If you end up with a stale loaf of bread this time of year, don’t even think about throwing it away! Instead, you can make this delicious and hearty Traditional Bread Stuffing for your Thanksgiving table or for any Sunday night dinner this fall/winter season!
This Traditional Bread Stuffing is the second recipe in my “Thanksgiving for Two” series. I know that I can’t let Thanksgiving pass me by without having some sort of bread stuffing. While I enjoy bread stuffing in any way it’s prepared (either baked inside a turkey or baked in its own casserole) I have a slight preference for the casserole style. I really enjoy the mix of textures to a baked stuffing—you get a nice crunchy top and a soft and juicy interior. I’m getting hungry just thinking about it!
The trick to making a really good bread stuffing is to have a loaf of stale bread. Odd, I know, but the stale bread really soaks up the chicken stock and other delicious flavours that are added in this recipe without getting soggy. I don’t typically by a loaf of bread as part of my weekly grocery routine, so I don’t have a chance to accumulate stale bread in my pantry. But I know that many people end up in this sad, stale bread situation! When I know that I am making this recipe, I will leave the bread out overnight completely opened so that it has a chance to dry out a bit. If I don’t plan ahead, I will dry out the bread for a few minutes in the oven (which is part of my method outlined in the recipe). Either way totally works!
Another great trick to making a good bread stuffing is to use a plain white loaf. This can be anything that is neutral in taste, like a baguette, a French loaf or any white sandwich bread. You can also use your favourite gluten free bread too! This isn’t the time for rye breads or seedy breads as you need a neutral tasting bread to soak up all the delicious flavours that you add to the bread stuffing. My local bread preference is the Peasant Loaf from Portofino European Bakery here in Victoria, BC. It is an artisanal loaf that has a deeper, heartier flavour than a regular white loaf and stands up perfectly to the flavours in this recipe. If you live in the area, definitely give this bread a try!
In terms of the delicious flavours for the bread to soak up, a Traditional Bread Stuffing is built on a base of sautéed onions and celery as well as some herbs. I opted to start with this flavour base but also add some carrots for colour and sweetness, as well as some fresh sage, oregano and parsley. I also add some chicken stock to the stuffing to add some moisture and make it extra tasty! Once all these ingredients are combined, simply bake it in a casserole dish covered in foil for an hour. You can also remove the foil afterwards and cook for an additional 15-20 minutes to get that nice crispy top and soft inside!
I hope that this Traditional Bread Stuffing makes an appearance on your Thanksgiving table this year! Let me know if you like traditional stuffing, or if you have a preference for other flavours!
For the full recipe for my Traditional Bread Stuffing, click here!