Oven-baked Bread Sauce

An Aga cooker is ideal for this best-of-all bread sauce but it can also be made successfully in a conventional oven set at a very low heat. It is much simpler to prepare than other bread sauces. Some kinds of bread absorb more milk than others, so you will have to check from time to time and add more if necessary. I much prefer it made with brown bread; never use sliced steam-baked bread.

Bread sauce can be made a day or two in advance and kept, covered, in the fridge. This recipe makes a large amount because I find that people eat so much and it’s good with ham and cold turkey afterwards. However, halve the quantities if your numbers are small.

Ingredients

  • 1 large onion
  • 150 g/5 oz brown or white bread
  • 75 g/3 oz butter
  • 6 cloves
  • ¼ nutmeg, grated
  • 750 ml/ pints milk
  • 750 ml/ pints double cream
  • salt
  • black pepper

Method

Peel the onion and chop it up small. Tear the bread into smallish pieces and put in an ovenproof dish with the onion. Dot with the butter and cloves and sprinkle with the nutmeg, a little salt and black pepper. Mix the milk with the cream and pour over.

Put the uncovered dish into the low oven of the Aga or into an ordinary oven preheated to 120°C/250°F/gas mark ½ for 1½-2 hours, until the milk has been absorbed and you have a fairly thick and creamy sauce. (You can either stir the sauce occasionally while cooking or leave it to form a crust on the top.)

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