Monday, November 19, 2012

Getting Ready for the Turkey! Stuffing Bread

Each year I make one loaf of stuffing bread for the bird and another one for leftover turkey sandwiches.  The bread makes turkey stuffing easier to put together as all the necessary herbs and spices are already in the bread - all you need to do is cut the bread into croutons, dry them and then add some sauteed onions and bulk Italian sausage(cooked) to them along with perhaps a little cheese and a couple of eggs, adjust the seasonings to your taste - et voila turkey stuffing or dressing if you are cooking it outside the bird.  To cook the dressing in the oven without the bird, grease a oven-proof casserole dish, put in the stuffing mix and add a bit of chicken broth(no more than a cup) to keep it moist as it cooks in the oven. Allow to cook in a 350F oven for 30 minutes to an hour or so. 

Here's the recipe

Stuffing Bread - makes one small loaf (4 x 8 inch pan)

Wet Ingredients-
1 cup warm water
2 tsp. olive oil
1 tsp. molasses
1 1/2 tsp active dry yeast

Dry Ingredients-
2 cups  flour
1/2 cup uncooked oatmeal (not instant)
1/2 cup corn meal
2 TBSP dry parsley
1 TBSP dried onion flakes (I use 1/4 cup minced regular ol' onion)
1 tsp. dried rosemary
1 tsp. dried sage (I use 1 TBSP fresh sage)
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1 clove fresh garlic, pressed or minced fine
1/2 to 1 1/2 tsp. salt to your taste

Combine wet ingredients and set aside.  Combine dry ingredients.  Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix to form dough.  Knead briefly (5 minutes or so) to combine the ingredients and work up some gluten in the flour.  Add flour, only if you need it to keep the dough from sticking to your bread board.  Grease an 8x4 inch loaf pan.  Shape the dough into a loaf and place in the pan. 

Allow the dough to rise just so it reaches the top on the pan, about an hour. (I heat a cup of water in the microwave for 2 minutes, once the microwave oven is off, place the bread and the loaf pan in a plastic bag, twist tie shut and place the whole thing in the steamy microwave to proof.) 

When the bread if proofed, heat oven to 350F. Bake in a 350F oven for 50-60 minutes.  Remove from pan to a wire rack and allow to cool.  If using the bread for stuffing allow the bread to age for a day, then cut into croutons - dry them at the lowest setting of your oven until crisped.  Cool and make your stuffing.  If making sandwiches, slice the bread, top with your favorite turkey sandwich fillings and enjoy!

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