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Building Blocks of Bread

November 23, 2008

croutons, originally uploaded by absolia.

Originally I (N.) intended to blog about my success at baking oatmeal honey bread but after this (my third) failed attempt I’m throwing in the towel. The recipe isn’t hard but I’m having trouble getting the bread to rise. The recipe calls for instant yeast (not the same as rapid rise by the way) that I can’t find anywhere so I used regular yeast and let it proof but the dough just never doubled in size… It makes me very sad since all the recipes in this particular book are along the same lines so if I can’t get one to work….

Failing that I decided to start talking Thanksgiving recipes. Most people have probably done their shopping and created their menu, I have not :). I was traveling all week and didn’t get home until late last night. Today I did some cleaning and vegged out. I needed the sanity break. Tomorrow or Monday I’ll go shopping but in the meantime I can plan. There is a growing movement to eat local for Thanksgiving and I’m going to see how well I can do. At the same time I’m honest and realize in addition to my turkey (heritage and free range but not local) everything I cook will not be from here. I will committ to making everything from scratch for the first time ever (wish me luck). I will be posting the recipes now and then after T-Day I’ll add updates to let you know how much was local and how well it turned out.

First up is stuffing and I should tell you off the bat I have no family recipes. My mom and I used to go to one of her sister’s houses for Thanksgiving and we happily ate whatever they made. Other years we went to buffets and on one occasion ended up at a diner. The first year she asked me to cook I ordered in from Boston Market! A couple years later I did make it myself but I never thought to use anything but stuffing mix. Which is kind of crazy when you think about it since those “mixes” are usually just herbed croutons. Since the wheat bread is a wash I’m going to bake a couple loaves of our Amish White Bread tomorrow and make my own croutons by simply cubing and toasting it.

I did some preliminary searching online and found a recipe forFarmhouse Herbed Stuffing. I’m not sure why it’s called farmhouse since it’s almost exactly like every other recipe. It’s supposed to serve 8, since I’m only cooking for four I’m sure to have leftovers to keep and force my mom to take with her :).

The ingredients are:

  1. 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter When we were in Colorado we could have made this ourselves from raw milk, I can’t find that here but I know I can find local butter and save myself some work
  2. 2 medium onions, cut into 1/4-inch dice (about 3 cups)
  3. 6 stalks celery with leaves, cut into 1/4-inch dice (about 2 1/2 cups)
  4. 1 (14-ounce) package seasoned bread stuffing cubes I’ll make my own from homemade bread
  5. 1/3 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  6. 1 teaspoon celery salt
  7. 1 teaspoon dried sage, crumbled
  8. 1 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
  9. 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, crumbled
  10. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  11. 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  12. 1 1/4 cups hot Homemade Turkey Stock or canned turkey stock, plus 1/2 cup more if baking all of stuffing outside of turkey I have chicken stock (canned not homemade) that needs to be used so I’ll sub that

Preparation goes as follows:

In 12-inch, heavy skillet over moderate heat, heat butter until hot but not smoking. Stir in onion and celery, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, 15 to 20 minutes. (Vegetables can be prepared up to 1 day ahead and refrigerated. Reheat before continuing: In 12-inch, heavy skillet over moderately high heat, sauté, stirring often, until heated through, about 5 minutes.)

Transfer to large bowl and add stuffing cubes, parsley, celery salt, sage, rosemary, thyme, salt, and pepper. Stir in 1 1/4 cups hot stock.

If using to stuff turkey: Use immediately to fill cavities and spread remainder in baking dish as directed in recipe .

If baking entire recipe as side dish: Preheat oven to 350°F and butter 3-quart casserole or 9- by 13-inch baking dish. Transfer stuffing to dish and drizzle with 1/2 cup hot stock. Cover with aluminum foil and bake until heated through, about 30 minutes. Uncover and bake until top is slightly crisp and golden, about 10 minutes longer. Serve immediately.

It sounds really good! I’ll sub out ingredients based on what I can find and let you know how it goes.

One Comment leave one →
  1. November 23, 2008 9:30 am

    I was so excited I was able to find some sage at the local farmer’s market on saturday for my stuffing. I’ll also be baking the bread for our stuffing, I’m going to make one loaf of white one of wheat for a mixed stuffing.

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