Thanksgiving stuffing (my most asked-for recipe) and a round-up of Thanksgiving breads


(photo by Mark Luinenburg)

Like many people, my wife, Laura, and I live far from family, so this time of year, we’re always reminded that you have to find family wherever you land. Well, we have landed; this is our thirty-sixth year in Minnesota. Over the years we’ve been lucky to be invited for Thanksgiving dinner by friends with a large and warm family, some of whom travel in from all over the state (and nation!) for the annual get-together. And it’s a potluck, so no surprise, I always got the request for bread and a traditional Thanksgiving stuffing. That stuffing, although it doesn’t appear in any of my books, became my most requested recipe from friends. Back in 2009, I published it here on my website, and I thought I’d reprise it, because I recently made it for my mom, who is a lifelong dyed-in-the-wool roasted-in-the-bird stuffing believer. Well, she loved the oven-baked stuffing. One key to creating rich flavor without a bird is to use your poultry broth without skimming the fat. The second revelation was (and this is sacrilege for me): you don’t have to use homemade bread. At my mom’s place, I used a mix of ordinary white and whole wheat sandwich bread from the supermarket. Not artisan bread at all. The forward flavors are poultry broth, herbs, and egg (stuffing is really a kind of eggy bread pudding), so it turns out that the bread really plays second fiddle here.

That said, I usually do make stuffing from homemade loaves like in the picture above, with the crusts left on for flavor and texture. The Peasant Bread from my first book is a great choice. The white-flour Master Recipe works, but I usually swap in 1 cup of whole-grain rye and decrease the white flour by 1 cup. If you want something lighter, decrease the rye-swap to 1/2 cup (whole wheat flour works the same way). Or use challah (you don’t have to make it in a crockpot like on that link). My go-to poultry broth recipe is from The Joy of Cooking, but any traditional broth recipe will work.

OK, let’s make some stuffing…


Thanksgiving Stuffing from Homemade Bread


(photo by Mark Luinenburg)

We’re spending Thanksgiving with friends this year, and our family is doing the stuffing and bread for a table for 25.  Sounds like a job for a household where they bake bread twice a day anyway…

I’m making the stuffing from basic boules, ball-shaped breads as above.  You can use any lean dough you like, including whole-grain dough from the new book.  Tomorrow I’ll be using the Peasant Bread from my first book, which is basically the white-flour Master Recipe, swapping out 1 cup of whole-grain rye for 1 cup of all-purpose flour.

Breads for the table are going to be a mix of seeded and unseeded rye breads, very rustic, maybe Anadama bread from the new book.  All we’ll need is the belt-buckles on our hats.

Two other Thanksgiving recipes from the “library” are:

Thanksgiving Buns and Other Helpful Holiday Hints

Thanksgiving Cranberry Corn Bread

OK, let’s make some stuffing… (more…)