From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...We have a tradition in our family that has reached ritual proportions. It began in my mother's kitchen, where my brother, sister and I would gather on Thanksgiving eve to cube bread for the turkey stuffing. In reality, the bread was torn rather than cubed, but in our very early years we were convinced that Thanksgiving couldn't happen without our efforts. My children, too, dutifully gathered in the kitchen on the eve of the feast to prepare bread and nowadays my grandsons fill the void. We take our stuffing very seriously, and like every other family in America, we are convinced that ours is the best in the land. Tonight's recipe is for stuffing bread. It adds enormous flavor to the finished dressing and it is quite easy to make. The version I make is not heavily seasoned, so feel free to increase or add seasoning at will. I make and cube the bread three days before I plan to use it. That gives it plenty of time to stale and dry before I need it. The recipe for the bread is so simple that I felt duty bound to expand this post with the recipe for our stuffing as well. It, too, is very simple and I think those of you who try it will love it. Here is how the stuffing bread and bread stuffing are made.
Stuffing Bread...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite
1-1/4 cup warm water
2-1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
1 egg, room temperature
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 tablespoons dried minced onions
1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes
2 teaspoons poultry seasoning
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon celery salt
3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1) Mix water, yeast and sugar in bowl of an electric mixer fitted with paddle attachment. Set aside until foamy, about 10 minutes. Stir in egg and olive oil.
2) Combine minced onion, parsley flakes, poultry seasoning, salt and celery salt with flour and whisk until blended.
3) Add flour mixture to yeast and beat until flour is incorporated. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead until dough is silky, smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. Form dough into ball and place in a greased bowl, turning dough to coat all surfaces. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and set aside to rise until doubled, about an hour.
4) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan. Set aside. Punch dough down and turn onto a lightly floured surface. Form into a loaf and place seam-side down in prepared pan. Cover pan with plastic wrap and set aside until doubled, about 30 minutes.
5) Transfer pan to oven and bake until browned, about 40 minutes. Let loaf cool in pan for about 5 minutes, then remove from pan and transfer to cooling rack. Allow to cool at least 2 hours before slicing. Yield: 1 loaf.
Savory Corn and Sausage Bread Stuffing
1 pound well-seasoned bulk pork sausage
1-1/2 cups chopped onion
1/2 loaf stuffing bread or 16 slices day-old bread, cubed to yield about 8 cups
1/4 cup minced parsley
1-1/2 teaspoons poultry seasoning
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 can (14.5-oz.) cream-style corn
1) Cook sausage in a large skillet, stirring to break up, until browned. Remove sausage from skillet. Add butter or oil to the drippings in pan to make 1/4 cup. Add onions to pan and cook until soft.
2) Combine bread cubes with parsley, poultry seasoning, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Add onion mixture, sausage and cream-style corn. Toss until well combined. Makes 10 cups.
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