky bay bread sauce in a bowl

Smoky bay bread sauce

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  • Preparation and cooking time
    • Prep:
    • Cook:
    • plus at least 1 hr infusing
  • Easy
  • Serves 8 - 10

Try this twist on traditional bread sauce. Singeing the bay leaves adds a subtle smoky flavour, but you can omit these if you prefer a classic flavour

  • Freezable
Nutrition: Per serving (10)


  • 8 fresh bay leaves (on the branch, if you have a bay tree)
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 4 cloves
  • 6 peppercorns, cracked
  • 1 thyme sprig
  • 500ml milk
  • 100ml double cream
  • 100g fresh white breadcrumbs
  • 40g butter
  • freshly grated nutmeg, to serve


  • STEP 1

    Scorch the bay leaves and branch (if using) over a gas flame, using tongs to hold them, until charred in places. Or, use a kitchen blowtorch. Put the bay in a pan with the onion, cloves, peppercorns, thyme, milk and cream. Bring to the boil, then remove from the heat and leave to infuse for at least 1 hr or overnight.

  • STEP 2

    Strain through a sieve into a clean pan (saving a bay leaf to serve, if you like), then stir in the breadcrumbs, bring to a simmer and cook for a few minutes. Stir in most of the butter, then season with salt, pepper and a grating of nutmeg and pour into a warmed serving bowl. Once cool, will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for two days or the freezer for up to one month. Defrost overnight in the fridge and reheat over a low heat until piping hot. Serve topped with the remaining butter, another grating of nutmeg and the reserved bay leaf, if you like.

Goes well with

Recipe from Good Food magazine, November 2021

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